The future of Nebraska’s workforce and the economy is dependent upon the successful development of our children. For their sake and ours, we can’t afford to lose these young people – our most precious resource – to academic, economic, and personal obstacles that could stand in their way of confidently moving forward in life.

JAG Nebraska is here to see that all of our youths are prepared for the future. Our program applications and curriculum of work-based competencies are designed to engage students in learning so they can develop skills, self-esteem and critical thinking that goes beyond the typical classroom and into the workforce.


United Way of the Midlands and its partners who sponsor JAG Nebraska have identified two program applications as being necessary to support and engage different cohorts within the state’s student population. These programs are based on the national JAG Model and work in combination with a curriculum of 87 project-learning-based competencies.


The fastest-growing JAG program helps 7th- and 8th-grade students transition more successfully to high school by providing a range of services aimed at improving academic performance, school behavior, attendance, participation, confidence and self-esteem.


Serving 9th- to 12th-grade students who possess significant barriers to graduation and/or a successful transition to postsecondary schooling or the labor market. The program features 12 months of postgraduation follow-up services.


JAG Nebraska Career Specialists teach 37 to 87 core competencies to participants in the Multi-Year, Alternative Education, and Senior level classes. Students are expected to have mastered these core competencies upon program completion.

The competency model was developed to provide employer engagement opportunities and real-world skills. Learning includes classroom teaching, hands-on experiences with local employers, and participation in a student-led career association.


The fastest-growing JAG program helps 7th and 8th-grade students transition more successfully to high school by providing a range of services aimed at improving academic performance, school behavior, attendance, participation, confidence and self-esteem.


A dropout prevention program serving 9th to 12th-grade students who possess significant barriers to graduation and/or successful transition to postsecondary schooling or the labor market. The program features 12 months of postgraduation follow-up services.


A dropout prevention program that’s similar to the Multi-Year program but for 9th to 12th-grade students who are not taking classes in a traditional high school and who require additional support services to overcome academic, economic and/or personal barriers.

At $1,800 per student, JAG provides a comprehensive range of services that help each participant succeed for $5 per day.


JAG Nebraska youths in the Middle School program have their own unique curriculums based on laying the foundation for what’s ahead as they grow and develop a deeper understanding of the world at large. Because of developmental differences, there is a separate competency list for 7th and 8th grades.


  • Identify, understand and apply knowledge of social roles
  • Participate in assessments and utilize results
  • Articulate personal values
  • Identify, understand and effectively manage emotions
  • Demonstrate ability to make healthy choices
  • Identify and understand personal interests, aptitudes and abilities
  • Differentiate between opinion and fact
  • Identify and demonstrate key communication skills
  • Express needs and wants
  • Listen and contribute appropriately in a group situation
  • Use a method of time management
  • Establish long- and short-term goals
  • Demonstrate organizational skills
  • Use basic study skills effectively
  • Use knowledge of personal learning style in study habits
  • Explain the value of completed homework
  • Demonstrate an understanding of decision-making
  • Explain the importance of taking responsibility for actions and behaviors
  • Demonstrate appropriate anger control techniques
  • Demonstrate appropriate conflict resolution techniques
  • Develop and implement a Personal Development Plan
  • Define and demonstrate empathy.
  • Explain the significance of respect for self, others and rules
  • Explain the value of good character
  • Explain the benefit of a positive attitude
  • State the benefits of being perceived as a person of good
  • Demonstrate effective leadership skills


  • Develop a career or educational plan that reflects personal goals, interests and skills
  • Describe the future, including personal and career potential
  • Demonstrate understanding of social and cultural diversity
  • Apply concepts related to living on their own in the real world
  • Access key local resources
  • Demonstrate understanding of earning, spending and saving
  • Develop a budget
  • Define “negotiation” and give examples of everyday negotiations that take place in a student’s life and society
  • Explain the reasons for and benefits of negotiation related to self and counterpart
  • Describe the process of negotiation
  • Explain the difference between a job and a career
  • Demonstrate an understanding of skills and abilities necessary for success in a job
  • Identify skills necessary for career choice
  • Demonstrate understanding of the job application process
  • Explain the value of job shadowing


