LANCASTER — Seven months after Eastside High School’s Biomedical Science Academy and Lancaster High School’s Multimedia and Engineering Academy achieved gold certification from the Linked Learning Alliance, the schools received formal congratulations from Antelope Valley Union High School District administrators, Linked Learning Alliance officials, Assemblyman Tom Lackey and industry partners.
Gold certification is the highest standard for college and career preparation. Linked Learning combines rigorous academics, career and technical education, work-based learning and student supports in career-themed pathways.
Eastside and Lancaster high schools’ academies are among the first 12 nationwide to achieve the honor.
Anne Stanton, president and CEO of the Linked Learning Alliance, said the magic of Linked Learning lies in the “power of plus.”
“When we combine college and career-ready learning, we actually amplify the assets of both,” she said at a Tuesday afternoon ceremony at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds to honor the schools’ achievement. “They’re stronger together than they could ever be as separate endeavors.”
She added the Linked Learning Alliance looks forward to the day when all students across the nation have the ability to light their own path to success in college and career in life.
Currently, there are more than 600 registered Linked Learning pathways nationwide, serving more than 250,000 students.
“In being the first to achieve this gold standard, you have pushed all of us and everybody in the nation and in the state toward an audacious, but we actually believe, totally achievable goal,” Stanton said. “We want to see one million young people in gold-certified Linked Learning pathways by 2030.”
Since 2012, AV Union High School District has grown to seven academies based on the Linked Learning philosophy with an eighth academy focused on education scheduled to open next year.
“Linked Learning has become more than an approach to learning, it’s now the way we do high school,” Superintendent David Vierra said during the ceremony at the Fairgrounds. “Through Linked Learning, we have driven positive, systemic across our schools.
He deemed Eastside and Lancaster high school’s trailblazers and said all of the District’s academies will go for the gold.
Lackey said programs such as the Linked Learning-aligned academies and pathways provide motivation for students.
“Very, very proud of this philosophy and we’re actually setting a standard for the entire country, so congratulations to all of you who have been part of this very successful adventure,” he said.
Lancaster High School senior Mateo Rodriguez is a four-year academy student.
“What I love about Linked Learning is that its not like a regular classroom,” he said. “It’s really hands-on.”
Rodriguez added he liked Linked Learning because he is more of a hands-on
“I just love how they gave me an opportunity to utilize my strength in hands-on,” he said.
Teacher Kerin Coffey, coordinator of Eastside High’s academy, said once the academy achieved silver certification, they were determined to achieve gold certification.
“At the end of the day, the process brought us all together with a common mission, which was to develop a premier Biomedical Science Academy that prepares our students for success in both college and career,” Coffey said.