What is Linked Learning?
Linked Learning transforms students’ high school experience by bringing together strong academics, demanding technical education, and real world experience that helps students gain an advantage in high school, postsecondary education, and careers. Linked Learning students follow industry-themed pathways in a wide range of fields, such as engineering, arts and media, biomedicine and health. These pathways prepare high school students for career and a full range of postsecondary options, including attending a 2- or 4-year college or university, an apprenticeship, the military, and formal employment training. A well-designed pathway consists of four core components:
- An academic component that includes the English, mathematics, science, history, and foreign language courses that prepare students to transition, without remediation, to the state’s community colleges and universities, as well as to apprenticeships and formal employment training programs.
- A technical component of three or more courses that help students gain the knowledge and skills that can give them a head start on a successful career.
- A series of work-based learning opportunities that begin with mentoring and job shadowing and evolve into intensive internships, school based enterprises, or virtual apprenticeships.
- Support services including counseling and supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics that help students master the advanced academic and technical content necessary for success in college and career.
What are the four core components of Linked Learning?
Each pathway is organized around a major industry sector such as finance and business; health science and medical technology; or engineering. In turn, each pathway contains four essential components.
Rigorous academics. The academic component of Linked Learning includes college preparatory English language arts, mathematics, science, history, and foreign language courses.
Real-world technical skills. A challenging technical component of three or more courses that help students gain the knowledge and skills that can give them a head start on a successful career.
Work-based learning. A series of work-based learning opportunities that begin with mentoring and job shadowing and evolve into intensive internships, school-based enterprises, or virtual apprenticeships.
Personalized supports. Support services including counseling and supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics that help students master the academic and technical learning.
What are the four guiding principles of Linked Learning?
Each pathway is grounded in a set of four guiding principles.
- Linked Learning prepares students to succeed in college, career, and life.
Linked Learning is always about both college and career; it’s never a choice between one or the other. Here’s why: The probability of making a living wage in today’s economy without some form of postsecondary education is already low and will only diminish. Increasingly, career success depends on a postsecondary degree or credential—whether that’s a certificate, apprenticeship, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or higher level of achievement.
- Linked Learning prepares high school students for a full range of post-graduation opportunities.
In addition to rigorous academics, each pathway centers on increased student proficiency in vital areas such as critical thinking, problem solving, media and information literacy, and collaboration—essential skills in the workplace. Linked Learning pathways make an immediate difference, helping young people earn more right after high school and giving them an advantage in the labor market while they pursue postsecondary education.
- Linked Learning connects academics to real-world applications.
Linked Learning students understand how their high school education leads to their next academic or career steps. Linked Learning programs integrate core academics with a career focus and raise expectations for students. Core subjects are mastered through the power of applying knowledge in a real-world context. Students learn by addressing authentic challenges and situations customary to the modern workplace.
- Linked Learning improves student engagement.
Linked Learning provides a more integrated and equitable approach to high school equity for California students by eliminating practices that limit their options after high school. It inspires students by exposing them to previously unimagined college and career opportunities.
What is an example of a pathway?
The California Department of Education has identified 15 Industry Sectors such as Arts, Media, & Entertainment, Engineering & Design, Finance & Business, and Health Science & Medical Technology (more information can be found at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/sf/ctemcstandards.asp). Within these sectors there are many pathways under which schools can create curricula and project-based lessons (a graphic representation can be found at http://whodouwant2b.com/files/15pathways.pdf).
How do I establish a partnership with Linked Learning?
The Linked Learning Office works to match businesses with schools based on work-based learning needs. Representatives of the business and the school agree on commitment of time and effort to meet the expected needs of both parties. Partnerships can be a one-person business involved in a classroom or a large corporation reaching out to many schools across the District.
Steps to Becoming a Partner
1. Contact a Linked Learning Work-Based Learning Coordinator to share that you would like to become a Linked Learning partner:
Donal Kennedy at 213 241 8785 or by email at email@example.com
Jordan Kornzweig at 213 241 0378 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The Business and the school(s) work together to agree on a work-based learning plan.
3. Formalize a Memorandum of Understanding agreement. This is not a binding contract.
4. Partners review and renew the agreement at the end of each school year.
What are the State and Federal laws that I would need to be aware of in working with students?
All vendors that employ student interns must abide by all state and federal child labor laws. More information can be attained on the following website: http://www.cawee.org/laborlaws.htm.
For more information about child labor laws, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/, and the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html.