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Deepening Your Linked Learning Practice: Comprehensive Student Supports

March 21, 2022 | Robert Curtis

What Are Comprehensive Student Supports?

Linked Learning pathways ensure equitable access to college and career education and meet the developmental needs of each young person to prepare them for the full range of postsecondary opportunities. Student support teams, in collaboration with families, identify and address academic, personal, social, and emotional needs of every student. Integrated student supports in Linked Learning pathways:

  • Support academic learning, ensuring all students are supported to graduate from high school with a level of academic competence that prepares them for postsecondary education.
  • Support technical learning, ensuring all students have the technical skills and knowledge to successfully engage in work-based learning and prepare for high-skill, high-wage career opportunities.
  • Support workplace learning, providing students the tools to engage in successful work-based learning experiences.
  • Support advance college and career knowledge, helping students and their families develop expectations and understandings of the college application process, financial aid opportunities, long-term benefits associated with college completion, and the demands of different careers.
  • Support social-emotional learning, fostering mindset, skills, and adaptive behaviors for healthy interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships

A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders

Section 5 of Getting Started with Linked Learning guide, developed by the Linked Learning Alliance, outlines systems and structures needed to create robust student supports in pathways. Teams can use this section of the guide to evaluate what student support systems are already in place, identify areas of growth, and create a plan to deepen student support services for pathway students. | Explore Getting Started with Linked Learning: A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders

Questions to Consider

  • What supports are currently in place in your pathway for academic learning, technical learning, workplace learning, college and career knowledge and planning, and social-emotional learning?
  • How does the pathway and school identify and place students in support services?
  • How do adults and partners work together to integrate student support as part of the pathway educational experience?
  • What resources (time and human capital) are currently dedicated to the effective coordination of services?
  • Who is involved in student supports and what role do counselors and other staff play as part of the pathway team?
  • How does the pathway and school use data to track student progress?

Student Supports in Linked Learning Pathways

Who better to explain the importance of integrated student supports in Linked Learning pathways than Linked Learning students themselves? Hear directly from young people about how robust student support teams and other social-emotional resources in pathways have supported their learning journey. | Watch Student Supports in Linked Learning Pathways

A Guide to Integrated Student Supports for College and Career Pathways: Lessons from Linked Learning High School

Equitable access to high-quality career-themed high school pathways require school staff and pathway partners work in concert to address each students' developmental needs, skills, strengths, interests, and aspirations. This guide from Stanford University's John W. Gardner Center offers 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, career-technical education, and workplace opportunities into a cohesive learning experience. | Explore A Guide to Integrated Student Supports for College and Career Pathways

Student Support Teams in Linked Learning

In Long Beach Unified School District, Linked Learning pathways leverage a triad leadership team, made up of counselors, educators, and administrators, to build their school community, develop pathway team capacity, integrate student supports, review student data, and create equitable master schedules to support student learning. Hear from members of a triad team on how this system works and the impact it has on the pathway community. | Watch Student Support Teams in Linked Learning

Join the Linked Learning Alliance Counselor Network

The Linked Learning Counselors Network brings together counselors as a community of practice to share promising strategies, learn from one another, and address shared challenges related to the role of counselors and student support providers in Linked Learning pathways. Hear more from Lucas Clardy, the counselor featured in the above video, on how Long Beach Unified School District is implementing high-quality student supports including an equitable master schedule at the next Counselor Network Meeting on Tuesday April 26th. | Join the Linked Learning Alliance Counselors Network

"Linked Learning pathways create an opportunity for every student to be seen. What we do is, we create these smaller learning communities, where a small group of students support and hold a small group of students, and stay with them and stay connected to them for at least three out of their four years of high school. And during that time, we create structures, we create systems that make it possible for every student to be seen, to be heard and to be cared for." -Matin Abdel-Qawi, Superintendent of High School Networks, Oakland USD