Linked Learning transforms students’ high school experience by bringing together strong academics, demanding career and technical education, and real-world experience to help students gain an advantage in high school, post secondary education, and careers. Students follow career-themed pathways, choosing among fields such as engineering, arts and media, or bio medicine and health. Participation in Linked Learning prepares students to graduate from high school and succeed in a full range of post secondary options—including two- or four-year colleges, certification programs, apprenticeships, military service, or formal job training. There is no one right way to implement a pathway.
Whatever the strategy, each pathway embraces four guiding principles and four core components:
- An academic component that includes the English, mathematics, science, history, and foreign language courses that prepare students to transition, without remediation, to the state’s community colleges and universities, as well as to apprenticeships and formal employment training programs.
- A technical component of three or more courses that help students gain the knowledge and skills that can give them a head start on a successful career.
- A series of work-based learning opportunities that begin with mentoring and job shadowing and evolve into intensive internships, school based enterprises, or virtual apprenticeships.
- Support services including counseling and supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics that help students master the advanced academic and technical content necessary for success in college and career.