Enhancing employability within curriculum using the Career Focus Module Faculty Spark - View, reflect and apply

Last updated on 10/09/2019

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Description

The Careers and Employment Service in collaboration with Griffith Health created an online careers development module that has been embedded in the first year of programs across the Faculty.

Challenge

Students from the Health disciplines often have very clear ideas about the path they wish their careers to take. However, they frequently lack a depth in their understanding of the realities of their chosen profession or the key skills that are required to succeed in the field. This is felt more acutely in the non-professions based (generic) programs that have broad career opportunities.

For students from generic programs, engagement in extra and co-curricular activities can make a real difference in supporting graduate transitions. Despite the importance of these activities, students often fail to plan adequately to facilitate deep engagement in a broad range of co-curricular experiences. It is thus vital for their future employability for students to commence their career journey and develop their professional identity from the first trimester of studies.

Across the Faculty of Health a significant amount of work was taking place in the curriculum to support students in developing their professional competencies. Whilst a number of disciplines share courses across programs, depending upon the structure of the program students were experiencing great variation in their exposure to, and understanding of, career planning and awareness of the realities of their chosen profession.

Approach

In an attempt to support students to better plan their experiences across the student lifecycle, the Health Group committed to support embedding an online learning activity in the first year of the suite of undergraduate programs.

A collaboration was forged between Griffith Health (academics, curriculum consultants and blended learning advisors) and the Careers and Employment Service to place employability on the agenda of students from the first year of their studies. This was achieved through the implementation of a re-designed Careers Focus Module.

The Careers Focus Module is integrated into the Learning@Griffith course site for key subjects across the first year of Health programs. The module is designed from the foundation of the SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) model and contains: an overview of the career options available from the degree program; a series of embedded industry videos (including alumni and employer perspectives) that help students to unpack the profession and; offer's guidance about the key skills and experiences that will support students in their professional lives.

Learning activities within the module are designed to explain key concepts in career management, and students are asked to reflect upon their career aspirations and to develop strategies to achieve these goals (such as volunteering or clinical placements).

From the activities and reflections within the module, students are able to develop a career plan that includes their career goal and tangible activities they will undertake across their time at university to support their success. This plan is then submitted in one of three assessment forms (chosen by the convenor) worth 10% for the course:

  1. Short video (2 minutes)
  2. Poster
  3. Written career plan.

Academics are provided with an overview of the assessment task, marking rubric for all three assessment items and decide upon the most appropriate assessment modality for their cohort.

Students first encounter the Career Summary that is embedded within the Careers Focus Module at Open Day with academics highlighting the multiple pathways that students can pursue as part of the degree. Students then are introduced to the module during their first trimester of studies.

It was thus a key priority existing resources were drawn upon and that the module was tailored to each of the professional disciplines, with a flexible assessment structure.

Outcomes

Through embedding the Careers Focus Module into assessment, it is highlighted to students that career management is a critical component of their development. It also provides students with the forum to receive feedback regarding their career plans and to discover multiple career pathways. By allowing time within the first year for students to understand the rapidly changing graduate labour market, students have the opportunity to reflect upon who they are and what they can do.

Enabling Technology

As the Careers Focus Module is integrated into Learning@Griffith course sites, you will need to have it added to your course.

Implement

For others looking at implementing employability or career development concepts tailored to your disciplines, we recommend you contact the Careers and Employment Service https://www.griffith.edu.au/careers-employment/for-staff

The Careers Focus module essentially consists of a common shell allowing rapid customisation and tailoring, yet retaining common suggested learning outcomes, assessment rubrics that can be used as a ‘plug and play’ for all disciplines at Griffith. Similar concepts can be created for all undergraduate, postgraduate and HDR programs.

Next Steps

The Careers Focus Module was piloted across 15 programs within the Health Group in 2017. It is the intention of Griffith Health to embed this across the majority of Health programs in 2018. 

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Licence

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Preferred Citation

Vanderlelie, J., Dobinson, T., & Learning Futures (2019). Enhancing employability within curriculum using the Career Focus Module. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/4625/view