The following blog post was written by Nilay Thomas, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. This story is a continuation of our blog series on the Centre's Youth in Transition (YiT) program.
The Youth in Transition course guide mandates that “identifying and navigating education and career pathways” is an integral part of our practice in the program.
In our program all our learners have academic goals. Being college ready and having an adequate knowledge of the Canadian post-secondary education system are the most significant outcomes in all levels of the program. From the moment the learners access the program, we focus on setting SMART goals every step of the way.
Each learner has his/her own specific pathway and his/her own individually designed action plan that is laid out as soon as they enter the program. Each learner has their unique pace and aptitude depending on their background, motivation, success and life outside of school.
To make better decisions about their pathways our learners meet with our Learner Retention and Success Officer at least twice a term to create an effective action plan.
Goal setting in the YiT program is three fold: weekly goals (short term goals), midterm goals, and end of the term goals. Learners also set long term goals for their post ELL studies and career goals.
- For their weekly goals, learners may choose to work on a specific task(s) in a skill area.
- For midterm goals, learners choose to improve specific skills and explain how they will achieve it. At midterm, each instructor has a discussion with learners individually as to what degree they have reached their goals. Learners decide on what they need to work on for the rest of the term in the light of the feedback and coaching they get from their instructors and their own self-reflection.
- For their post ELL studies and career goals, the learners are encouraged to research and make informed decisions based on their findings.
The goal-oriented system we have enabled our learners to take accountability of their learning and take continuous action toward reaching their goals. Goal setting enhances the learners' ability to identify and solve the issues that may arise along their pathways.