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.
This brief presents findings from the Oakland Health Pathways Project (OHPP), a joint initiative of Oakland Unified School District, Alameda Health System, and Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. The initiative is designed to improve educational and long-term employment outcomes for youth of color in Oakland (Alameda County), California, while expanding and diversifying the local health care workforce. It applies Linked Learning, an approach to college and career preparation that combines classroom learning with real-world work experiences. This brief draws on interviews with key personnel from the three partner organizations to distill lessons learned on effective cross-sector partnerships and delivery of authentic work-based learning. These lessons are timely as the health care industry is projected to account for about a third of total U.S. job growth through 2026, and includes 20 of the 30 fastest growing occupations nationally. Findings from this Oakland initiative can help other communities better align K-12 education and student experiences with projected local labor needs.
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.
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.
Full realization of the Linked Learning approach requires the support of a coherent set of school district human resource and student enrollment policies as well as infrastructure for work-based learning placements. Leaders in the nine demonstration districts identified the key district-specific implementation strategies below as crucial to establishing and sustaining Linked Learning.
This sixth-year evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative offers findings on student high school graduation and college eligibility. It also examines districts’ progress in expanding pathway access and ensuring equity, looking at patterns in student enrollment and persistence in pathways. Finally, it explores the influence of regional expansion efforts on districts’ progress in developing work-based learning systems, their relationships with postsecondary institutions, and their plans for expanding and sustaining Linked Learning while maintaining pathway quality and fidelity. Lessons gained from the experiences of the nine initiative districts are highly instructive for new regional collaborations that are just beginning to engage with or scale up Linked Learning.
SRI’s evaluation of the California Community College Linked Learning Initiative (CCCLLI) addressed implementation issues and institutional and student outcomes work by three community colleges and partnering K–12 districts to use the Linked Learning approach (e.g., transitional support strategies, align high school and college career pathway programs of study, enhance student support services) to improve college transitions and success. Each college created pathways in different industry sectors and built on its own programmatic strengths.
Developing principals’ knowledge and capacity to lead high-quality programs is critical to the long-term success of Linked Learning. However, it can be a challenge for district leaders to determine how to provide resources to support principal learning.
This brief identifies five lessons for district leaders that are drawn from a series of Linked Learning principal meetings that occurred within one district. The authors show how particular features of the meetings contributed to principals’ learning and afforded opportunities for the district to act strategically to better assist their principals.
This brief is part of SCOPE's Professional Learning for Linked Learning Series.
All Linked Learning pathway teachers need to understand the specific knowledge and skills students will need to perform industry-sector jobs. However, not all pathway teachers have this knowledge, nor do they always know how particular discipline content is used within an industry.
In the brief, "The District Office as a Site for Work-Based Learning," Ann Jaquith and Jamie Johnston describe an approach to teachers’ professional learning that can develop and/or enrich the distinctive aspects of Linked Learning pathways. Drawing from ongoing work in California’s Montebello Unified School District (MUSD), the authors show how district and school leaders can help core teachers better understand career-relevant knowledge and skills, and encourage CTE teachers to collaborate with their colleagues.