Resource Library

As a hub for the Linked Learning movement, the Alliance offers research, stories, and tools that help people understand the impact of Linked Learning and implement this approach at high levels of quality.

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The Underserved Third

How Our Educational Structures Populate an Educational Underclass

This article was published in 2012 in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, after the findings were released to the general public on December 12, 2011. The article asserts the importance of ultimately dismantling dichotomous notions of ‘‘career’’ and ‘‘college’’ preparation, to expand opportunities for underserved students, and reduce inequities by preparing all students for both college and career.

Research, Career-Technical Education, Equity

Unlocking Doors and Expanding Opportunity

Moving Beyond the Limiting Reality of College and Career Readiness in California High Schools

To meet California’s demand for a more educated workforce, high schools must dramatically increase the number of students who graduate and graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college and career. Yet disturbingly, few students graduate with the college-ready coursework needed to access our state’s public university system. This is especially true for low-income students and students of color, who are also disproportionately tracked into less rigorous “career education” courses. This report highlights these troubling trends and calls for a more integrated and equitable approach to college and career preparation—so that high school serves to open doors to both college and career options for all students.

Research, College & Career Readiness, Equity, Workforce Development

Expanding Access, Creating Options

How Linked Learning Pathways Can Mitigate Barriers to College and Career Access in Schools and Districts

The study, conducted over two years, highlights the connection between quality implementation of Linked Learning and equity and college and career access. The key findings in this report reinforce the need for consistency in the non-negotiable elements of Linked Learning as districts strive to take this approach to scale.

Research, Equity, Lessons Learned

The Linked Learning Approach to High School Reform

What is it and why do we need it?
November 2013 | CSBA

This brief is one in a series on the Linked Learning high school reform effort that focuses on preparing graduates for both college and career. This first brief will discuss achievement gaps and employment and economic trends that support the need for high schools that prepare all students for both career and college. The following briefs will be informed by interviews with members of governance teams from districts that are implementing the Linked Learning approach, and will explore how career and college preparation programs—including Regional Occupational Programs/Centers (ROP/C)—promote success for underserved and underperforming students.

Research, Equity, Workforce Development

December 2014 | SRI International

SRI’s fifth annual evaluation report on the progress of the California Linked Learning District Initiative offers updated findings on student engagement and achievement outcomes from the nine districts participating in the initiative. Additionally, for the first time, our report takes an in-depth look at the issue of student equity and access to pathways through an analysis of student enrollment patterns across pathway career themes and of pathway retention among student subgroup populations. Finally, it assesses pathway students’ experiences with academic and technical curriculum and work-based learning, their perceptions of the skills they are gaining as a result of their pathway experiences, and their plans for the future.

Research, Equity, Lessons Learned, Outcomes

Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative

Fifth-Year Evaluation Report Executive Summary
December 2014 | SRI International

An executive summary highlighting key findings from the fifth-year evaluation report.

Research, Equity, Lessons Learned, Outcomes

Equitable Access By Design

A Conceptual Framework for Integrated Student Supportswithin Linked Learning Pathways
April 2016 | John W. Gardner Center

This report proposes a conceptual framework for defining and implementing a system of integrated student supports that provides equitable access to college and career readiness via Linked Learning pathways in high schools.

Research, Equity, Student Supports

Access & Equity in Linked Learning

A Report on Pathway Access and Academic Outcomes for Traditionally Underserved Students
March 2017 | SRI International

This brief describes the successes and challenges school districts have experienced in fostering access and equity in Linked Learning pathways, examining five groups of students frequently underserved by traditional schools. Findings are drawn from an SRI Education evaluation in nine California school districts over seven years. The report also includes information on promising strategies enacted by the districts today.

Research, Equity, Lessons Learned

Linked Learning and Postsecondary Transitions

A Report on the Early Postsecondary Education Outcomes of Linked Learning Students
October 2017 | SRI International

This brief provides estimates of the effect of Linked Learning participation on students’ likelihood of enrolling in college and persisting into a second year, with particular attention to outcomes for specific student groups: students with low prior academic achievement; those with high prior achievement; English learners; and African-American, Latino, and female students. Because the Linked Learning approach is designed to combine rigorous academics with a career technical education sequence, these outcomes are crucial to gauging Linked Learning’s efficacy in preparing students for college as well as career. This analysis relies on data from the National Student Clearinghouse, which captures enrollment in approximately 97 percent of all 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions.

Research, Equity, Outcomes, Postsecondary

March 2019 | John W. Gardner Center

Equitable access to high quality career-themed high school pathways requires that school staff and all pathway partners work in concert to address each student’s developmental needs, skills, strengths, interests, and aspirations. To this end, effective student supports are designed to reach beyond the academic domain, to meet all students where they are, scaffold their engagement with a standards-based curriculum, and address their learning and personal youth development needs. This guidebook continues an exploration of integrated student supports for universal college and career readiness that we began in Equitable Access by Design (2016). That report introduced a conceptual framework for implementing a system of comprehensive and integrated student supports that provides equitable access to a coherent, student-centered program of learning via Linked Learning pathways in high schools. This work is intended as a companion to Marisa Saunders’ Linked Learning: A Guide for Making High School Work, published by the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013. The chapters in this guidebook offer seven illustrative profiles of educators and their partners in California high schools who are working collaboratively to develop comprehensive student supports that “link together” a rigorous academic curriculum, technical education, and workplace opportunities into a coherent learning experience for every youth in their school.

Research, Equity, Lessons Learned, Student Supports

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