Career Education Project BCEO staff & school representatives: Amanda Paton, Jacqueline Braddon, Tara Flynn, Kym Smart, Marian Wright, Shannon Shalhoub, Cassie Geissmann, Nathan Camilleri, Amanda Schimke & Reuben Chalmers.
Eight Brisbane Catholic Education schools have joined a pilot project to give students an advantage with preparing for their future pathways.
Called the Career Education Project, schools were evaluated for their career readiness practices, with the overall goal to better prepare students for their lives after school, regardless of their choice of pathway.
Over 2022, each school administered a survey to a year level and their parents/carers in Term 2, to determine how confident they were about making career-related decisions. These surveys amplified the voice of these families, offering schools quality data to inform decisions about their existing programs.
In Term 3, each school participated in a Data Dialogue - collaborative conversation between school leaders, program leaders, and students. Schools reflected on their school’s data in their own context, resulting in actionable insights for their community within a new quality framework for career learning.
Below is a summary of each school’s learnings from 2022 and outcomes for 2023.
Holy Spirit College has created a Career Education Development Committee which includes parent, student, and industry representatives. The goal of this committee is to give input to a holistic career education program across Years 7-12 which will be implemented across 2023.
Established in 2013, St Benedict’s College has experienced significant growth in enrolments during a very short period, meaning they have had to scale their programs rapidly. Participating in this project offered welcome opportunities to reflect on where the Career Education program started, and to do a needs analysis of current students. Year 10 students and their parents/carers took part in the survey, and the Data Dialogues, with Year 10 students reflecting on the pressures felt to make decisions about their future in Year 10. For staff and leaders present, this prompted them to consider the types of career exploration students do in Years 7-9, and how to better prepare and support students in Years 10-12.
The College’s focus is on communications regarding career learning and reviewing career readiness activities in Years 7-9.
As is the case with many Brisbane Catholic Education schools, St Columban’s College also had a long and established Career Education program that has offered diverse opportunities for students to explore career paths post-school. St Columban’s chose to engage their Year 10 cohort and parents with students sharing their desire to learn more about how industries would change in the future, eager to gain more real-world experience in the workplace. Students also highlighted a desire to learn more about the non-linear nature of careers, and the decision-making skills required to change trajectories in the future.
St Columban’s College will develop new ways to co-construct career learning opportunities with students, including strategies to engage and educate parents in career learning as they are a key stakeholder in this process.
Trinity College currently offers an extensive number of VET qualifications to their students and is a member of the Gateway to Industry Schools program. However, the school was interested in gathering data to see how they could build career confidence for all students, not just those involved in VET. The College also engaged their Year 10 students and parents in the data gathering and Data Dialogue process with students sharing their interest in building work-related networks while they were still at school and seeing a greater connection between their school program and future career.
Trinity College is planning to engage students in co-construction processes related to career education to offer opportunities to explore workplaces and build networks. Furthermore, how Career Education is delivered in Years 7-9 will be revised.
Pathways Leader Bianca Beard with Year 10 students completing the Student Career Decision Self-Efficacy Survey
Claire Proberts with Holy Spirit College Fitzgibbon student panel
For BCE office staff supporting these school staff, this project has reinforced how crucial quality career learning is for all young people and how significant student voice and co-construction are in learning.
Furthermore, for Brisbane Catholic Education schools, the project has highlighted that quality career learning can occur in numerous aspects of already existing school processes in addition to a standalone program.
There is excitement and anticipation for the 2023 outcomes as a result of these insights, with a follow-up to be expected later this year.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
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Phone: (07) 3033 7000
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