July 23, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

SBCUSD, Elected Officials and Employers Celebrate Two Gold-Certified Linked Learning Pathways at San Andreas High

4 min read
Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to prepare students for success in college, career, and life. Linked Learning pathways are designed to train high school students in fields that pay well and don’t necessarily require a college degree.

Linked Learning Program Specialist Roberta Figueroa preparing equipment for the Health Sciences Pathway.

San Andreas High School is excited to announce that it has been awarded prestigious Gold Certification by the Linked Learning Alliance, making it the first continuation high school in the nation to receive this national distinction. The Linked Learning Alliance, an organization that accelerates the adoption of high-quality educational pathways that engage adolescents, strengthen workforce readiness, and advance equity, recognized San Andreas High for its commitment to preparing students for both college and career success through its two innovative Linked Learning pathways.

The Linked Learning Alliance, the SBCUSD Board of Education, and San Andreas High School will celebrate this groundbreaking recognition on Tuesday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Dr. Margaret Hill Community Room, 777 North F Street in San Bernardino.

Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to prepare students for success in college, career, and life. Linked Learning pathways are designed to train high school students in fields that pay well and don’t necessarily require a college degree.

San Andreas High School’s Linked Learning pathways provide students with immersive, career-themed educational experiences that align with their interests and aspirations. By connecting rigorous academic coursework with work-based learning and early college opportunities, San Andreas High School ensures that students are well-prepared for the full range of postsecondary options.

The two Gold Certified pathways that prepare San Andreas High School students for postsecondary opportunities in the business and medical field are now national models of excellence. Certification is based on a series of standards identified by leaders in the Linked Learning field as crucial for improving student outcomes and preparing all students for college and career. Gold Certification validates the quality of the college and career pathway and signifies high-quality implementation of core components and equitable opportunities for all students. In total, San Bernardino City Unified has 7 Gold Linked Learning pathways and 15 Silver Linked Learning Pathways.

Quality is key to Linked Learning experiences that prepare students to succeed in college and career. Independent evaluation shows that students in certified Linked Learning pathways have decreased dropout rates, higher graduation rates, more credits earned, more college preparatory courses completed, and improved workforce skills compared with similar peers in traditional high schools.

“SBCUSD’s trailblazing Linked Learning efforts and continued commitment to high-quality practice have generated insights, inspiration, and, importantly, evidence on what really works for students,” said Anne Stanton, president, and CEO of the Linked Learning Alliance. “We are proud to honor the potential and ambition of San Andreas students’ and celebrate the community’s progress toward a future where every young person is connected to purpose and prepared for the future they deserve.”

This seal of excellence comes six years after San Andreas High set out to establish its college and career pathways. Linked Learning Program Specialist Roberta Figueroa, who has been at the forefront of establishing the school’s pathways, said San Andreas had to overcome hurdles that other mainstream high schools don’t have. “This is a dream come true for us,” Figueroa said. “When we first started this six years ago, a lot of people said it couldn’t be done.”

As part of the Business and Technology Pathway, students learn to grow produce hydroponically, which is then sold to local restaurants. Students in the business academy will leave San Andreas with valuable credentials like a food handlers permit or forklift certification. Students who enroll in the Health Sciences Pathway train alongside staff from AMR, giving them hands-on exposure to careers in health care and earning credentials like American Heart Association Basic Life Support, first aid, and OSHA.

“We are incredibly proud to be the first continuation high school to achieve Gold Certification from the Linked Learning Alliance,” said Principal Dorie Stratton. “This recognition validates the hard work and commitment of our educators, students, and community partners who have all contributed to the success of our Linked Learning pathways. We believe in the potential of every student, and through our robust career-themed programs, we are preparing them for a bright future beyond high school.”

The Gold Certification is a significant milestone for San Andreas High School and serves as an inspiration for other continuation high schools across the region and state. By demonstrating that even in non-traditional educational settings, students can receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for both college and careers, San Andreas High School is leading the way in redefining what is possible for young people.

The Linked Learning Alliance is a statewide coalition of educators, employers, and community organizations that are committed to improving education outcomes for all students. Their Gold Certification is a rigorous process that evaluates and recognizes Linked Learning pathways for meeting the highest standards of excellence in four key areas: preparing students for college and careers, integrating academics with real-world experiences, fostering relationships with industry partners, and providing comprehensive support systems.

The Linked Learning approach, piloted in nine California districts a decade ago, is now embraced as the high school strategy for a growing number of districts across the state.

Currently, California lawmakers are considering $500 million in funding for college and career pathways critical investments in youth during their decade of difference, a period from ages 14 to 24, when research shows young people develop their identities, dispositions, and lifelong aspirations. These planned investments offer the opportunity to scale Linked Learning pathways like those offered at San Andreas, to even more underserved students throughout the state.

San Andreas High School’s Gold Certification from the Linked Learning Alliance not only highlights the exceptional achievements of the school but also underscores its commitment to transforming lives and providing equitable opportunities for all students. Through its innovative Linked Learning pathways, San Andreas High School is nurturing the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and professionals who will shape our community and society.


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