Back to: Alliance Blog

Resource Spotlight of the Month: Integrated Program of Study

December 2, 2021

As pathways, schools, and districts leverage Linked Learning to engage and anchor students learning and their postsecondary aspirations, the Linked Learning Alliance is here to help. In this three-part newsletter series, we will be highlighting resources that can support your college and career pathway journey in the three main categories: integrated program of study, work-based learning, and integrated student supports.

What is an Integrated Program of Study?

An integrated program of study connects rigorous core academic coursework with career-based learning that prepares students for a full range of postsecondary and career options. Research shows that when students have access to both high-quality academic and career learning, they succeed at higher rates, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. A high-quality integrated program of study includes:

  • Instructional design that connects rigorous academics and career-themed coursework.
  • Instructional delivery that provides equitable access to interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
  • Opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning through methods that include annual public presentations and culminating projects.
  • Early college credit opportunities that are accessible to all students.
  • Input from postsecondary and industry partners to inform the design of the program of study and assess its effectiveness in preparing students for college and career.
  • Learning that takes place in cohorts of students.

Having an equitable program of study that is student-centered and connected to postsecondary and industry expectations is part of the Linked Learning Gold standards.

Integrated Program of Study Resources

A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders

This Getting Started with Linked Learning guide provides a vision and concrete steps to design, implement, and improve high-quality college and career pathways using the Linked Learning approach. Section Three, Design a Meaningful Integrated Program of Study, describes the role of partners in the pathway program of study and the essential elements of Linked Learning. | Explore Getting Started with Linked Learning: A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders

Questions to Consider

As you and your pathway team work to develop or improve an integrated program of study, consider the following:

  • How have you determined what pathways and courses are needed?
  • Who has been involved in this process and what data has informed your strategy?
  • How can students and partners be involved in the process of designing or reviewing the program of study?

If you identify areas of growth as you answer these questions, you can use the resources below to help develop a more robust integrated program of study.

Integrated Program of Study Template

The Integrated Program of Study template can be used with your team to develop and integrate your program of study. Pathway teams can use this program of study template to map their current pathway courses, work-based learning opportunities, and early college credit opportunities. By mapping the current program of study, pathway teams can help align and integrate these elements and provide a more impactful and equitable experience for young people. This template can be adapted to meet pathway needs. | Use the Integrated Program of Study Template

Sample Integrated Programs of Study

There are many ways to develop an integrated program of study. Review these samples from a variety of Linked Learning Gold pathways as you consider how you want to develop your own program of study. | Explore a Sample Integrated Program of Study