Every day, teachers work hard to cover the curriculum even as students ask “Why am I learning this? What can it do for me?” But just watch those same questions evaporate the moment students comprehend how math, English or biology can set them on a career path that they are passionate about.
Thanks to collaboration between Dawson College’s Council of Career Programs and the CaReer Education and Transitions to Employment subcommittee of the Directors of English Education Network (DEEN-CREATE), teachers have a new set of tools to show students how high-school learning can be the foundation for a number of interesting and lesserknown careers.
As of now, 16 of Dawson’s 21 technical/career programs have produced resource-friendly, vetted lesson plans for use by high-school teachers. Even more will be available in the coming year. Steve Scallion, GOAL consultant for Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board, worked with Dawson to adapt all 16 for use in a Personal Orientation Project (POP) classroom.
Each lesson plan relates to a three-year technical program and contains activities that introduce students to possible careers in that field. A science class might tap into Laboratory Technology—Analytical Chemistry, while a math class could try out Accounting Management Technology or an English class Professional Theatre.
“Many graduating students have little direction other than ‘I’m 17 and good in school, so I should go to CEGEP and then university,’ ” says Steve. “Yet the employability rate right out of university isn’t that great. Students are often unaware that after three years of study, a CEGEP technical program could get them a good paying job immediately. The employability rate for biomedical laboratory technicians is 100%, as is that for graduates of Computer Science, Electronics Engineering Technology, and Nursing. That’s pretty interesting for a young person to know.”
Each lesson plan exists in two versions. The “teacher-led” version http://www2.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/career_showcase_teachers/ (password “csteachers”) is appropriate for a GOAL activity with an entire class. The “POP” version http://www2.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/ career_showcase_students/ is meant for individual student exploration within the Personal Orientation Project course.