Enhancing the employability of Exercise Science students
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The notion of employability is gaining importance as an essential outcome of many degrees in institutions of higher education throughout Australia. This paper aims to determine the effects of an Exercise Science course, which includes elements of both career development learning and work-integrated learning, on six dimensions of employability - commencement readiness, collaboration, informed decisionmaking, lifelong learning, professional practices and standards, and integration of knowledge/ theory and practice. The course components that were examined by the presented study included fieldwork placements, workshops and related career development assignments. Work Readiness Scales were administered prior to and on completion of the course. Students also rated the extent to which they considered any changes in their abilities were the result of each of the course components. Furthermore, responses to an open-ended questionnaire were analysed to determine common themes affecting student development of each of the six dimensions. Comparison of pre- and post-work placement scores on the Work Readiness scales demonstrated statistically significant differences in all the dimensions of employability except informed decision-making. Student ratings suggested that placements had a more significant effect on the changes in their abilities than the course workshops and assignments, however all three course components contributed to the development of workplace competencies. Student responses indicated that the course increased their awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to employability, as well as their knowledge of specific occupations relevant to Exercise Science.
Proceedings of the 19th WACE World Conference on Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education
Copyright 2015 World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy