JA Company Program Summary

JA Company Program encompasses business, entrepreneurship, and economics curriculum for students in grades nine through twelve. The program emphasizes business content, while providing a strong focus on social studies, mathematics, reading, and writing skills. The JA Company Program experience enhances students' classroom curriculum. Students are encouraged to use innovative thinking to learn business skills that support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations.

Through a variety of hands-on activities and technological supplements designed to support different learning styles, students develop a better understanding of the relationship between what they learn at school and their successful participation in a worldwide economy. Twelve volunteer-led activities are required.

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Meeting One

Students work together to establish an effective and efficient team environment, while outlining specific leadership roles for the future company. Students create values and standards for the company and explore its vision, mission, and goals.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • determine how fundamental leadership principles create an effective company environment.
  • identify the company's departmental structure and associated leadership roles.
  • discuss the company's values.
  • consider a company name.
  • discuss the company's Capitalization Plan.
Meeting Two

Working as a company, students conduct officer elections and learn about each department's specific responsibilities during the company's Operation and Liquidation Phases.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • classify the components of a Business Opportunity.
  • identify department responsibilities.
  • approve the company Charter Application and Bylaws.
  • initiate a company Capitalization Plan.
Meeting Three

The company enters the Context Phase of the program. During this phase, students use tools, such as market surveys and cost-benefit analysis, to determine potential products for their target market.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • conduct market research to isolate a target market.
  • develop a market survey.
  • analyze product options.
  • generate questions regarding each department's Business Plan.
Meeting Four

The company enters the Deal Phase of the program. During this phase, students select the top two or three product options for cost-benefit analysis.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

    complete the Product Evaluation Form.
  • create sales goals for the company and individuals.
  • finalize and submit department Business Plans.
  • elect a company name.
Meeting Five

The company enters the Business Opportunity Phase of the program. Students host a board meeting to approve the company's Business Plan, review implementation strategies, and accept the company Charter.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • initiate the organization and/or production of the product.
  • maintain accurate, organized department records of all transactions.
Meeting Six

Materials needed for product production are ordered, and the company Business Plan is implemented. Students may take part in an extended learning opportunity.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • initiate purchasing materials for production.
  • prepare records needed for company operations.
  • identify the Sales Order Form and the product sales process.
Meeting Seven

Students continue to operate the company.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • refine and implement all aspects of the company Business Plan.
  • prepare to sell the product to the defined target market.
  • initiate production.
  • maintain accurate, organized records of all transactions.
Meeting Eight

Students continue to produce and sell their product. They learn about specific sales techniques that will assist them in reaching their sales goals.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • identify effective sales techniques and strategies.
  • recognize ineffective production strategies and adjust accordingly.
Meeting Nine

Students hold department meetings to share best practices and propose changes to current company operations.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • continue sales and production of product.
  • refine departmental strategies.
Meeting Ten:

Students begin finalizing production, assess excess inventory, and prepare for the Board of Directors liquidation meeting.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • identify and evaluate production and inventory needs for the final product sales.
  • begin to prepare all liquidation forms and records needed for the Annual Report.
Meeting Eleven

Students explore Next Steps and learn how to apply what they have learned as a company to personal entrepreneurial pursuits.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • explore the JA Student Center and JA Career Assessment tools.
  • create a Personal Action Plan.
  • complete all Liquidation Reports.
  • compile the Annual Report.
Meeting Twelve

Students conduct the final Board of Directors liquidation meeting and approve the Annual Report.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • distribute stockholder dividends.
  • celebrate their company's success.

JA Company Program enhances students' learning of the following concepts and skills:

  • Concepts - Business, Choices, Competition, Division of labor, Entrepreneur, Expenses, Fixed costs, Goods, Incentive, Income, Liquidation, Management, Marketing, Parliamentary procedure, Price, Productivity, Profit, Production, Research and Development, Services, Stock, Variable costs
  • Skills - Assembling products, Analyzing and interpreting information, Brainstorming, Consensus building, Critical reading, Gathering and organizing information, Group and self-assessment, Interpreting production inventory, Oral and written communication, Making observations, Product analysis, Public speaking, Research, Synthesizing and evaluating information, Selling, Working in groups

JA Company Program was strategically developed to align with academic content areas. The program's focus on mathematics, reading, and writing standards ensures relevance in all classrooms affected by high-stakes testing.

JA Company Program is a series of 12 meetings and is recommended for after-school high school students. The average time for each meeting is 90 to 120 minutes. Extended learning opportunities were developed to enhance and expand core activities. JA Company Program provides interactive, take-home materials for students, including access to an online career assessment at www.ja.org. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed activity plans for the volunteer and enough materials for 24 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.