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.
SRI’s fifth annual evaluation report on the progress of the California Linked Learning District Initiative offers updated findings on student engagement and achievement outcomes from the nine districts participating in the initiative. Additionally, for the first time, our report takes an in-depth look at the issue of student equity and access to pathways through an analysis of student enrollment patterns across pathway career themes and of pathway retention among student subgroup populations. Finally, it assesses pathway students’ experiences with academic and technical curriculum and work-based learning, their perceptions of the skills they are gaining as a result of their pathway experiences, and their plans for the future.
This document is a technical supplement to SRI International’s fourth annual evaluation report on the progress of the California Linked Learning District Initiative. This document provides information and data supporting the analysis of student engagement and achievement outcomes and the student survey.
In this fourth annual evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative, SRI looks back at the development of Linked Learning systems in the nine districts and examines their experiences to assess the initiative’s progress toward reaching its systems- and student-level goals. The fourth year of the evaluation yields new data on student engagement and achievement outcomes from eight of the nine districts participating in the initiative. It also offers lessons from the experiences of all nine districts based on interviews, focus groups, and a student survey.
This report examines preliminary data on student outcomes from four selected Linked Learning districts. Each of these districts focuses on pathways to college and career that meet criteria for quality certification by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, the national hub for Linked Learning practice. This summary also assesses implementation progress across all nine school districts participating in this initiative, drawing on interviews, student focus groups and student surveys.
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.
When rigorous academics are combined with demanding career-based learning in real-world professional workplaces, students are better prepared to succeed in college, career and life. Embracing the Linked Learning model, the Center for Advanced Research and Technology—a high school in Clovis, California—released data that demonstrates how combining rigorous academics and real-world learning opportunities can lead to a higher percentage of enrollments in both community college and four-year universities. In particular, the study finds that attendance in a Linked Learning pathway more than doubled the rate of college entrance for minority students.
Rigorous academics integrated with career-based learning can lead to higher wages after high school. This study examines the outcomes of 1,700 students enrolled in career academies that offered the Linked Learning approach to predominantly minority students. The study showed that four years after graduation from high school, career academy graduates were earning more than their traditionally educated counterparts. While this was true for both men and women, the result was statistically significant for men in a Linked Learning pathway, who earned 18 percent ($10,000) more over the four-year period after high school.
The findings demonstrate the feasibility of improving labor market preparation and successful school-to-work transitions without compromising academic goals and preparation for college. Investments in career-related experiences during high school can produce substantial and sustained improvements in the labor market prospects and transitions to adulthood of youth. In fact, Career Academies are one of the few youth-focused interventions that have been found to improve the labor market prospects of young men. At the same time, Career Academies have proven to be challenging to implement on a large scale with high levels of fidelity, and the evidence from this evaluation may not apply to programs that are partially implemented or that use only selected features of the Academy approach. Further research should be conducted to determine the effects of key Academy components.