Thanks to a funding surge, more California schools are launching career academies, or programs that combine academic and technical skills. That means students get a jumpstart on connecting what they learn in school to the real world.

ConnectEd is an organization that advocates for student success by building career-focused partnerships with schools, districts and community leaders.

On this week’s podcast, Rob Atterbury of ConnectEd joined co-hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn to talk about “linked learning,” a strategy to prepare students for both college and career.

“What Linked Learning and ConnectEd is supporting is … an opportunity to have an experience outside of the classroom … doing something that’s meaningful,” Atterbury said.

He said it’s challenging to convert some folks to believing in marrying academics and career-technical pathways.

Lewis and Kohn also talk about San Diego Workforce Partnership’s distribution of career pathway posters to local K-12 schools.

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Number of the Week

63 percent: That’s the percentage of jobs in the United States that will require a degree or certificate beyond high school by 2018, according to a Georgetown University study.

What’s Working

Clairemont High School launched four linked-learning academies meant to align with San Diego’s employment needs. The school’s career pathways include business, information technology, health and medical science and engineering design.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Rob Atterbury. 

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    Written by Rachel Evans

    Rachel Evans is a reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at

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    "Back in the day" students were assessed (tested) in the fifth or sixth grade, and dropped into either college prep or technical tracks.  Moving between tracks (at least up) was extremely difficult.  Then, in the last 20 years, those technical tracks disappeared.  No more cooking, electric or metal shop (even auto shop is disappearing).  For a technical career, community colleges stepped in, but only if the two year degree program is followed.