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Jefferson County ESC and Zulama join together to offer students online gaming opportunities

UPublish story by Jefferson County ESC

Steubenville, Ohio…Jefferson County Educational Service Center (JCESC) is excited to announce the addition of the Entertainment Technology Program to the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) online course offerings. Through a partnership with Zulama, JCESC/VLA will serve as an exclusive provider of Zulama courses within the State of Ohio offering a variety of courses in gaming, modern storytelling, digital art and mobile app and game design. “I’m thrilled to be offering Zulama’s courses through VLA. We have explored many online and cyber partnerships and VLA is the one who most closely aligns with Zulama’s high quality standards. VLA is highly committed to their own staff development and training. This in turn leads to their students’ success in the online environment with challenging curriculum such as Zulama’s Entertainment Technology Academy. I wish these creative, college-prep and career-focused options had been available when I was in high school!” expressedZulama CEONikki Navta.

This addition to JCESC/VLA is an online, project-based learning environment to develop skills to be successful in today’s global workforce. Students can unleash their creativity through science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “The collaboration and the creation that students get to do is far more intrinsically motivating than any other course that I’ve seen offered in my mere 10 years of education,” stated Heather Hibner, a current teacher offering the Entertainment Technology program to her students.

Zulama’s curriculum was created by educators at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. It gives high school students experience with problem solving and thinking creatively—skills they need to earn jobs in a digital world. School Superintendent Dr. Bart Rocco added, “Students today need to be challenged in an environment with a curriculum that is engaging to them and that prepares them for the world in which they are going to enter. Zulama’s (Entertainment Technology program) was a perfect fit.”

Studies show fewer than half of U.S. high school students are actively engaged at school. Disengagement is the #1 reason students cite for dropping out.

These students have lots of outside interests—they’re just uninspired by school. On average, mid-size public districts lose upwards of $600,000 in funding EVERY YEAR when students leave.

In existence since 2001, JCESC VLA offers over 100 courses that are fully aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards and is one of only 8 ESCs in the nation to receive national accreditation by North Central Association on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. JCESC VLA provides an extensive portfolio of web-based curriculum spanning grades K-12, offered through a user-friendly Learning Management System that can be easily navigated by students of all ages and abilities.

To obtain more information regarding the Entertainment Technology program or any K-12 courses, contact the JCESC Virtual Learning Academy website at: www.jcesc.k12.oh.us, email: vlainfo@omeresa.net or call 740.283.3347.


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