During Jefferson State Community College’s Homecoming Celebration on September 29, the college broke ground on a new Workforce Education Center and announced I3 Academy will locate its new high school on the college’s Jefferson Campus in Birmingham.
“These new initiatives will transform the landscape of both workforce training and high school education in the greater Birmingham area,” said Jefferson State President Keith Brown. “The workforce training center will allow the college to expand training opportunities in a variety of in-demand skill trade areas for the community, and the new partnership with I3 Academy will introduce a new benchmark for education that provides exciting new pathways for high school students.”
The Workforce Education Center will allow the college to expand training offerings in a variety of in-demand skill trade areas for the community. The center will be constructed adjacent to the college’s lineworker pole farm and will accommodate the lineworker training program, HVAC technician training, electrical training, and training for multi-trade crafts.
The partnership between I3 Academy and Jefferson State will create a kindergarten to college or career pipeline for I3 Academy students. I3 Academy High School students will have multiple avenues for entering into higher education or the workforce. They will have the opportunity to qualify for dual enrollment courses at Jefferson State, which they can attend on the same campus. These courses will build a foundation for associate and bachelor degrees. Additionally, students can graduate from high school with technical certificates, leading them to lifelong, financially-stable careers. This partnership will create a culture of achievement for the high school students and continue the charter model of offering high-quality educational choices and new opportunities to students and their families.
“Imagine an innovative, inner-city, public high school co-located on a college campus where high school students graduate from high school with their high school diploma and an industry recognized credential, and/or an associate’s degree, and/or enough dual enrollment credits to transfer into a four-year university as a second semester sophomore – welcome to I3 High at Jefferson State,” said I3 Academy Board Chairman Dr. Tommy Bice. “Thanks to the imagination and willingness to challenge the boundaries of tradition and bureaucracy, the leaders of these two institutions, Dr. Martin Nalls and President Keith Brown, a new model of opportunity has been created, affording students and their families a first of its kind high school and college experience in Alabama.”
“Since the doors of I3 Academy Elementary opened in 2020, our dream has been to see our first class of fifth graders walk across the stage in their caps and gowns,” said I3 Academy Head of School Dr. Martin Nalls. “Our partnership with Jefferson State goes beyond that dream by adding the benefits of dual enrollment courses and workforce preparation. I3 Academy graduates will leave the Jeff State campus prepared to be agents of change who will solve the problems they see in their world. We want to thank Jefferson State President Keith Brown and his team for their innovative thinking and collaboration in making this possible.”
Jefferson State Community College
Jefferson State Community College has provided educational opportunities and workforce training in central Alabama since 1965. As the state’s largest community college, Jefferson State serves more than 13,000 students each year with campus locations in Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Chilton counties. The college offers 116 transfer programs to four-year colleges, 39 career and technical education programs, 30 workforce education “fast-track” programs, and over 60 dual enrollment classes to more than 3,000 high school students. At $168 per credit hour, Jefferson State remains one of the most cost-effective options for an education and workforce training. Jefferson State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The I3 Academy is a K-8 tuition-free, public charter school network in Birmingham. The 2024-2025 lottery application window will be open from October 1 through January 15, 2024. Seats will be available in the upcoming I3 Academy High School ninth grade class, which will be co-located on the JSCC Jefferson County Campus. Interested families can apply through the I3 Academy website. With a philosophy built around the three Is – Imagine, Investigate, Innovate – I3 Academy offers the power of school choice to students and their families. The mission of I3 Academy is to empower learners to become agents of change who solve the problems they see in their world. To learn more and apply for a seat, visit www.i3academy.org.