Is this model the future of college and career readiness?

A career academy high school puts 21st century skills to the test with on-the-job training.

The transition to Common Core over the past few years has put a much greater emphasis on college and career readiness for districts like OUHSD. And to Soumakian, it’s not enough to prepare students for just one or the other. Instead, students students should be preparing for both higher education and the skill sets that will see them through to graduation or their eventual careers. Even at the high school level, students can experiment with career options that seem appealing while ramping up the rigor in their terms of coursework and gaining on-the-job training.

OUHSD is part of a network of districts all over the state invested in raising the stakes in preparing students for life after high school. Thanks to $250 million worth of competitive grants offered by the state of California, many of the districts have started coordinated programs, called career pathways, leaning heavily on the Linked Learning approach, which combines a student’s academic courseload to their career interests and eventual real-world work experiences, such as job shadowing or internships.