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Press Release: The Linked Learning Alliance Welcomes Cynthia Bater as Senior Director, Partner Engagement

August 10, 2021 | Linked Learning Alliance

August 10, 2021

Contact: Rachel Zaentz
Linked Learning Alliance

The Linked Learning Alliance Welcomes Cynthia Bater as Senior Director, Partner Engagement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Linked Learning Alliance (“the Alliance”) is pleased to welcome Cynthia Bater to the new position of senior director, partner engagement. In this role, based in Southern California, Bater will lead the Alliance’s efforts to cultivate, expand, and strengthen system structures and essential partnerships to bring Linked Learning to scale in California and beyond.

Bater is a highly respected leader in quality educational experiences that combine college and career learning. Her knowledge, vision, and relentless drive to develop high-impact strategic partnerships across K–12, postsecondary, and the workforce will help to enhance Linked Learning efforts in communities across California and the nation.

“With more than a decade of hands-on experience bringing Linked Learning to life across a California school district, Cindy has valuable knowledge about what it takes to engage a community around college and career learning,” said Anne Stanton, president of the Linked Learning Alliance. “We know this movement is fueled by insight and energy, and she offers a great deal of both. We’re thrilled to have Cindy join our team to help fulfill the promise of Linked Learning.”

Before joining the Alliance, Bater served as Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) Program Administrator for Linked Learning, after previously serving in a key role supporting the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools and as the Dean of Students at the California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS). A collaborative leader, Bater has actively engaged partners representing Long Beach College Promise institutions, worked with industry representatives to expand work-based learning opportunities for students, and served as the project manager for the Advancing Linked Learning Innovation Network (aLLin), a regional Linked Learning Hub of Excellence.

At LBUSD, Bater oversaw the implementation of Linked Learning as a district-wide strategy to transform student experiences—bringing meaning and motivation to the school day and putting each young person at the center of high-quality learning, surrounded by adults.

The Linked Learning approach integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to help young people discover their purpose and inspire them to succeed in college and career. A multi-year independent evaluation shows that students in certified Linked Learning pathways have decreased dropout rates, higher graduation rates, more credits earned, more college preparatory courses completed, and improved 21st-century skills compared with similar peers in traditional high schools. Linked Learning has especially positive effects for students who start high school behind academically and for students of color.

With Bater’s support, LBUSD has systemically implemented the Linked Learning approach, instituting “wall-to-wall” pathways in which approximately 90% of high school students participate in 38 industry-themed pathway programs of study. Five of these pathways are Silver certified, and three are Gold certified. In her new role with the Alliance, Bater will continue working closely with Long Beach and other communities across the country to bring allies, partners, and advocates from education and industry sectors together to enhance the quality of Linked Learning.

“We are proud of what Long Beach educators have accomplished with Cindy’s leadership here,” said Jill Baker, Superintendent of LBUSD. “Linked Learning principles and practices have provided the foundation for the rich learning experience that we provide: meaningful and motivating to our students with important ties to our local workforce—and we’re not done yet. We are always learning and improving, and in her new capacity at the Alliance, we know Cindy will be instrumental to that growth and progress here in Long Beach, throughout California, and across the U.S.”

The Linked Learning approach, piloted in nine California districts a decade ago, is now embraced as the premier college and career readiness strategy for districts across California. The Linked Learning Alliance has led this work for more than a decade, bringing K–12 stakeholders together with postsecondary leaders, policymakers, and industry partners to share what they are learning, improve and drive high-quality practice and enabling policies, and share these learnings with broader communities and decision-makers. In 2013, these efforts attracted $2 billion in state funds for expansion. Today, Linked Learning is in more than 100 California school districts, with 550 pathways operating in 225 high schools.

“I have seen what Linked Learning looks like as it takes shape across a district, what it feels like to students and educators, and what kinds of conditions can help it flourish,” said Bater. “Along the way, I have learned so much from being part of the Linked Learning field and am honored to step into this leadership role on behalf of practitioners everywhere. There is unlimited potential in Linked Learning—and we’re ready to deepen and expand this good work to take our collective successes to scale.”

Read more about Bater and her experiences here.


About the Linked Learning Alliance
The Linked Learning Alliance is the engine that drives a movement to help every young person determine their own future through a proven approach to education called Linked Learning. Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to prepare students for success in college, career, and life. The Alliance helps create public will for equity and excellence in education, elevate the practice of Linked Learning across America, and advance policies that serve and support all youth.