Education and career planning
Find out how students in all grades learn to make informed choices for their education, career and life outside school.
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About education and career/life planning
Education and career/life planning helps students:
- develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices for their education, career and life outside school
- choose the courses and activities that support their goals and interests
- make a smooth transition to their first postsecondary destination, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university or the workplace
- learn more about themselves and their opportunities
- set goals
- make plans to achieve their goals
Students are encouraged to discuss their learning with parents and teachers regularly.
Ontario schools have a variety of programs to help meet the needs, interests and strengths of all students, engaging them in learning and preparing them for graduation, life beyond high school and the jobs of the future. Learn about other programs in schools that help students explore careers.
What students learn
The program teaches students how to understand themselves better and plan for the future. It does this by helping students develop answers to four key questions:
- Who am I?
- What are my opportunities?
- Who do I want to become?
- What is my plan for achieving my goals?
Students explore these questions throughout the program to develop answers that are meaningful to them. By doing this, they gain the knowledge and skills that will help them plan and make decisions about their future.
The table below outlines the skills and knowledge students will gain through each of the key questions.
|Key questions||Skills and knowledge area|
Who am I?
What are my opportunities?
Who do I
Making decisions and setting goals
What is my plan
Achieving goals and making transitions
How students develop and apply their learning
Students develop and apply knowledge and skills about education and career/life planning through:
- classroom activities related to the curriculum
- school-wide activities like career fairs and postsecondary presentations
- activities in the community, such as recreational, social, leadership and volunteer activities, and part-time employment
- programs that offer experiential learning, for example job shadowing, cooperative education, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Specialist High Skills Majors and dual credit programs.
Recording what students learn
The way that students record their education and career/life planning learning and reflections changes as they progress through the education system.
Kindergarten to grade 6
Students may have an All About Me portfolio, which is a collection of their work and personal reflections. This portfolio may include artwork, tests, video and audio recordings, projects and other items chosen by the student, with the support of the teacher.
Grades 7 to 12
Students record their goals and learning in an Individual Pathways Plan (IPP). The IPP is the main planning tool for students as they move towards the next step after high school. It also provides a valuable archive of their learning and planning resources.
The IPP is web-based software that school boards can choose to use at their schools. My Blueprint and Xello (formerly Career Cruising) are the most common IPP software.
Students are responsible for building and updating their portfolios and IPPs with support from their teachers, parents and other caring adults.
Schools must have a clear process in place to help students in grades 7 to 12:
- create their IPP
- review and revise it at least twice a year with a parent, guardian or teacher
For more details about education and career life planning contact your school’s principal or guidance department. You may also read the Creating Pathways to Success policy.
Learn about the Grade 10 Career Studies course that students must complete to graduate from high school.