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Linked Learning Academies and Pathways

 Resmi Kackery  Elizabeth Resmi Kackery   Linked Learning Program Specialist

What is Linked Learning?  It is a collaborative site-based approach to student learning engagement and outcomes. A variety of staff members have visited over 6 districts and multiple sites; in those districts, the common denominator is that Linked Learning creates heightened engagement, decreased behavioral problems, and a climate of inclusion for our most disenfranchised students.  It allows sites to establish personalized college and industry based student objectives within the structure of classroom and work-based learning experiences, in addition to support and intervention.   It is a new culture—not a program!!!  

What is an Academy? The term our site has chosen to call the over-arching thematic umbrella that houses multiple Pathways. Each academy represents multiple programs of study, “Pathways,” developed to implement College, Career & Technical approaches to Learning.  

What are Pathways?
It is a sequence of technical courses which delivers concrete knowledge and skills with an emphasis on real-world applications, bringing their academic and technical learning to life. 

Will the IB/AVID programs still be around?  Yes! One of the stumbling blocks we’ve encountered at Cajon (and why we’re a bit behind the other schools in adopting this new culture), is that everyone from district to admin to teachers agree that we need to protect the programs that work and already help our most eager students feel the sense of belonging and engagement we’re attempting to foster campus-wide.  All pathway students will have access to IB classes and will be encouraged to take rigorous and challenging courses, whether they are Diploma candidates or not.

Are we really trying to convince parents and kids that they are committing their life long career? No. We can all agree that 14-year-olds aren’t prepared to make permanent, lifelong decisions. The Linked Learning structure provides foundational skills that can be marketable, build confidence and self-efficacy, and form the groundwork for college preparation and future employment in a variety of fields. It is about students taking ownership of their learning by establishing short term and long term concrete goals and the specific steps to achieve them.

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