Course Description

This course teaches students how to develop and achieve personal goals for future learning, work and community involvement. Students will assess their interests, skills and characteristics and investigate current economic and workplace trends, work opportunities, and ways to search for work. The course explores post-secondary learning and career options, prepares students for managing work and life transitions, and helps students focus on their goals through the development of a career plan and post-secondary budget.

Unit Titles and DescriptionsTime Allocated
Finding a Job

Students already have a range of skills, interests and experiences that make them employable, the challenge is finding just the right match between their current profile and employment that is available. In this unit, students analyze current strengths and interests. They then discuss what strategies they might employ right now to become more competitive in the job market. Students discuss what to expect, in terms of their rights and responsibilities, if they get a job. Finally, students go through strategies for résumé and cover letter writing, approaching employers with or without job ads, interviewing, and other skills prerequisite to the job hunt.

14 hours
Taking the Reins

While students might be employable now, they might not yet be in a position to go after their dream career. That might take some more schooling, experience or other skills. Students are provided with an overview in this unit of a wide range of educational opportunities available to them beyond secondary school. Students discuss types of jobs available in a number of different sectors, and some of the professional organizations that regulate them. Then, students analyze one interesting possibility-that of entrepreneurship, or being their own boss.

12 hours
Future Career

Students now have a sense of their skills and interests, they have identified one or more careers that they might like to have in the future, and they’ve been presented with a variety of opportunities available to them after high school to get there. Where do they begin? This unit is about taking what students know about themselves and about what is available, and making a plan. The unit goes over planning a path for education, job experience, and acquiring skills that will make them competitive. They discuss the virtues of, and strategies for, networking both in person and on the web. Finally, there is a section all about the more realistic aspects of the job hunt-job futures analysis, what to do in the case of unemployment, and strategies for planning alternate career paths without compromising their primary goals.

12 hours
Life After High School

Students have worked out a plan for what they want to do throughout the course, but they need to consider how they will pay for it all. This unit goes through various methods of paying, saving, and budgeting for their future. It explores expenses they will face in their first year living on their own, post-secondary education costs, financial planning, sources of income, options for loans, bursaries, banking, and creating a post-secondary that will help them achieve their financial goals.

13 hours
Final Assessments

This project is worth 20% of the final grade. This is a career portfolio that becomes a strong opportunity for mastery learning, as the teacher assesses artifacts of the portfolio as students progress through the course.

2 hours

This project is worth 20% of the final grade. This is a career portfolio that becomes a strong opportunity for mastery learning, as the teacher assesses artifacts of the portfolio as students progress through the course.

2 hours
Total55 hours

Resources required by the student:

Note: This course is entirely online and does not require or rely on any textbook.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Developing the Skills, Strategies, and Habits Needed to Succeed
A1demonstrate an understanding of the skills, strategies, and habits that can contribute to success in the pursuit of educational and career/life opportunities and in the achievement of a healthy school/life/work balance
A2apply various decision-making strategies to help them set goals, reflecting on and documenting their goal-setting process
B. Exploring and Preparing for the World of Work
B1demonstrate an understanding, based on research, of a variety of local and global trends related to work and employment, including the effect some of those trends have had on workers’ rights and responsibilities and on the role of transferable skills in career development today
B2develop a personal profile based on an exploration of their interests, values, skills, strengths, and needs, and examine the range of factors that can influence their future education and career/life opportunities
B3taking their personal profile into account, explore, research, and identify a few postsecondary destinations of interest, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace, and investigate the secondary school pathways that lead to those destinations
C. Preparation for Transitions and Change
C1develop a plan for their first postsecondary year, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace, and prepare a variety of materials for communicating their strengths and aspirations to prospective mentors, program administrators, employers, and/or investors
C2demonstrate an understanding of responsible management of financial resources and of services available to support their financial literacy as they prepare a budget for their first postsecondary year


Teaching & Learning Strategies:

Helping students become self-directed, lifelong learners is a fundamental aim of the guidance and career education curriculum. When students are engaged in active and experiential learning strategies, they tend to retain knowledge for longer periods and develop meaningful skills. Active and experiential learning strategies also enable students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life issues and situations.

Some of the teaching and learning strategies that are suitable to material taught in guidance and career education include cooperative small-group learning, one-on-one teaching, guided learning, personal reflection, role playing, simulations, case-study analysis, presentations, and tasks involving real workplace materials, experiential learning, and independent study. Teachers must provide a wide range of activities and assignments that promote mastery of basic concepts and development of inquiry/research skills.

In the guidance and career education program, teachers provide students with opportunities to develop self-knowledge and make connections with the world around them. Students learn how to work independently and with others as they acquire the essential skills and work habits needed for success in school, in the workplace, and in daily life. Students learn how to make decisions about future learning and work, how to put plans into action responsibly, and how to reflect on the actions they’ve taken and revise their plans as necessary. They learn by doing. They synthesize what they have learned by reflecting, analysing, evaluating, making decisions, and setting goals. They apply their learning both in the classroom and in other contexts, and they evaluate their progress.

Ultimately, students learn to take responsibility for their own learning in preparation for life beyond secondary school. It is essential to emphasize the relationship of guidance and career education to the world outside the classroom, so that students recognize that what they learn in these courses can have a significant influence on the rest of their lives, from their educational choices to decisions about their careers and personal lives.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Strategies of Student Performance:

Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education’s Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.

Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by ICE teachers. ICE assessments and evaluations,

  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
  • 30% of the grade will be based on final evaluations administered at the end of the course. The final assessment may be a final exam, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.

The Report Card:

Student achievement will be communicated formally to students via an official report card. Report cards are issued at the midterm point in the course, as well as upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on two distinct, but related aspects of student achievement. First, the achievement of curriculum expectations is reported as a percentage grade. Additionally, the course median is reported as a percentage. The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student’s strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps. Second, the learning skills are reported as a letter grade, representing one of four levels of accomplishment. The report card also indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned. Upon completion of a course, ICE will send a copy of the report card back to the student’s home school (if in Ontario) where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student’s home address.

Program Planning Considerations:

Teachers who are planning a program in this subject will make an effort to take into account considerations for program planning that align with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy and initiatives in a number of important areas.


Institute of Canadian Education (ICE), Toronto.

Head Quarters (Toronto)
140 La Rose Ave #201, Etobicoke, ON M9P 1B2
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