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Keeping the Field Linked: Linked Learning 101, Policy Wins, and New Alliance Team Members

August 19, 2021 | Ava Marinelli

Welcome back to school, Linked Learning field! We hope the year is off to a fabulous start. The Alliance is excited to announce new members of our team, launch our first event of the school year, dive deeper into the Oakland Health Pathways Project, and more in today's newsletter.

Linked Learning News, Events, and Resources


Welcome Cynthia Bater and Elizabeth Horpedahl to the Linked Learning Alliance

We are excited to welcome both Cynthia Bater and Elizabeth Horpedahl to the Linked Learning Alliance! Many of you know Cynthia from her years of dedicated service in Long Beach Unified School District's Linked Learning office. Cynthia joins the Alliance as the Senior Director of Partner Engagement, where she will lead efforts to scale the Linked Learning approach by developing high-impact partnerships. Elizabeth joins the Alliance as the Director of Development, where she will leverage strategic, mission-driven funders to grow and deepen the Linked Learning Alliance's work. Be sure to welcome Cynthia and Elizabeth to our team!

Vote for Scaling Equity in Health Careers: A Linked Learning SXSW EDU Panel
High schoolers are dismantling ethnic and racial representation disparities in the healthcare field through Linked Learning career pathways. These pathways increase graduation rates for students of color, many of whom go on to pursue a health-related postsecondary education. Help us bring Linked Learning leaders to South By Southwest EDU to share how equity-focused health pathways have impacted the journeys of young people during COVID, are rooted in their communities and workforce, and how we can bring these programs to scale. Be sure to vote for Scaling Equity in Health Careers by August 26, and share with your friends and colleagues by using the social media icons on our panel's page!

A Win for College and Career Preparation in California's State Budget
This summer, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a historic state budget into law. The lessons and insights from over a decade of success in the Linked Learning field contributed to this budget, which includes significant boosts to Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) funding for high-quality college and career preparation, a greater emphasis on integrated, community-based approaches to student supports, and increased funding to improve A-G completion rates. Read more about the State Budget.

It's Back: Linked Learning 101
Linked Learning has the power to transform student outcomes in college, career, and life through high-quality pathways that integrate relevant, rigorous educational opportunities and address the social emotional needs of young people. Join us on Thursday, September 30th for the launch of Linked Learning 101, a foundational four-part workshop series where participants will learn how to use the Linked Learning standards and certification process to equitably design or improve pathways. Be sure to register by September 22nd for an early bird discount! Not sure if Linked Learning 101 is right for you? Learn more about the workshop series here.

Combining High School and Career Paths: Oakland Health Pathways in WorkingNation
Students dream bigger and work harder when their learning is real, relevant, and engaging. In Oakland Health Pathways, students are able to do just that through hands-on, real world learning experiences in the health field. WorkingNation recently sat down with students and leaders from Oakland to discuss how these Linked Learning pathways have improved high school and postsecondary outcomes for young people -- be sure to check it out!

Using Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds to Support Student Transitions from High School to Higher Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted college-going and FAFSA application rates, especially among students with the greatest barriers to postsecondary success. With new state and federal funding for COVID-19 recovery, districts have the opportunity to invest in evidence-based practices to keep young people engaged in high school and on the path to postsecondary. The Alliance for Excellent Education, in partnership with the College in High School Alliance, Everyone Graduates Center, Linked Learning Alliance, and National College Attainment Network, has released a guide that walks through available COVID-19 funding and how districts can invest these funds in evidence-based strategies, many of which are grounded in Linked Learning principles. Explore the toolkit.

State Leaders Recommend Linked Learning to Boost COVID-19 Recovery
We applaud Georgia State Senator Elena Parent and Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed for recognizing Linked Learning as a proven strategy to keep young people connected to purpose and postsecondary opportunities as communities recover educationally and economically from COVID-19. Read their full recommendations in The 74 Million.

Partner Resources and Events


Connect and Learn with the Community Schools Learning Exchange

The Community Schools Learning Exchange (CSLX) is a nascent capacity-building consortium designed to elevate the expertise of the diverse practitioners across California. They are working to transform schools in a number of ways, including: centering students and relationships as foundational to teaching and learning, lifting up student, community, and educator voice, and embedding continuous improvement conditions to strengthen schools. CSLX is looking to connect and learn from and with community schools practitioners working directly with young people, families, communities, schools, districts, and counties.

21st Century Math Gets Out of the Box
"We need a fresh approach to successfully prepare students for tomorrow's careers," writes Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Managing Director of the Charles A. Dana Center, and Pamela Burdman, Executive Director of Just Equations. This includes updating math opportunities to include data science, statistics, and computer science to ensure math remains relevant, applicable, and engaging for all young people. Read 21st Century Math Gets Out of the Box.

Envision Learning Partners Graduate Profile Workshop Series
Join Envision Learning Partners for their Graduate Profile Workshop, a 3-day workshop on Wednesday August 25, Thursday August 26, and Friday August 27 to build community with other educators and imagine the possibilities when we center systems of education around the skills young people need to thrive. Participants will explore the value of a Graduate Profile, develop and define a draft profile, and learn how to implement and measure it at the school or district level. Register for Envision Learning Partners Graduate Profile Workshop Series.