January 9, 2013
The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD), a California GEAR UP Partner and Bridge Project school district has been selected as one of 20 participants in a new state pilot program designed to help students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers. EGUSD will implement the four-and-a-half year pilot program in its 16 “Linked Learning” California Partnership Academies as well through other district-wide programs.
The state-facilitated Linked Learning Pilot Program was established in 2011 through the passage of AB 790 by former Assembly Member Warren Furutani. “Linked Learning” programs use coursework, technical training, work-based learning and other related support mechanisms to create connections between high school and college and career. Both statewide and in EGUSD, students in Linked Learning programs graduate at higher rates and with skills and knowledge needed in the California workforce. This pilot will be used to assess how Linked Learning can be expanded to other schools in California.
“The district has brought to fruition many career academies and pathways that offer rigorous and relevant educational experiences for our students,” said EGUSD Superintendent Steven M. Ladd, Ed.D. “Through these programs, our students leave high school well prepared to be successful in college or careers in the 21st century.”
At Elk Grove Unified, the district’s 16 California Partnership Academies and their success in connecting academics to workforce development will be the focus of the program’s implementation. Through Linked Learning, the district will enhance district-wide systems of support to increase access to career pathways for every student in EGUSD. The Elk Grove Unified School District also plans on serving as a model for other districts throughout California that are interested in starting or retooling their pathway programs.
“Participation in Linked Learning extends EGUSD’s ongoing commitment to career technical education and multiple pathways to student success in college and career,” said Kathy Hamilton, director of career technical, charter and adult education for the district. “Through participation, EGUSD will be better positioned to receive state and federal funding for CTE-related programs as it becomes available over the next several years.”