The goal of the Youth program is to increase the number of low-income young people who complete high school on time and earn a postsecondary credential by age 25.
Photo by Sandy Huffaker
Linked Learning helps young people learn what they love. By integrating rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experience, Linked Learning is transforming education into a personally relevant, wholly engaging experience. Through the development and expansion of Linked Learning we are working with educators, policymakers, and community partners to prepare California’s young people for success in college, career, and life.
We support on-the-ground demonstration and evaluation of Linked Learning in high school districts, in postsecondary institutions, and in nonprofit organizations serving out-of-school youth.
Strengthening school districts: The California Linked Learning District Initiative supports school districts that commit to making the Linked Learning approach a core part of their high school reform strategy. Through this work we will better understand the successes and challenges of bringing Linked Learning to a broader range of California youth.
Connecting through colleges: We are partnering with postsecondary institutions as they restructure teacher education and professional development to equip teachers to instruct in Linked Learning schools. We are also supporting community colleges and the California State University system as they put Linked Learning to work in their classrooms across California.
Engaging out-of-school youth: The Opportunity Links for Youth Initiative applies Linked Learning principles to re-engage youth who are no longer in school, who are underemployed or unemployed, and who are actively seeking a way into college through community-based organizations.
The following school districts are participating in the California Linked Learning District Initiative:
Supporting policies that can fuel expansion of Linked Learning
Linked Learning is already working in a variety of venues across California: in high schools and districts, community colleges and other postsecondary institutions, and in community-based organizations serving out-of-school youth who are looking for a way to re-engage in education.
Irvine seeks broad adoption of Linked Learning to transform the educational experience for young people in California. To accelerate and sustain the growth of Linked Learning, we pursue endorsement of new Linked Learning projects by California state education leaders and reforms in the policies that govern education.
Irvine’s Youth program policy grantmaking supports research to define the process and funding mechanisms needed to bring Linked Learning to scale in California. This includes:
Inspiring and involving communities to support Linked Learning
To make Linked Learning available to far more low-income youth across California, it must be well-known as a powerful, practical way to transform education and provide better opportunities and outcomes for California’s youth.
We are actively cultivating public support for Linked Learning through advocacy, coalition building and strategic communications. These efforts accelerate as more students, families and educators experience Linked Learning firsthand, and as the results of their successes reach leaders in education, industry and civic life.
Irvine and our partners employ traditional and social media activities to communicate the features and advantages of Linked Learning. By promoting evaluation results and stories of success, and raising the voices of people who are passionate about this approach, we want Linked Learning to become a visible and prominent example of what is possible in California’s educational landscape.