As a hub for the Linked Learning movement, the Alliance offers research, stories, and tools that help people understand the impact of Linked Learning and implement this approach at high levels of quality.
Use this document to determine key steps and considerations for designing a Linked Learning pathway. We have included links to the Linked Learning standards for each of the steps and relevant resources/examples related to that step. As you begin designing a Linked Learning pathway, please note that these are not necessarily sequential steps and will vary based on the context.
Linked Learning pathways should provide students with multiple interdisciplinary learning opportunities throughout the pathway experience,
which also includes a continuum of work-based learning opportunities. Use this template to plan, design, and improve your pathway within your context.
The Pathway Improvement Toolkit is designed for pathway teams at all levels looking to improve the opportunities to engage youth, transform systems, and advance equity. The toolkit includes the following resources:
- This User Guide, which offers detailed support for using the toolkit.
- A Self-Study Tool, with step-by-step guidance and questions to help you capture a meaningful picture of your pathway’s successes and areas for improvement.
- An Action Planning Template, designed to support your team’s analysis of the Self-Study Tool results and to plan for improvement.
This action planning template is interned to be used after completing the Pathway Self-Study Tool. This template will help you synthesize, prioritize, and agree on key next steps to improve your pathway.
Check in on your pathway development progress using our Linked Learning Pathway Self-Study Tool. Your answers will help you visualize what you've accomplished, note areas you're making strides, and create an action plan to continue strengthening your program. This tool is intended to help you understand how you’re doing in relation to several important Linked Learning concepts. It is not a formal evaluation of your program’s certification progress.
Curriculum & Instruction, Pathway Improvement, Career-Technical Education, College & Career Readiness, Certification, Equity, General, Outcomes, Rigorous Academics, Student Supports, Work-Based Learning
All Linked Learning pathway teachers need to understand the specific knowledge and skills students will need to perform industry-sector jobs. However, not all pathway teachers have this knowledge, nor do they always know how particular discipline content is used within an industry.
In the brief, "The District Office as a Site for Work-Based Learning," Ann Jaquith and Jamie Johnston describe an approach to teachers’ professional learning that can develop and/or enrich the distinctive aspects of Linked Learning pathways. Drawing from ongoing work in California’s Montebello Unified School District (MUSD), the authors show how district and school leaders can help core teachers better understand career-relevant knowledge and skills, and encourage CTE teachers to collaborate with their colleagues.
By combining academic and technical instruction, Linked Learning has proven to be a powerful approach to education—creating a relevant and engaging learning environment and, most importantly, preparing students with the range of 21st Century skills needed for success in college and career.
Despite the known benefits of Linked Learning, negative perceptions about career and technical education still exist. Shifting to this new paradigm requires more than redesigning school structures to incorporate Linked Learning pathways and legislating policies that provide needed resources. It also requires societal shifts in attitudes and beliefs.
This brief offers recommendations for classroom practices that will enable the effective integration of core academic and career technical subjects that can truly prepare students for college and career.
This report highlights positive results at California Partnership Academies (CPAs). Many of these CPAs are also part of Linked Learning.
This report on the California Partnership Academies (CPAs) reveals very promising results for student performance across a range of important outcomes: most notably graduation rates for seniors, and completion of the “A-G” courses required for admission to the University of California and California State University. It is significant to note that these results have been achieved despite the fact that 50 percent of CPA students enter the program as “at-risk students” based on strict criteria. The new findings confirm the pattern found in a similar report on the CPAs using data from 2004-05, but with substantially larger numbers of academies and students.
This article was published in 2012 in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, after the findings were released to the general public on December 12, 2011. The article asserts the importance of ultimately dismantling dichotomous notions of ‘‘career’’ and ‘‘college’’ preparation, to expand opportunities for underserved students, and reduce inequities by preparing all students for both college and career.