Student Outcomes

By integrating rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services, Linked Learning prepares students for success in college, career, and life.

Participating Districts: Antioch Unified, Los Angeles Unified, Long Beach Unified, Montebello Unified, Oakland Unified, Pasadena Unified, Porterville Unified, Sacramento City Unified, West Contra Costa Unified

An Independent, Multi-Year Evaluation

From 2009 to 2018, SRI International conducted a rigorous, independent evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative, which helped nine school districts develop and implement plans for expanding the Linked Learning approach in their high schools.

The participating districts varied in size, from serving approximately 5,000 high school students to more than 185,000. They represented a variety of regions across the state, including urban, suburban, and rural geographies. More than three-quarters of high school students in each district were nonwhite; more than half were socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Significant in its length and scope, SRI’s evaluation provided critical insight into the impact Linked Learning has on student success, most notably for students participating in high-quality, certified pathways.

Evaluation Findings

Students enrolled in high-quality Linked Learning pathways outperform their peers in traditional high school programs in a number of important ways. SRI evaluation shows that Linked Learning leads to greater achievement and persistence in school. The research also shows Linked Learning students making strides toward a more equitable, economically promising future.

Academic Success

  • +8.9

    Linked Learning students accumulated 8.9 more credits by the end of high school.

  • +3.1

    They were 2.1 percentage points less likely to drop out and were 3.1 percentage points more likely to graduate.

Closing the Achievement Gap

  • +15.2

    African American Linked Learning students earned 15.2 more credits in high school.

  • +11.7

    English learners in Linked Learning were 2.8 percentage points less likely to drop out, and earned an average of 11.7 more credits.

Workplace Readiness

  • Linked Learning students demonstrated enhanced self management and sense of self-efficacy.

  • They improved in communication, collaboration and informational literacy.

  • They grew in their career navigation ability.

College Preparation

  • +1.0

    Linked Learning students overall completed 1 more college prep course than traditional school peers.

  • +1.7

    Those with low prior achievement completed 1.7 college prep courses more than similar peers.

  • Linked Learning students and peers were equally likely to fulfill requirements for California public four-year institutions and earned similar GPAs.

College Persistence

  • +5.7

    Linked Learning students with low prior achievement were 5.7 percentage points more likely than similar peers to enroll in college directly after high school—and 4.1 percentage points more likely to enter a 4-year versus 2-year college.

  • +11.6

    African American Linked Learning students were 11.6 percentage points more likely to enroll in a 4-year versus a 2-year college.

  • Overall, Linked Learning students and peers in traditional schools had similar college enrollment and persistence rates.

Linked Learning Fact Sheet

Share the ways Linked Learning is transforming the lives of students with this infographic snapshot.

Discover More Linked Learning Research

Evaluation Publications

Multi-year evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative surfaced findings with relevance to an array of audiences—including education practitioners, policymakers, and funders.

Advancing Equity and Opportunity in Community

Lessons from the Oakland Health Pathways Project

May 2021
Linked Learning Student Outcomes

Summary of Effects on High School and Early Postsecondary Education

March 2021 | SRI Education
The Linked Learning Advantage

21st Century Skills Development

September 2017 | Linked Learning Alliance