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What We're Reading: Week of December 6, 2021

December 10, 2021 | Ava Marinelli

Happy December, Linked Learning field! This week, we’re excited to share a spotlight on a new pathway in Long Beach USD, as well as a piece on the surgeon general’s latest warning on youth mental health, the need for computer education access, and the impact of COVID-19 on the class of 2020. Thanks for reading with us!


Linked Learning in the News
New initiative gives Jordan High School students a peek at a port career, Long Beach Business Journal
As the need for more port workers is clearer than ever, a new addition to Jordan High School’s ACE Academy program—an educational track focused on engineering—is set to provide opportunities for students to explore just such a career.


Equity
Students need more computer training for our increasingly digital world, Hechinger Report
There is a growing need to reframe computing in classrooms as an inherently social and learned set of skills. The end goal is not to just provide access to digital devices — it’s to develop the skills to use these tools for heightened learning, critical thinking and self-expression, writes Jean-Claude Brizard and Kelly Mills.


Higher Education
Hoped-for gap year enrollment boom turns out to be a bust, Higher Ed Dive
Just 2% of students who graduated from high school in 2020 and didn't immediately attend college ended up enrolling a year later this fall, dashing hopes that the large number of students who opted out of higher ed in the pandemic's first year would enroll in 2021.

Gap Year Youth are Taking Advantage of a Temporarily Booming Job Market, Diverse Education
High school students who graduated in spring 2020 and took a gap year were generally anticipated to enroll for their first classes in fall of 2021. Instead, the National Student Clearinghouse has discovered that only 2% of students who took a gap year during 2020 enrolled in fall 2021.

Colleges' commitment to civic engagement can't be episodic, Higher Ed Dive
Amid calls to increase resources for civic learning, the director of the American Democracy Project suggests ways institutions can make efforts stick.


Student Supports
High school counselors navigate SEL, college applications amid youth mental health crisis, K-12 Dive
With mental health challenges compounded by the pandemic, school counselors are working to ease the pressure of the college application process.

Surgeon general warns of emerging youth mental health crisis in rare public advisory, Los Angeles Times
Citing mounting evidence of ongoing harm, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a public health advisory on the mental health challenges confronting youth, a rare warning and call to action to address what he called an emerging crisis exacerbated by pandemic hardships.

What Good Social-Emotional Learning Should Look Like: First, Listen to the Community, EdWeek
Aaliyah A. Samuel, the deputy assistant secretary for local, state, and national engagement for the U.S. Department of Education, spoke with Education Week about the challenges and opportunities facing social emotional learning at this unique time.


Workforce Development
Can Connections Between Data Systems Propel Economic Recovery? Three States Say Yes., Forbes
It is vital that all stakeholders — from learners and workers to educators, employers, and policymakers — better understand the education and training programs designed to meet labor market needs, writes Alison Griffin.