“We get a lot of feedback from our local employers that the skills they are looking for don’t match the skills students are coming out of school with,” said Oxnard Chamber CEO Nancy Lindholm. “We want to open the lines of communication between education and our businesses to resolve this dilemma.”
Linked Learning offers students a personally relevant, wholly engaging, rigorous academic and career-based curriculum with real-world professions. The program ensures students graduate from high school well prepared to enter a two- or four-year college or university, an apprenticeship, or formal job training. In addition, Linked Learning exposes students in high school to previously unimagined college and career opportunities.
Data shows that Linked Learning students of all demographic profiles have higher persistence and graduation rates than their peers at traditional high schools. This is critical to our community, which has been reported to have a graduation rate as low as 60%.
There are four core components of Linked Learning:
- Rigorous academics – An academic component that includes college preparatory English, mathematics, science, history, and sometimes foreign language courses.
- Real-world technical skills – A challenging career-based component of three or more courses that help students gain the knowledge and skills that can give them a head start on a successful career.
- Work-based learning – A series of work-based learning opportunities that begin with mentoring and job shadowing and evolve into intensive internships, school-based enterprises, or virtual apprenticeships.
- Personalized support – Support services including counseling and supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics that help students master academic and technical learning.
Employers in Oxnard, Ventura County, and throughout the nation face increasing challenges in accessing a pipeline of skilled workers to remain competitive in today’s global economy. Technological advances are creating a critical skill shortage among young people entering the workforce.
New education design is essential for helping prepare young people to navigate an increasingly complex world in which critical thinking, collaborative problem solving, and technical and media literacy are essential.
Oxnard Union High School District’s Alliance for Linked Learning is eager to collaborate with businesses, non-profit organizations, and community members to explore and implement effective programs to ensure our young people discover the mode of learning that works best for them in high school, in college, and/or in job training as they transition into working life.
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce is working closely with the District to engage the business community. Employers and business leaders interested in helping with this undertaking should attend the October 2 program or contact Chamber CEO, Nancy Lindholm at 805-983-6118.
This story is contributed by a member of the Ventura community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Ventura County Star