  • Identify occupational interests, aptitudes and abilities
  • Relate interests, aptitudes and abilities to appropriate occupations
  • Identify desired lifestyle and relate to selected occupations
  • Develop a career path for a selected occupation
  • Select an immediate job goal
  • Describe the conditions and specifications of the job goal
  • Construct a resume
  • Conduct a job search
  • Develop a letter of application
  • Use the telephone to arrange an interview
  • Complete application forms
  • Complete employment tests
  • Complete a job interview
  • Demonstrate appropriate appearance
  • Identify expectations that employers have of employees
  • Identify problems of new employees
  • Time management
  • Follow directions
  • Practice effective human relations
  • Appropriately resign from a job
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Perform mathematical calculations
  • Team membership
  • Team leadership
  • Presentation to a group
  • Compete successfully with peers
  • Demonstrate commitment to an organization
  • Explain the types of maturity
  • Identify a self-value system and how it affects life
  • Base decisions on values and goals
  • Identify the process of decision-making
  • The ability to assume responsibility for actions and decisions
  • A positive attitude
  • Develop a healthy self-concept for home, school, and work
  • Evaluate a career plan to determine appropriate postsecondary educational options
  • Identify how best to achieve marketable occupation skills for an entry-level job
  • Conduct a job analysis
  • Apply critical thinking skills
  • Effective study skills
  • How to use group dynamics techniques
  • Explain the roles and functions of a value-added organization
  • Understand the essential elements of high-performing work teams
  • Describe how to communicate with diverse people at work and in the community to satisfy their expectations
  • Demonstrate techniques for building commitment by others
  • Demonstrate an openness to change
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Negotiate solutions to conflicts
  • Demonstrate politeness and civility
  • Demonstrate an ability to adapt to people and situations
  • Exhibit work ethics and behaviors essential to success
  • Set and prioritize goals and establish a timeline for achieving them
  • Apply the problem-solving process to complex problems
  • An ability to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of self
  • Design and justify solutions by tracking and evaluating results
  • Identify ways to build mutual trust and respect
  • Prepare a short- and long-term personal budget
  • Punctuality and good attendance practices
  • Initiative and productivity
  • How to work effectively with others
  • An attitude that attracts the attention of management
  • An ability to communicate and work with customers to satisfy expectations
  • Listening skills, which will result in gaining a clear understanding of the information being conveyed
  • An ability to follow and give directions
  • Good reasoning skills, which result in thinking first, then taking action
  • Integrity and honesty in dealings with internal and external customers
  • A willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own actions
  • A commitment to completing work assignments accurately and in a timely fashion
  • An ability to satisfy the purposes of a delegated task
  • An ability to prioritize and manage time effectively in the workplace
  • Enthusiasm for work
  • An eagerness to learn new responsibilities or improve current responsibilities
  • An understanding of the work to be accomplished
  • Familiarity with a variety of technologies
  • Ability to self-evaluate and develop a continuous improvement (career development) plan
  • Basic computer operation skills
  • An ability to learn from past experiences and others
  • An ability to send, receive and organize email messages
  • An ability to search for information on the internet


  • Understand Insurance: Auto, Renters, Home, Health, Disability and Life (Allstate)
  • Practical Money Skills for Life @ (VISA, U.S.A.)
  • Demonstrate How to Start a Small Business (Allstate)
  • Be successful in dealing with law enforcement when they are enforcing the law (Allstate: The Law and You)
  • Diversity
  • History and You

Our young people are the future of our state. We need to afford them every opportunity to succeed in school, in the workforce and in life – and JAG Nebraska can help students see their potential and work to reach their goals.”

– Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen