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Success Strategies

Below are just a few reasons behind how we’re able to deliver a 97% graduation rate with successful transitions that lead to 90% positive outcomes for youth.

Strategy 1: The JAG Advantage

This national three-pillar strategy is recognized as a model program by the National Dropout Prevention Center.

  • Project-Based Learning (PBL) and Work-Based Learning (WBL) is an engaging and interactive way for students to choose topics that interest them and complete related activities that build their skillset. Examples include: financial literacy, employability and soft skills, build-your-own restaurant and volunteerism.


  • Trauma-Informed Care includes environmental and emotional methods that help students feel safe, open and relaxed. From non-traditional seating options to warm lighting, daily affirmations and special gestures, this is a key strategy that improves learning, participation and excitement.


  • Employer Engagement is the bridge between the classroom and workplace. Students apply their learnings and soft skills to discover, plan and prepare for a career that they’re passionate about.

Strategy 2: 7 Essential Constructs

In cooperation with Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEA), we align soft skills development to the 7 Essential Constructs model. Created by Iowa legislatures, AEA continues to be a critical institution that guides youth development.

    1.   Career Readiness
    2.   Character and Self Development
    3.   Communication and Technology
    4.   Critical Thinking and Productivity
    5.   Life Skills
    6.   Self Advocacy
    7.   Conflict Resolution

Strategy 3: JAG Employer Engagement Framework

This connective approach drives Exploration, Exposure and Experience so that every student has an individual development plan (IDP) that ignites immediate and long-term success.

Strategy 4: A Powerhouse of Professionals

Our more than 140 school partners have confidence in our ability to deliver solutions that are outcome-focused and data-driven. But, these feelings are strengthened knowing that each student will be individually guided with passion and care by highly-trained Education Specialists. 

Education Specialists are employed by iJAG to work in-step with school administrators to support district priorities. We help alleviate district responsibilities by leading processes related to hiring, managing and evaluation as well as professional development. Here are just a few examples of year-round training and education programs for staff:

  • Annual Summer Learning Summit 
  • Annual Professional Development Day 
  • Annual JAG training certification 
  • Regular virtual training events
  • Monthly training for iJAG Program Managers
  • Mental health training for staff, students and classroom through The Scanlan Center for School Mental Health at the University of Iowa 
  • JAG National Training Seminar (optional)
Today, we employ approximately 155 iJAG Education Specialists who receive added support from Program Managers and Area Directors.