Career education across Canada varies based on provinces and territories. While curriculums differ in structure, they are all designed to help youth find success. Here is a breakdown of curriculum information for elementary and high school cohorts.
CALM is a high school career and life management program with a holistic approach that considers emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and physical dimensions. It aims to help students make decisions based on values and goals, so they can plot their future career path. CALM is a three-credit course, including Career and Life Choices, and its completion is required for graduation.
Geared toward students from Grades 5 to Grade 9, CTF is an optional program that examines career possibilities and occupational areas. It allows students to explore their passions, interests and skills.
Under the CTS, secondary schools in Alberta can design flexible programming using one-credit courses that meet the needs of senior students and incorporate community resources. The pathways model provides opportunities to personalize student learning including exploring interests and managing transitions between high school and the workplace or post-secondary.
The curriculum is grounded in the idea of pursuing a “journey” in personally meaningful and goal-oriented ways. This webpage outlines the curriculum for each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 12. In Grades 10-12, the curriculum focuses on:
- Career-Life Education: emphasizing career-life choices, cultivating networks, finding work-life balance and fostering lifelong learning.
- Career-Life Connections: focusing on career-life development, decisions, reciprocal relationships, career-life balance and active citizenship. This guide provides an overview, delivery examples and capstone criteria.
Career Development Education aims to ensure students understand the relevance of their education and the link to knowledge acquisition, skill development and tools for transition. The high school curriculum is optional, and available in full and half-credit courses. This flyer provides details on courses available from Grade 9 to 12: Credit for Employment, Career Development Internship and Community Service Student-Initiated Project.
The principles of Universal Design for Learning are applied in the K-12 curriculum. The education strategy aims to engage students, educators, families and community organizations through inclusivity, innovation and collaboration. Educators can take Career Connected Learning Online Modules to incorporate learning competencies into their classroom practice.
Learn more about the New Brunswick model in this Careering magazine article by Tricia Berry, Learning Specialist with the New Brunswick Government: Applying Universal Design as a pathway to inclusive career education.
Newfoundland and Labrador
With a focus on lifelong learning, the curriculum has eight general curriculum outcomes of what students are expected to know and do. They have three strands: Personal Management, Career Exploration/Learning and Work Exploration, and Career Preparation: Life/Work Building. There are specific modules and courses for Elementary, Intermediate and High School.
The Northwest Territories uses a revised version of the curriculum in Alberta. It includes organizing courses by levels (introductory, intermediate and advanced) and not grades, which creates multiple entry points. The CTS program has five clusters and more than 1,000 one-credit courses in 28 occupational areas, which are aligned with the National Occupational Classification.
The curriculum has full and half-credit courses that build on content from healthy living/life skills courses within Grades 7 to 9. The high school courses, which are a mix of optional and mandatory, include:
- Career development for Grade 10
- Co-operative education for Grades 10, 11 and 12
- Life/Work transitions for Grade 10
- Career development for Grade 11
Like Alberta, competency-based CTS instructional units are available. CTS courses in Nunavut consist of a suite of Nunavut Cultural Courses (NCS) and Alberta CTS courses.
The overarching educational curriculum transcends subject-specific content areas, with core curriculum organized by strand and subject. One of these strands is Iqqaqqaukkaringniq, which encompasses Career and Technology Studies, Math, Science, from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Students explore questions about their identity and goals as they progress through the education system. From kindergarten to Grade 6, students may create a portfolio of their work and personal reflections. From Grades 7 to 12, students can record their goals in an Individual Pathways Plan tool on a web-based software. Implementing programs is up to the schools’ discretion.
This half-credit course is compulsory for graduation. Career Studies is designed to help students gain the knowledge and practical skills they need to explore and learn about various career options.
Prince Edward Island
PEI’s Career and Technical Education Curriculum includes multiple streams: Automotive, Carpentry, Robotics, Technical Education and Welding.
This curricular area is nested under Business Education in the Grades 10 to 12 curriculum. The Career Exploration & Opportunities course provides students with a platform to develop the skills they need to become self-directed individuals who make healthy decisions, set achievable goals and take responsibility for pursuing their goals throughout life.
At the secondary level, Quebec includes Career Development as an area of learning. The education program includes focuses on Personal and Career Planning and Career Planning and Entrepreneurship.
The curriculum is offered at the following levels, with each having specific outcomes and indicators:
Yukon’s career curriculum is aligned with British Columbia’s curriculum program. Its adaptation includes Yukon content; and Yukon First Nations’ ways of knowing and doing. Students in Grades 10 to 12 must meet BC’s credit and course requirements to graduate. Career-Life Education and Career-Life Connections are among the required credits.
- Alberta Education: Career and Life Management
- Career Education (Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy)
- Career Development (Manitoba)
- What Career-Focused Curriculum Looks Like (Harvard Business Publishing)