Enhancing 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 decision-making; lifelong learning; professional practices and standards; and integration of knowledge/ theory and practice. The course components 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 openended questionnaire were analyzed 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.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education
© 2017 New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Education Assessment and Evaluation