The White House today will be hosting an all-day summit dedicated to increasing college opportunity for low-income and disadvantaged students. In addition to President Obama and the First Lady, participants will include college presidents from around the country, along with other educators and advocates working on college access and opportunity. I am certainly honored to be participating in this summit, but I’m mostly excited because of what it indicates about the growing national interest and momentum for Linked Learning.
Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Thanks to the hard work of our grantees and other partners, Linked Learning is expanding throughout California and recent evidence shows that it’s posting measurable success for high school students. We certainly believe that Linked Learning is a great way to prepare all students for success in college and their careers, and are pleased that policymakers across the nation are taking notice.
A centerpiece discussion of today's summit will be increasing access to redesigned high schools that better prepare students for college and career. The Obama Administration indicated their commitment to this approach in November when they announced the Youth CareerConnect grants program. This program provides $100 million in grants to schools and their partners to transform high schools by integrating academic and career-focused learning, and by expanding work-based learning.
This federal grant program is very much aligned with the Linked Learning approach, so we are excited to announce today a new commitment from the Irvine Foundation to make an additional $3.5 million available in matching grants to Youth CareerConnect grant recipients in California. Organizations who receive Youth CareerConnect grants for their work in California will be eligible to receive matching grants from Irvine to augment their work. The details of this match will be developed in the coming months as the Youth CareerConnect grant recipients are chosen.
I’m sure it will be an exciting day in Washington and I’m looking forward to talking to and learning from education leaders from around the country. Stay tuned to our Twitter feed at @IrvineFdn for updates during and after the summit. Many of the summit participants will be using #OpportunityForAll, so follow that hashtag on Twitter to get updates from the summit and learn more about college access and opportunity.