Pacific High School’s Digital Design and Communications Academy, part of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), is certified Linked Learning Gold. It’s one of only five Linked Learning pathways statewide to achieve Gold Certification.
Linked Learning approaches high school courses as an opportunity to prepare students for both college and a career. While many high schools shift students to either a college-bound track or a trade/career track, Linked Learning aims to make sure all students are prepared for both by integrating career-technical training with rigorous, college-entry coursework.
“Linked-Learning Pathways are the perfect complement to the District’s goal of making sure all of our students are prepared for college and career when they graduate from high school,” said Rose Gonzalez, coordinator of Workforce Development for SBCUSD. “And knowing that Pacific’s Academy earned Gold Certification is proof that we are on the right track in preparing students to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
Linked-Learning pathways connect to one or more of California’s 15 industry sectors. Students who complete the pathway learn knowledge and skills applicable to careers in that sector and are prepared for entry-level positions in their field and to enroll in a related college major.
Pacific’s Digital Design and Communications Academy is part of the Arts, Media, and Entertainment and Business and Finance sectors. Digital Design Academy students gain industry certifications, participate in work-based learning projects, and develop a digital portfolio that demonstrates their skills and can be used when applying for internships and jobs in those sectors. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared for careers in animation, movie and video production, voice acting, graphic design, and more.
There are four key elements to Linked Learning. Courses must be rigorous and aligned to admission requirements for state colleges and universities. They must provide students with a technical education that teaches real-world skills through a carefully structured sequence of lessons. Coursework must expose students to real-world workplaces through internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing. And students should be supported in their learning with counseling and supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and math to address individual student needs.
According to the Linked Learning website, Gold Certification represents the highest-quality standard for career pathways. Each pathway must demonstrate student-centered learning with “strong career and postsecondary integration, combined with student supports that ensure equitable opportunities for all students.”
Gold Certification is valid for four years with a mid-term reporting requirement. Learn more about Gold Certification at https://www.linkedlearning.org/resources/certification/gold-certification.