By Susan Frey
The California Department of Education has selected 63 districts and county offices of education – many of them working together in consortia – to pilot “linked learning” programs in their high schools beginning next fall. These programs integrate academics with real-world work experiences in an effort to engage students.
High schools with linked learning programs typically offer several courses in one or more career paths, such as healthcare, business or the arts. The career theme permeates the curriculum. For example, students on the healthcare career path at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School in Antioch Unified School District in Contra Costa County take Human Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology for their science courses. They take Medical Terminology as an elective and a Regional Occupational Program course in Sports Medicine or Nursing. Guest speakers from the local hospital come to class to talk about what their jobs are like, and students shadow professionals working in the health field. The culmination of the program is an internship at a local hospital, doctor’s office or other health facility.