Office of Education

JAG Program

Jobs for Arizona's Graduates (JAG)

JAG’s mission is to help young people stay in school and to acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills they will need to be successful upon graduation.

Governor Ducey serves on the Board of Directors for Jobs for America's Graduates.

JAG Career and College Readiness Programs Report: 2017-2018

JAG Career and College Readiness programs operated in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal Counties during the 2017-2018 school year. 

Through JAG, at risk students and graduates receive support through various intervention strategies, empowering them to improve their:
-academic skills and standing
-self-efficacy and leadership skills
-preparedness/success in college and the workforce
Through partnerships with School Districts, JAG is offered as an elective course at the high schools. Each program is spearheaded by a Program Coordinator (JAG teacher), who takes personal responsibility for the JAG students ensuring that program participants stay in school, graduate, have a career and post-secondary plan to enact after graduation and are supported for at least 1 year after graduation to successfully transition into the workforce and/or college.
 JAG Program

NEW: 2019 Career Development Conference: Mesa Convention Center, April 30, 2019

Each year, more than 750 students and community partners participate in the Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates Career Development Conference. Throughout the year, JAG students work to achieve academic, personal, leadership and career skills that will help them secure quality employment or pursue further education or training immediately after graduation. JAG participants from the 9th through 12th grades will be presenting their Programs of Work and celebrating a successful year. (Read More...)

JAG Awarded $300,000 grant from the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation
September 2018

“Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates has seen significant growth in the past 12 months, and this grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will go a long way in sustaining new programming and helping us to reach even more students,” said Graciela Garcia-Candia, president of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates. “We are thankful for all of our partners who make it possible for us to help deserving young adults obtain their high school diplomas and be given the tools necessary to reach their full potential.”
Our recent growth includes the launch of several new in-school JAG programs in Avondale, Tolleson, Phoenix and Tucson. JAG currently serves more than 1,200 young people through 25 different programs across multiple partner schools in Arizona, many of which are located in primarily low-income areas.
“By offering services in the areas of dropout prevention and career training, JAG is helping youth in Arizona finish school and grow into the next generation of productive workers and leaders,” said businesswoman and philanthropist Renee Parsons.

JAG Students Across Arizona Join the Career Association

JAG students from JAG programs across Arizona are participating in Initiation and Installation ceremonies as they officially join the JAG Career Association. JAG students work with their coordinators in order to plan these ceremonies as they select the date, create invitations for friends, family, and community members, select and invite guest speakers, and create a script and program for the event. During the event, students lead the ceremonies and take a pledge to commit to their personal, academic, and career goals as well as represent themselves, their peers, and JAG in a professional manner. Student officers are also officially appointed at these ceremonies. (Read More...)

JAG Out-of-School Program Update
August 2018

In August, JAG announced the results of the 12 months of follow-up, ending May 31, 2018, for the Out-of-School JAG program. 

About 90 locations deliver the JAG “Out-of-School” program, covering a particularly wide range of out-of-school young adults. Seven locations are a part of a “LEAP” partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the federal Social Innovation funds. Under LEAP, several existing organizations who serve “system-involved” young adults (foster care, child welfare, adjudicated and other young adults who are supported by government programs) brought an even more challenging population to serve as JAG sought to demonstrate the impact of the JAG Model in boosting employment and securing a high school diploma or its equivalency, beyond what was previously being achieved by those programs.

Appreciating that the JAG Out-of-School program does cover a wide range of high school dropouts, disconnected young adults, those who have been adjudicated, those aging out of foster care, and those emerging from the support of the child welfare system, the results that follow are, in several categories, the best JAG have ever achieved:

      • Graduation Rate: 61%
      • Positive Outcome Rate: 83%
      • Employment Rate: 75%
      • Full-Time Jobs Rate: 78%
      • Full-Time Placement Rate: 86%
      • Postsecondary Education Rate:  25%

For the purpose of comparing against other out-of-school programs, securing a 50% employment rate (part- and full-time) is a great success for this very challenged young adult population. JAG results are half again as high, and twice as high for full-time employment rates. So, too, with anything approaching 40% in securing a high school equivalency. JAG’s is a half-again higher rate of success.

In the all-important employment and high school equivalency outcomes, JAG Out-of-School programs achieved the best results in our 38-year history.

Jobs for Arizona Graduates Uses Structured Learning Experiences to Set Youth on Path To Fulfillment

April 9, 2018

A mayor. Lawyers. A legislator. Nurses. Law enforcement officers. Teachers. These are all jobs that are now being done by graduates of the Jobs For Arizona Graduates (JAG) program.

Now with 25 programs serving 1,200 students, JAG has aided Arizona youth for more than 30 years.

Aimed at students who have multiple barriers to success, JAG is an in-school program designed to help young people stay in school and acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocations skills they will need to be successful upon graduation. (Continue Reading...)

JAG Announces Class of 2016 Results

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), one of the nation’s largest and most successful programs for helping young people succeed in school and on the job, has announced the results for the graduating class of 2016, as the support services to ensure student success in finding jobs or entering college concluded on June 1. The results are the best in the 38-year history of JAG.

The JAG State Affiliates and the front line staff across 1,200 locations in 34 states worked with more than 57,000 young people to achieve these extraordinary results:

      • Graduation Rate: 95%
      • Employment Rate: 63% (Highest achieved in 26 years – more than double the rate for the population we serve and triple the rate for securing full-time jobs)
      • Full-time Jobs Rate: 75% 
      • Full-time Placement Rate: 90%(combination of work/college that equals full-time commitment)
      • Postsecondary Education Enrollment Rate: 43%

Click here to find out more.


Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) is a non-profit 501(c)3 that partners with school districts, the business community, the public sector, and other non-profits to support and assure the success of its mission. JAG’s mission is to help young people stay in school and to acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocations skills they will need to be successful upon graduation. JAG's mission is realized through four program applications. To find out more, please visit the pages below.


The JAG Programming began in 1979, when Governor Pete du Pont of Delaware initiated a School-to-Work Transition Program as an answer to the high percentage of underemployed and unemployed high school graduates. In collaboration with business associates, community and education leaders, the JAG Senior Program began in 8 schools. Jobs for America’s Graduates was established in 1980 to provide additional states with access to the JAG Model. From this humble beginning Jobs for America’s Graduates has grown into a state-based national non-profit organization currently operating programs in 33 states dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue post secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.

In 1980, Arizona adopted and implemented the Jobs for America’s Graduates School-to-Work Transition Model for high school seniors. In 1990, Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the leadership of key business and community representatives including: Cathy McKee, David Howell, Rob Melnick and others. Over the past 30 years, over 30,000 young people have received JAG services and gone on to become accountants, nurses, teachers, business owners, fire fighters and even elected government officials.

Today, JAG has 25 programs in Arizona schools serving over 1,200 students and is consistently exceeding the national standards set by Jobs for America’s Graduates.

Click here to find out more about Jobs for Arizona's Graduates.

Click here to find out more about the national JAG program.

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