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Student Support Resources for Linked Learning Counselors

October 27, 2022

High school counselors take on a wide range of roles to support young people over the course of their high school experience. In Linked Learning pathways, counselors play a special role in supporting the integration of counseling programs with college and career pathways. This includes supporting the development of a master schedule that ensures students are cohorted as a group. Counselors also play a critical role in developing the pathway program of study that includes early college credit courses. They also support pathway recruitment and ensure the master schedule is teacher led and student-centered.

In Linked Learning pathways, students experience learning that emphasizes social awareness, self-management, and a mindset of growth and self-efficacy. Teachers and counselors monitor student academic, personal, and socio-emotional needs and provide culturally responsive, timely supports, engaging families in student development plans as warranted. Students learn in a culture of high expectations, are introduced to a variety of postsecondary options, and identify individual college and career readiness goals. Students receive guidance to complete college entry tests, financial aid applications, and other requirements for accessing postsecondary education. Students gain job application skills and resources they need to be prepared to enter the workplace, apprenticeships, and certification programs. Research shows that when students are well supported with high-quality relationships throughout their pathway experience, they achieve greater high school and postsecondary outcomes. Los Angeles Unified School District and Long Beach Unified School District are shining examples of how school counselors can make a key difference in students' career and college readiness as part of a pathway team. Both districts have committed to deeply integrating school counselors in pathways and Linked Learning implementation.

As part of the Linked Learning Alliance’s Counselor Network, Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified School District counselors shared resources and best practices for supporting students.

New Media Academy, Hollywood High School, Los Angeles USD

Ali Nezu is the Magnet Coordinator of New Media Academy, a Linked Learning Gold Certified pathway at Hollywood High School. During her Counselor Network presentation, Ali focused on the importance of cohorting for student success. Cohorting is the process of grouping pathway students together to support their academic, social, and social-emotional journey through high school. A core requirement for Linked Learning Gold Certification, cohorting is often cited as a challenge for new and experienced pathways. But, when accomplished with fidelity, high-quality cohorting can create opportunities for students to access dual enrollment courses, project-based learning, and deeper social-emotional learning supports.that put them on a path to college and career.. Check out Ali’s cohorting resources here:

STEM Academy of Hollywood, Los Angeles USD

Carolyn Kravner is the Secondary Counselor at STEM Academy of Hollywood, home to the Linked Learning Gold Certified Biomedical and Engineering Pathway. In her Linked Learning Counselor Network presentation, Carolyn dove into how the master scheduling process can be leveraged to incorporate student and teacher choice, as well as how to embed dual enrollment in the school day. Master scheduling is another key component of high-quality Linked Learning where many pathways find challenges. Explore Carolyn’s resources:

Wilson High School, Long Beach Unified School District

Rolando Saldivar, Head Counselor, and Lucas Clardy, Leadership and Public Service Pathway Counselor, from Wilson High School focused their presentations on student support services and master scheduling. Their teams have also developed a Counselor Toolkit, featuring examples of student and family surveys, tutoring schedules, meeting agendas, and more to support other Linked Learning counselors in their continuous improvement work.

For more student support resources, be sure to explore the Comprehensive Student Supports segment of the Deepening Your Linked Learning Practice series. For more information on the Linked Learning Alliance Counselor Network, contact Robert Curtis, Senior Director of Networks and Practice.