Student Perceptions of the Benefits of Career Education workshops in a Work-Integrated Learning Course
Delegates at the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NACGAS) Symposium in June 2008 emphasized a commitment to place students’ Career Development Learning (CDL) at the centre of work-integrated learning (WIL) programs. The Symposium concluded that universities need to provide opportunities for students to “take ownership of their university transitions, engaging them in learning experiences designed to inform, support and enrich their career and life aspirations”. As a result, NACGAS was funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council to undertake a scoping study “Career Development Learning: maximising the contribution of Work-Integrated Learning to the student experience”. This paper exemplifies the important link between CDL and WIL, as it outlines student perceptions of the positive outcomes of a suite of Career Education workshops within Field Project, an optional third-year course in the Bachelor of Exercise Science program at Griffith University. The course is designed to link and complement the student’s program of study by introducing them to the work environment. The course includes 13 two-hour lecture/workshops in which students are introduced to professional and personal techniques to assist them gain entry and function successfully in the workplace, as well as a minimum of 80 hours work experience in an industry of their choice. The first eight workshops focus on Career Education including: career planning, job search, developing a resume, job applications, meeting selection criteria and interviews. Students search and apply for positions of interest and are involved in mock interview situations. Prior to the interview students are required to submit an application letter, a resume and responses to selection criteria. The remaining five workshops involve site visits and lectures from possible employers e.g. the fitness industry, clinical exercise testing. This research identified the most important outcomes of the Career Education workshops as perceived by students. The results demonstrated the Career Education workshops to be of significant value to students’ career prospects and an integral component of a work experience course. Suggestions were also made about possible improvements to this aspect of the course for future years to maximize the benefits for all stakeholders.
NAGCAS conference 2010
Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy