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Connecting Activities

Connecting Activities (CA) is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education initiative that leverages a statewide infrastructure to support "college and career readiness" for all students. The CA line item in the state budget establishes public-private partnerships through the 16 local workforce investment boards to connect schools and businesses by providing structured work-based learning experiences for students that support both their academic and employability skill attainment.

Connecting Activities enables staff to recruit employers; prepare and place students in brokered work-based learning opportunities; and structure those experiences through the use of the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan. Through CA, students achieve more learning hours by extending the classroom to the workplace while providing more adults who can support them in one-to-one relationships. For a more in-depth review of Connecting Activities, please visit Connecting Activities website.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's Task Force for the Integration of College and Career Readiness which issued their report "From Cradle to Career: Educating Our Students for Lifelong Success" in June 2012, recognized that students who are able to gain experience and exposure to the world of work while in high school are better prepared to persist in and complete postsecondary education and succeed in pursuing livable wage careers.

During fiscal year 2015, Connecting Activities generated the following outcomes:

  • Employers invested $14,690,000 in wages to support student internships, almost a 5:1 match (the legislation requires 2:1, but the initiative consistently exceeds that).
  • 10,487 students were placed in internships at 3,510 employer sites.
  • 7,677 (73%) students utilized the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) on the job. The WBLP structures learning and productivity at the worksite and formally connects classroom lessons (MA Curriculum Frameworks aligned with Common Core Standards) to work-based learning experiences.
  • 7,677 students participated in classes/workshops including career exploration, work-readiness and internship workshops.
  • 2,775 employers sponsored career awareness and exploration activities for students including career days, job shadowing and guest speaker programs.
  • 185 high schools were partners in the CA initiative, and another 50 were members.

Recently, the Board of Higher Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt a common definition of "college and career readiness" establishing that workplace readiness is essential in preparing all students for a 21st century economy.

Shailah Stewart
Coordinator, Connecting Activities
MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
Phone: (781) 338-3904
Fax: (781) 338-3090


Connecting Activities Report, FY15
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College and Career Readiness Delivery Plan
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Contact your Workforce Investment Board

Last Updated: April 25, 2016
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