Career Pathways Training at JCTC





Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky (AOKY) is a career pathways program that combines basic skills education (math, reading and writing) with technical skills training to prepare students for a high demand job. The AOKY program is designed for students who have not completed high school or need to take basic skills courses along with their technical courses.

At JCTC, the AOKY program is available for students interested in earning a college certificate in Allied Health, Automotive Technology, or Computer Information Technologies (A+ certification).

Students in the program enroll in a College and Career Ready class with an adult education instructor to get the math, reading and/or math skills  they need to be successful in their technical courses.  Additionally, students work with a Success Coach and a Career Coach for assistance with:

  • enrolling in Accelerating Opportunity
  • applying for financial aid
  • program orientation and requirements
  • academic advising and planning
  • information on relevant workshops and special events
  • developing plans for students to meet their goals
  • campus and community referrals
  • resume writing and job search activities
  • career exploration and counseling
  • job referrals


For more information, contact Gina Embry at (502) 213-5163 or




Reengagement Plus! Convening Overview

The National League of Cities Re-engagement Network held its fifth annual convening in Iowa in March 2016. Attendees representing state and local governments, school districts, and community organizations discussed dropout prevention and reengagement strategies, policies and programs.

Some of the “big ideas” presented included:

  • Strengthen enrollment into alternative schools by training staff on cultural competencies, providing one-one-one counseling and referrals and sharing data between community partners to identify needed services;
  • Identify a variety of in-school and community-based alternative programs that prevent, intervene and reengage at-risk youth (example: Omaha Multiple Pathways);
  • Engage youth and parents in the development of programs that assist young people transition to work and school from the juvenile justice system;
  • Invest in PD training that helps staff develop effective relationship-building skills with at-risk youth;
  • Establish a peer leader model in youth programming;
  • Co-located staff from community organizations with WIOA service centers for out-of-school youth;
  • Establish community-wide accountability measures that track most desirable outcomes (for instance, grad rates and wages earned may be higher priority than numbers of GED’s and job placements);
  • Appropriately address the mental health needs of at-risk youth, including anxiety, trauma, and attachment using motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care and effective relationship building;
  • Identify the complex and diverse needs of youth who have disabilities, are LGBT, are non-English speakers or are in foster care and develop individualized plans for addressing these needs;
  • Establish strong partnerships between employers, community colleges, schools, nonprofits, public agencies and others  (ex: Alignment Nashville);
  • Identify workforce skills gaps and develop mid-skill career pathways, supported by innovative post-secondary funding sources, to reengage opportunity youth, particularly in STEM fields;
  • Develop dual-enrollment programs (high school + college) and the wrap around supports needed for students to complete them;
  • Explore state-wide funding and policy strategies, such as in Washington and Colorado;
  • Explore competency or proficiency-based options for credit recovery.

To learn more about the 2016 Reengagement Plus! or to join the National League of Cities Reengagement Network, contact Zachia Nazarzai.

Mentor Support for Pre-College Teens

55,000 Degrees, a local initiative to increase the rate of college graduates, is partnering with eight universities in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, public and private school systems and several Louisville city organizations to offer face-to-face and virtual mentoring to high school students heading to college.

The program include one-on-one communication between a college-enrolled mentor and a prospective student, and a program in which students receive regular text and email reminders about important college dates.

“There’s a gap in support for (high school) students,” said Lilly Massa-McKinley, leader of the summer melt initiatives. “Even if a university might be sending out emails, there are a lot of barriers to enroll in the fall.” Courier Journal, July 9, 2015

So far this summer, 240 are participating in the free mentoring program. For more information, contact Jennifer Brophy, Summer Navigator Coordinator, at or visit the 55,000 Degrees website.

Free and Reduced Lunch in High Schools

The number of students in JCPS comprehensive high schools receiving Free or Reduced Lunch increased every school year from 2005-2006 (43.7%) to 2012-2013 (54.0%).

  • Of the 26,575 high school students enrolled in JCPS comprehensive high schools 2012-12, 16,742 qualify for Free and Reduced Lunches.
  • The District total for these high schools was 43.7% (2005-06), 44.6% (2006-07), 46.4% (2007-08), 47.0% (2008-09), 50.9% (2009-10), 52.2% (2010-11), 52.9% (2011-12), 54% (2012-13).
  • Only one high school (Atherton) experienced a decrease (-9.9%) in the percentage of students qualifying.
  • The highest percent increase was at Seneca (28% increase from 05-06 to 12-13).
  • The comprehensive schools with the highest percentage of qualifying students in 2012-12 were Central (83.1%), Iroquois (87.0%), The Academy @ Shawnee (81.1%), Western (80.5%), and Valley Traditional (77.4%).

These data do not include all public high schools in this district or non-public schools.

Source: Jefferson County Public Schools Data Book

Homeless High School Students

1,774 high school students are homeless, according to a JCPS report (2011-12)

The number includes only students attending JCPS comprehensive schools at the beginning of the school year and is self-reported.

Included in this number are youth who are sharing the housing of others including relatives and friends due to a loss of housing, economic hardships, or other similar reasons. This group includes youth temporarily placed by CFC or who are unaccompanied youth living in emergency runaway shelters, public or private nighttime shelters, special care facilities, spouse abuse centers, hotels or motels, and uninhabitable places such as cars, camping grounds or parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus and train stations. Highly migratory children.

Source: Jefferson County Public Schools Data Book

High School Non-Completers by Race/Ethnicity

Percentage of 16 to 24 years who have not completed high school and are not in school varies by race/ethnicity. People of color are more than two times as likely to be a “non-completer”.

high school non-completers by race 1980 to 2010

The data also show the percentage of white 16 to 24 year olds who are non-completers has decreased since 1980 while the percentage of people of color 16 to 24 who are non-completers has increased in the same time period.

Source: Open Places Initiative: Equity Indicators for the Louisville Region; USC Program for environmental and regional equity, 2013

JCPS Data on Student Progress

Jefferson County Public Schools posts info on student progress online.

The Kentucky Department of Education Unbridled Learning model holds districts accountable for five primary areas:

  • Achievement – based on student scores on state tests;
  • Gap – based on the scores of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, receive special education services, are learning English as a second language or whose race is identified as African-American, Hispanic or Native American;
  • Growth – compares individual student performance from year to year;
  • College/Career Readiness – based on college readiness exams, career aptitude tests and the number of students who earn technical certificates;
  • Graduation Rate – based on the number of students who graduate within four years.

Check these resources for more information:

JCPS Data Books

JCPS Summary of 2014 Accountability Data

Kentucky State Department of Education – Data Portal for all Schools and Districts

Academic Performance Lags for Many High School Students

38.8% of high school students with gaps in achievement historically (student groups: ethnic/race minority, special education, free/reduced lunch, limited English proficiency) are proficient or distinguished in reading. In all areas of learning (reading, math, science, social studies, language mechanics, writing) “gap group” students perform well below their peers.

Achievement Gap

Source: JCPS


Gap Calculation: Kentucky’s goal is 100 percent proficiency for all students. The distance from that goal or gap is measured by creating a student Gap Group — an aggregate count of student groups that have historically had achievement gaps. Student groups combined include ethnicity/race (African American, Hispanic, Native American), Special Education, Poverty (free/reduced-price meals) and Limited English Proficiency that score at proficient or higher. More info on the Kentucky Department of Education Accountability Model

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