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UC Approves Program Status for Linked Learning Accelerating Development of High Quality Integrated Curriculum to Prep Students for College and Career

April 12, 2017 | Linked Learning Alliance

April 12, 2017

Hilary McLean, Executive Vice President | E: | T: 916.248.4848

The Linked Learning Alliance today applauded the UC Office of the President (UCOP) for approving the Linked Learning Alliance’s (LLA) application for program status, a move that will help the growing number of Linked Learning pathways provide high-quality curriculum that integrates Career Technical Education (CTE) with rigorous college preparatory academics.

“Linked Learning pathways are designed to open up possibilities for students after high school,” said David Stern, co-founder of the College & Career Academy Support Network, and member of the Linked Learning Alliance Board of Directors. “By earning program status, the Linked Learning Alliance will be more able to help schools adopt high-quality career-technical education courses that meet prerequisites for admission to CSU or UC. These courses will enable more students to graduate with knowledge and skills to succeed in college, career, and civic life.”

Gaining “program status” allows a program or organization to submit directly to UC for approval of a standardized curriculum that is taught in several high schools. High schools at which the curriculum is taught may utilize a streamlined process to have the standardized courses approved by the UCOP to meet eligibility requirements for public university systems; in California, this includes the ‘a-g’ subject requirements.

As a result, more students will complete an a-g sequence and CTE sequence, confirming skill proficiency and 4-year college eligibility. The following courses were selected based on sector priorities identified through a survey of dozens of school district and county office partners across California.

In partnership with the College and Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) at UC Berkeley, two initial Linked Learning courses have already been developed that are designed to meet Career Technical Education content standards, integrating college preparatory academics, career technical skills, and work-based learning in a manner consistent with the Linked Learning approach:

Cybersecurity (UC/CSU: ‘g’ (anticipated approval in Spring 2017); CTE Sector: Information and Communications Technology – Information Support & Services)Manufacturing & Prototyping (UC/CSU: ‘g’ (anticipated approval in Spring 2017); CTE Sector: Manufacturing and Product Development – Machining & Forming Technologies)

These courses will be submitted to the UCOP this Spring as part of the Linked Learning course list.

Signature elements of Linked Learning courses include:

Rigor: A rigorous Linked Learning course integrates relevant academic, career-technical, and industry standards.Relevance: Relevant learning experiences involve connections to student interests, aspirations, life experiences, and cultures.Authentic Assessment: Linked Learning courses include performance and/or portfolio assessments, in addition to more traditional formative and summative assessments.Interdisciplinary Learning: Linked Learning courses use project-based and/or inquiry-based approaches to integrate academic content and methodologies from multiple subjects with technical content and methodologies from industry sectors.Integrated Work-Based Learning: A sequence of work-based learning opportunities that are embedded in Linked Learning courses which involves student interaction with industry professionals who support and enhance learning experiences in both classrooms and at work sites. Student Agency: Student ownership of the learning experience is important for academic engagement, social-emotional and 21st century skill development, and content mastery.Preparation for College and Career Transitions: Linked Learning courses include opportunities for students to advance their college and career knowledge and develop evidence of college and career readiness.Equity and Access: Pre-requisites included in course descriptions exist to ensure student success, rather than unnecessarily restrict student access to high-quality instruction. Linked Learning students are encouraged to pursue challenging courses, and teaching supports the success of all students towards skill and content mastery.

“Completion of these courses serves as a critical gatekeeper to the full range of post-secondary options for students,” said Hilary McLean, Executive Vice President of the Linked Learning Alliance. “With UC program status, the Linked Learning Alliance will expand the Linked Learning Course List to include many more high quality courses that integrate rigorous academics and CTE that accelerate students’ preparation for college, career, and life.”

In the future, the Alliance intends to use the course list to increase the number of courses classified by the UC as ‘a-e’ and further strengthen pathways by adding additional CTE sequences that meet the a-g requirement. This course list will also eventually provide courses for students in grades 9 through 12, ensuring that students will have access to the full pathway experience, including work-based learning, as early as possible. Along with Linked Learning school districts, the Alliance will be incorporating employer feedback and input as a part of the course development and selection process.

For more information on the Linked Learning Course List, please visit the Linked Learning website or e-mail


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. |