The Linked Learning approach integrates rigorous academics with experiential learning opportunities to help California students experience relevant, engaging college and career opportunities. The approach uses programs of study through career academies to deliver high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) to under-privileged youth. Building on the promise of the Linked Learning approach, the James Irvine Foundation launched the California Linked Learning District Initiative in 2009.
The initiative, which reached its final year in 2015, supported nine districts in developing systems of career pathways for high school students. This report — conducted by SRI International and the Center for Education Policy, and also funded by the James Irvine Foundation — evaluates the impact of the Linked Learning approach in the California Linked Learning District Initiative’s sixth and final year. The evaluation provides findings on student graduation and college eligibility with an eye for districts’ efforts to ensure equity, align systems, expand access, and maintain fidelity to the Linked Learning approach.