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Holistic Career Development- An Aboriginal Approach

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Presentation on theme: "Holistic Career Development- An Aboriginal Approach"— Presentation transcript:

1 Holistic Career Development- An Aboriginal Approach
Acknowledge host Nations – Algonquin & Metis homeland (Kelly) Introduce ourselves As this presentation is about a holistic approach to career development, we’ll start with a prayer (Nancy)

2 Holistic Approach Spiritual Physical Emotional Mental
We have started in our first realm with Spirituality Acknowledge that starting with a prayer may have been unusual and maybe even uncomfortable for some This is the same with our students Not talking about religion here Research and best practices show that it is best to use a holistic approach when learning anything new Mental

3 Our Journey to Holistic Career Development – The Numbers
In 2007, we looked at the statistics for the five preceding years. The statistics indicated that there were only 45 graduates from our local Nursery to Grade 12 school. Out of the 45 graduates: 1 - Graduated from a post secondary program and was no longer attending; 3 - Were continuing in the same program; 5 - Were continuing in a new program without completing the first program; 23 - Had started but were no longer continuing; 11 - Never attempted post secondary education; and 2 - Graduated and were continuing in another program. $13,220: What our First Nation spends to fund a student in their first year of post-secondary studies (i.e. tuition, books, allowances, rental subsidies, relocation costs etc.).

4 Our Journey to Holistic Career Development – The Program
The Enhancement Year Program (EYP) was established in our community in 2007 in order to ensure that our graduates had better chance of attaining post secondary success. Students were not completing programs, were not entering meaningful employment and not making positive life choices. They did not have the skills: To function in an urban setting To choose an appropriate program (i.e. career choice) To be successful in academics (studying, numeracy, literacy) To be independent, responsible and self-confident To cope with overall “life” issues.

5 Background – The Process
Role of post secondary institutions Researched other programs and did a literature review Contacted post-secondary institutions Consulted with the community Recruited partnerships – Jobmatics TM Developed a team Developed the program Jobmatics had programs (Smart Focusing & Career Focusing) We were able to work with them to further develop programs to meet our own needs & to incorporated the holistic approach

6 EYP Model The EYP was developed based on the Medicine Wheel teachings – holistic model. It is used to encourage students to live a balanced life that includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual strength; whatever form that spirituality takes. Post-secondary students who live a balanced life are more likely to be successful. In line with the medicine wheel, the EYP also strives to find a balance between supporting students (hand-holding) and student independence (letting go). Each student is at a different place in this journey, but the overall goal is to increase their self-reliance.

7 Starting with Life Skills
Designed to give the student an introduction to interpersonal communications. Course content includes: overview of communications self-concept Perceptions Listening non-verbal communication understanding of how interpersonal relationships work. Presents an overview of the nature of groups, group problem-solving and communication climates in a group setting. Program has 6 on-reserve courses & 2 urban courses post-secondary accredited through RRC Calendar is specifically designed to start with Life Skills This is where students begin to first work in the emotional and spiritual realms.

8 What We Do – Career FocusingTM is…
... a straightforward process that will teach you: • how to decide what types of work would truly suit you • how to pick the types of education or training that would suit you best • how to build a plan that makes sense for you • how to adapt or change the plan when you need or want to Students say that Career Focusing™ helps them feel focused and clear about what choices make sense for them, and motivated to develop and follow their plans. ©Jobmatics 2008

9 What We Do - Career FocusingTM
The Big 3... Keys to Work that Fits You are doing work that fits when you... Work with what you love: artifact bag → Focus 2) Work in a way that suits you: innate preferences → Preference Identification Tools (PITs) 3) Work in a way that reflects your realities: • academic • financial • personal • work (learned) skills

10 What We Do - Career FocusingTM
What we added… Wellness Plan Focus on budget (including “Free Money”) Portfolio (including formal presentation) Field trips Aboriginal Learning Styles Functioning in a digital & form-filled world (i.e. Essential Skills) Career Development Inventory

11 The Inventory In we did a Career Development Inventory (before and after) and compiled the results. Results showed us: Knowledge increased (e.g. occupation vs. career) Value of career planning increased Decision-making and planning refined Awareness of importance of “fit”, barriers and realities increased So we have empirical data to show us that our holistic approach to career development is making a difference!!

12 The Study The program included a research component (with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies) so that the team could keep track of lessons learned and if the program was having an impact and what kind of impact it was having on the students over the course of five years. The Final report was completed after five years and presented to the team and the Board of Education. The Study showed us we were making progress, but had further work to do. Increasing numbers of students were entering and continuing post-secondary. Next step: collect post-secondary completion numbers and workforce (entering, maintaining) numbers.

13 Challenges Encountered
Emotional - self-esteem issues, passivity, apathy, dependence Intellectual – more preparation is required – prior Learning, assisting them with becoming self-reliant, independent learners (i.e. homework & time management) Physical - drug & alcohol abuse, addictions are an issue, addictions/unhealthy lifestyle (lack of balance) interferes with goals (i.e. attendance) Spiritual – values/spiritual disconnection, they don’t have that sense of identity due to loss of culture/colonization These challenges are based on the individual and do not include the external challenges students face such as housing, availability of a support system, transportation, child care, etc.

14 What’s next? Enhanced Grade 12 Further “backtracking”
Collecting more data Partnerships & Mentorships

15 Questions???

16 Thank You For further information contact:

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