Career Development has evolved rapidly over the past several years. At one time it was approached as a collection of separate courses, mostly at the high school level, that offered more course options for students, but did little to develop the essential skills and attitudes that students need to be successful in the work force and in life.
Career Development now has a K-12 focus that infuses learning across all other curricula. There is an effort to connect learning concepts with all subject areas, and to real-world experience. It’s an active learning approach that emphasizes hands-on, experiential, and self-reflective activities. Students from K-12 can explore career paths, and to develop workplace and life skills in realistic situations.
Career Development learning begins early. In the Early and Middle Years, students are exposed to various career paths, and are able to develop critical thinking and skills through game play, hands-on experiences, and direct instruction. This learning is integrated into their everyday classroom experiences, and they begin to get a sense of how what they learn in school is important to what they might do “when they grow up.” Students are provided Safe Workers’ training beginning as early as Middle Years, and many grade 9 students get their first taste of work experience during Take Our Kids to Work Day.
In addition to learning Career Development objectives within the context of the classroom, courses pertaining specifically to developing essential employment skills are offered at the high school level. Each of our schools offers at least one 0.5 credit of a Senior Years Life/Works course. It is through this course that students learn to assess and develop their own life skills and attitudes; build resumes and portfolios; and learn about the realities of the working world. There are four Life/Works courses available, each at the Senior Years individual grade levels. Students are also offered four Career Development Internship (CDI) and Credit for Employment (CFE) credits. Both offer actual work experience, with a career facilitator and employer working in tandem with the student to optimize skill and attitude development. In order to help facilitate this learning, Southwest Horizon provides students and teachers access to Xello, a career readiness software tool that allows students to explore different careers that are a good fit with their interests and skills, and college and university programming that matches with these careers.
Students also have the opportunity to begin trade apprenticeship by enrolling in the High School Apprenticeship (HSAP) program. They may join the program if they are 16 years of age and have successfully completed all Grade 9 and 10 required courses. They must also remain in good standing with current coursework to remain in the program. Students must find a journeyperson, or designated trainer, in the trade they wish to pursue who is employed and is willing to mentor that student. They can earn up to a maximum of eight school credits (880 hours of work) and are paid while learning a trade. For every 220 hours of work, one level of technical training will be paid for by Apprenticeship Manitoba. Facilitators work as liaisons between the student in Apprenticeship, the employer, and Apprenticeship Manitoba. Each school facilitator also works with students and teaching staff from K-12 in a supporting role.
Our communities, staff, and facilitators continue to be the backbone of our successful and progressive programming. Student voice has also played a significant role in the selection and implementation of complimentary programming in the form of new experiential learning in our Industrial Arts courses.
Our Divisional Career Coordinator is Rachel Svistovski.
School Facilitators (2019/2020) are:
Deloraine School - Teresa Dillabough
Hartney School - Ashleigh Skelton
Melita School - Denise Benton
Pierson School - Debra McCallum
Souris School - Belinda West
Waskada School - Dayna McFarlane
Wawanesa School - Jodi Racine
A Career Development Resource for Parents
Focus on the Future: Career Development Starts at Home