JA In the Classroom
Research shows that even a single exposure to a Junior Achievement program makes a difference. The Western Institute for Research and Evaluation (WIRE) longitudinal study shows that students participating in Junior Achievement programs have a greater comprehension of business concepts and skills than their non-participating peers. In objective-based testing, Junior Achievement students scored an average of 33% higher than non-Junior Achievement students. Research also shows that Junior Achievement students are better than non-Junior Achievement students in the following:
- Succeeding at a job
- Acting professionally
- Taking on leadership roles
- Resolving conflicts
- Building confidence
Supporting Content Standards
Junior Achievement can help schools reach their Nebraska Student Assessment Program goals. “Junior Achievement programs address the standards at all grade levels (K-12) with a practical, real life, hands-on approach providing students with experiences similar to what they encounter outside of the classroom.” Click here to view JA’s correlations to the Nebraska standards.
Bringing Relevance to the Classroom
Junior Achievement is the 4th “R” in school subjects; we provide relevance to what students learn in school by linking an education to future opportunity. Junior Achievement curriculum comes alive when volunteers from the business community use Junior Achievement materials as they lead students through innovative lesson plans. Volunteers act as invaluable role models for students by sharing professional life experiences that help students understand how education directly affects their future work life.
JA Programs Develop:
- the desire in young people to stay in school and appreciate lifelong learning
- positive attitudes toward work and the opportunity to contribute to a diverse society
- business/education partnerships that create a bridge between classrooms
Elementary School Program Sequential Curricula Pays Off!
From 1993-2003, external evaluators have conducted comprehensive evaluations of Junior Achievement’s Elementary School Program. Results show that JA’s impact on student knowledge, attitudes, and achievement has been consistently positive and significant.
Students participating in the elementary school evaluation studies all attended urban schools in some of the nation’s major cities, representing a diverse ethnic and racial population.
The cumulative impact of the program is significant. Longitudinal studies show that students participating in the elementary program over consecutive years acquire significantly more economics and business knowledge than those taking Junior Achievement for the first time.
Even a single exposure to a JA program makes a difference. Students at all grade levels who participated in the Elementary School Program have greater comprehension of free enterprise concepts and skills than their non-participating peers.
Educators value JA programs:
- Teachers have high praise for the program. They rated it a 9.4 on a 10-point scale. Ninety-nine percent also say their students enjoyed JA.
- Teachers credit volunteers as a major factor for the positive impact of JA, saying that volunteers bring an outside business perspective into the classroom and serve as positive role models for students.
Middle Grade Programs – A History of Performance!
External evaluators found positive results from the Middle Grade Programs for students in grades seven through nine. JA students consistently outperformed their non-participating peers in each program at all three grade levels.
JA evaluation studies have tracked performance levels among 772 Personal Economics® students, 868 Enterprise in Action® students, and 824 The International Marketplace™ students in five, geographically diverse areas.
JA students outperformed their peers:
- In all three middle grade programs, JA students scored significantly higher on objective-referenced tests than their non-participating peers.
- Enterprise in Action® students scored 17.5 percent higher than non-participating peers, and The International Marketplace™ students scored 14 percent higher.
Other research shows that JA*:
- helps students understand the importance of staying in school
- encourages students to become entrepreneurs
- improves school attendance and behavior
* These findings derive from a study of Project Business, Junior Achievement’s original junior high school program, which was replaced by Personal Economics®, Enterprise in Action and The International Marketplace
High School Programs – JA Students Have the Competitive Advantage!
External evaluators completed comprehensive studies of JA’s High School Programs from 2000-2003. Results show that JA programs have a significant impact on student attitudes and learning.
JA Programs Increase Economic Understanding
After completing the JA Company Program, students scored 10.6 percent higher on objective-referenced tests that measure understanding of economic concepts. JA Economics and JA Success Skills students scored 8.1 percent higher.
JA Programs Improve Critical-thinking Skills
Critical thinking assessments revealed that JA’s High School Programs help students use higher levels of abstract thinking to synthesize and integrate information. After completing JA Economics, students scored 18.6 percent higher on alternative assessment tests. JA Company Program and JA Success Skills students scored 10.9 percent and 13 percent higher, respectively.
We are proud to have the support of the superintendents of both Lincoln Public Schools and Lincoln Catholic Schools, Steve Joel and Rev. John Perkinton. These two individuals, along with former LPS superintendent Dr. Susan Gourley, also serve on JA’s Board of Trustees.
As a Junior Achievement classroom volunteer for many years, I can testify to the power of the program. First, the program represents genuine learning for the children and often motivates them to think about careers they may have never heard of. Second, JA brings successful adults into our schools who support education and quickly develop positive relationships with kids. Finally, JA represents a vibrant partnership among the Lincoln community and our schools. We are excited and proud to be associated with a program that does make a difference. – Steve Joel, Ed.D, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools
Lincoln’s Catholic Schools appreciate their partnership with JA volunteers. Their classroom presence enriches our economic education curriculum in ways that would be difficult to replace without this significant business/community resource. – Rev. John Perkinton, Superintendent, Lincoln Catholic Schools
For information on bringing JA into your classroom contact Alison Gottsch-Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 467-1741.
You can find a convenient Teacher Registration Form here.