Linked Learning Academies and Pathways
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.