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Linked Learning

Pathways to College, Career and Civic Participation

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IDEA supports and studies educational innovations that promise to correct persistent educational inequalities. Central to this work is understanding how all sectors of the public can promote high quality schooling in their communities and across the state. Linked Learning (formerly Multiple Pathways) is an educational approach that prepares all students for college, career, and civic participation, and challenges prevailing patterns of school stratification. Based on our own and others’ prior work, we believe that Linked Learning can create better and broader outcomes for all students and can be especially helpful for students most at risk for failure and dropping out.


Linked Learning, delivered through widely varied “pathways,” blends rigorous academics, a challenging career-based core, an opportunity for students to apply learning in real-world contexts, and individual support services. The practice is not uniform—pathways may vary in their theme or career focus, how they organize coursework, the extent to how much time students spend on and off campus, etc.—yet it can be equally successful, in a wide range of settings, for all students.


UCLA IDEA conducted a study of 10 California high school sites currently implementing Linked Learning. Based on extensive observations and interviews with students, teachers and administrators, IDEA created a guidebook detailing six conditions that are strongly associated with successful implementation of Linked Learning pathways. Linked Learning: A Guide to Making High School Work, along with the accompanying DVD, provides educators, policymakers and stakeholders interested in revamping their school communities with a solid launching point.


For more information, view the LINKED LEARNING FAQs.

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