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At 2 MPS high schools, JA program relates classroom lessons to life in the workplace

3DE by JA — is now engaging students in two MPS schoolsA national program that ties lessons learned in high school to the business world — 3DE by JA — is now engaging students in two MPS schools. The program in Milwaukee, a collaboration between the nonprofit youth organization Junior Achievement and Milwaukee Public Schools, was detailed Tuesday, November 14, at Bay View High School. 

3DE is being piloted at Bay View and Marshall High Schools. The four-year program begins with this year’s freshman class. By the time the freshmen are seniors, all students in both schools will be taking part in the program. 

MPS is the first school district in Wisconsin to offer 3DE, which debuted in Atlanta in 2015 and is now in 25 cities. 3DE is meant to show students how learning in the classroom connects to life in the workplace and in the community. 

Students will solve business case challenges, much like college students do, to present their findings to businesses such as Deloitte, Delta Airlines, and others, while using skills learned in math, science, and English instruction. 

In solving the case challenges, students also will rely on skills necessary in the workplace, JA says: collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, agility between cultures, and self-direction. 

Luisangel Claudio, a 9th grader at Bay View High School who has presented a winning case to Deloitte with his team, said he has already learned presentation skills and effective collaboration. “It gave me a chance to better myself, like, right now,” he said of the 3DE program. 

Students get individualized attention in 3DE; each business coach from participating companies such as Deloitte works with four students at a time during a class period. 

Goals of the program include improving academic performance and graduation rates, in addition to preparing students for post-secondary education and the workplace. 

In eight school districts using 3DE across the country, districts reported: 

  • A 21.8% reduction in chronic absenteeism 
  • A 56.4% increase in immediate post-secondary education enrollment after graduation 
  • 69.3% more students demonstrating math proficiency 
  • 67.6% more students demonstrating reading proficiency 

“3DE by JA has shown a positive impact on high school students in almost 50 schools across the USA,” said Michael Frohna, Regional Director of 3DE at Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “We aim to achieve similar results in Milwaukee, providing students with skills to navigate towards a successful future.” 

Bay View High School Principal Jeffery Gaddis said he already has noticed improved attendance and grades among 9th graders taking part in the program. 

Willie Jude II, the new executive director of the MPS Foundation and an alumnus of James Madison Academic Campus, said, “We know we need more principled problem solvers and solutions-oriented individuals in the future. That’s why the MPS Foundation board of directors approved providing seed funding for this program... We know there’s still a long way to go, but we see this as a wise investment.” 

Junior Achievement said it will work with MPS to add the program to at least two more high schools in the city. 

3DE is made possible with support from the broader business community. The expected investment for the first two years of 3DE by JA is more than $1 million. The launch this year was funded by local donors including WE Energies ($250,000 over two years), Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation ($160,000 over two years), and PwC ($25,000). More support will be needed to meet expansion goals. 

Leading national partners of 3DE include the Marcus Foundation, Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, and Sara Blakely Foundation. Additional national partners include Arby's/Inspire Brands, AT&T, Delta Air Lines, The Goizueta Foundation, The Home 

Depot, Jackson Healthcare, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, PwC, ReliaQuest, Spanx, Truist, and UPS.


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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