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Press Release: Alliance Promotes New Health Badge With Video and Employer Convening in Oakland

May 31, 2018 | Linked Learning Alliance

May 30, 2018

Hilary McLean, Executive Vice President | E:

The Linked Learning Alliance Promotes New Health Industry Badge with Release of New Video and Employer Convening in Oakland

Oakland, CA – Employers now have a new way of finding out whether students have met industry standards to succeed in both college and career. The Linked Learning Alliance (Alliance) officially launched its industry-backed digital badges within Linked Learning Certification. Pathways can earn badges to provide evidence that students are gaining specific skills and qualifications needed to be successful at an entry level in a particular industry.

“The voice and partnership of employers is essential in ensuring that young people in pathways are graduating with the competencies and skills required for California’s industry sectors,” said Linked Learning Alliance President Anne Stanton. “The badging system – exemplified by Sutter Health’s leadership development of the health sector badge – assures employers that young people have met the high-quality, industry informed standards needed to succeed in both college and career.”

The Alliance, in partnership with Sutter Health, convened a number of industry and education leaders at Oakland High School‘s Public Health Academy this week to learn more about Linked Learning and showcased for health system employers the newly launched industry badges. They are now available for health pathways that have achieved Linked Learning Silver level certification or above on Linked Learning Certification.

When a pathway earns one of the badges, they validate that its students are prepared for the health care workforce and qualify their students for 1) internship placement preference, 2) financial support to take the Medical Assisting State Exam, and 3) scholarship eligibility.

The Alliance’s new video highlights how the badge system works.

Industry-backed badges incorporate criteria set by employers for what skills and knowledge students need to succeed in various sectors of the workforce. They offer a unique way to visualize skills and qualifications students gain beyond the traditional diploma.

The visit to the Public Health Academy on May 29 (see pictures here) was an opportunity to showcase the culture and design of an exemplary Linked Learning pathway and the newly launched badges. Oakland Unified School District‘s student population is culturally diverse and predominantly low income. The district is implementing Linked Learning wall-to-wall because it has evidence that students in Linked Learning pathways and academies are graduating from high school and enrolling in postsecondary education at higher rates than their non-pathway peers.

Participants at the convening saw first-hand how a partnership between industry and a Linked Learning pathway can be mutually beneficial when students gain engaging and practical work-based experiences and skills valued in the health sector, an industry that is concerned about meeting future workforce needs.

“Sutter Health is invested in growing a healthcare workforce that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities we serve.” said Anette Smith-Dohring, workforce development manager for Sutter Health. “When we partnered with the Linked Learning Alliance to develop the health care badge, we asked ourselves, ‘what does it take for a student be successful in pursuit of a career in health care?'”

Smith-Dohring cited Linked Learning’s industry digital badges as a tool for employers to help ensure skills development in education authentic to the needs of the health sector. It is a strategy to increase students’ mastery of skills needed to be successful in the industry and to help make high-quality Linked Learning available at scale.

While health care is the first sector to have digital badges on Certification, the Alliance hopes that employers from other industry sectors will be inspired to collaborate so that more students will benefit from badges that signify their readiness to succeed the workforce.

About Linked Learning Alliance
The Linked Learning Alliance is a statewide coalition of education, industry, and community organizations dedicated to improving California’s high schools and preparing students for success in college, career, and life. Established in May 2008, the Linked Learning Alliance aims to build a collective voice and coordinate efforts to expand access to Linked Learning in California-an approach to high school that integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning opportunities in fields of engineering, health care, performing arts, law, and more. |