California’s high school education system is not working for the majority of its students. Only one-third of high school students in California graduate on time and many are not leaving with the academic or professional skills necessary for success in college and career. Nationwide, 99% of jobs created post The Great Recession have gone to workers with some post-secondary education.* Many traditional academic programs do not feel relevant to students’ lives and aspirations. At the same time, traditional career and technical education (CTE) often lacks the academic rigor required for access to and success in college. The future of the country depends on its ability to foster a workforce that can successfully compete in today’s global economy.
Linked Learning, which is being implemented in schools across California and the country, addresses some of the fundamental challenges facing high schools today, providing students of all levels and abilities with the best possible chance for success in college and career. It makes high school an exciting learning environment where students are engaged, challenged, and confident in their preparation for 21st century careers.
Students choose a pathway theme that connects relevant coursework and allows them to apply their knowledge in real-world settings through internships, professional mentorship, job shadows, and similar experiences. These opportunities enable students to apply classroom knowledge in real-world situations. Through this integration of college- and career-readiness practices, Linked Learning ensures that every student will be equipped with the necessary experience and training to succeed as a skilled member of today’s workforce.
*A recent report from Georgetown University Center on Education