Session: Linked Learning and CTE: A Strategy to Scale up CTE’s Impact
Speakers Gary Hoachlander, President, ConnectEd and Ace Parsi, Policy and Advocacy Assistant, Alliance for Excellent Education shared insights and strategies in the session Linked Learning and CTE: A Strategy to Scale up CTE’s Impact. In Hoachlander’s presentation, he spoke about the need for schools to provide a new approach to educating students – providing programs that link strong academics with real world experience. Linked learning prepares students for college and career, not just one or the other. The guiding principles of Linked Learning also include a pathway that leads students to the full range of postsecondary options, with the goal of improved student achievement. Hoachlander shared that Linked Learning is as much about building district infrastructure as it is building strong programs. Stressing that CTE needs to be part of the larger high school experience – promoted as part of a larger STEM/high school improvement strategy, Hoachlander noted that programs of study must include academic courses, not just CTE cluster/sequence coursework, with academics taught differently. Additionally, Linked Learning should be a central feature of ESEA.
Ace Parsi, of the Alliance for Excellent Education, asked the group to consider “what are successful, high quality programs?” Urging them to think beyond silos, Parsi shared that the “labor market is now different and more advanced skills are needed to compete in today’s marketplace. “ Regarding partnerships, Parsi said that these should exist in forms that reach beyond just teachers and schools, that partnerships with school districts, businesses should also be fostered. He noted that the fact that learners have different needs should be understood, with the outcome that a systemic approach needs to be structured that leads to success for all students; Linked Learning is a strategy for transforming high schools and engaging CTE systematically in that effort. Parsi gave a status update on the progress of the Linked Learning Pathways Affording College and Career Success Act (111th), House Bill Number: H.R. 6174, noting that many elements in this bill are also in Perkins IV, and it is in process. Parsi described a health careers academy, where a medical science class showed a direct connection to what is learned in an internship setting is also learned in class. When asked “does it cost more to implement Linked Learning”, Parsi noted that California used their existing resources – but differently applied them. Examples of resource allocation