On October 5, 2020, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) officials joined community partners to announce plans for the launch of Junior Achievement’s 3DE program at Valley High School and the Academy @ Shawnee. Through the program, students at these schools will work to solve actual, current problems businesses are facing, giving them real-world, hands-on career experiences.
The Gheens Foundation donated $300,000 to help kick off the program, which will launch in the 2021-22 school year.
“3DE by Junior Achievement is an evolution of the Academies of Louisville that supports the district’s Backpack of Success Skills pillar,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “The program enhances schools’ business partnerships by more fully integrating students into the companies’ operations and providing additional opportunities for relationship building, creating a deeper understanding of business operations within and outside of their chosen pathway.”
In its launch year, all freshmen at Shawnee and Valley high schools will participate in the 3DE program. They will continue to participate through all four years at these schools. Each 3DE student will participate in 16 case challenges and a senior project during their four years.
Officials touted the program and its benefits to local businesses as well as students.
“There is an undeniable link between quality education and economic opportunity. 3DE will build upon the great work being done at JCPS to more fully prepare our students for the demands of tomorrow’s economy,” said Junior Achievement President Debra Hoffer.
3DE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Junior Achievement USA, was developed by JA of Georgia as a turn-around model for Banneker High School, formerly one of Atlanta’s lowest-performing schools. The results of the Phase I pilot showed a 46 percent increase in the graduation rate, with 38 percent fewer chronically-absent students on average compared to host school peers.