Course selection provides an opportunity for you to reflect with your daughter or son about their interests, strengths and abilities. It is also a good time to for you and your children to discuss their future goals and aspirations.
We have included some tips that may be helpful for you and your children on selecting their courses.
Engage your Child
- Communicate about their strengths and weaknesses and if need be follow-up with their current teacher(s) to gain additional insight
- Discuss what s/he would like to do after high school and what courses they would need to achieve their goals
- Create a plan/timeline with your child
- Avoid having your child being influenced by their friend’s course selection
- Understand whether the Academic or Applied course format better suits their learning style and future goals
- Understand the Ontario Secondary School graduate requirements
- Review the school’s course calendar to determine what courses are offered
- Learn which courses have prerequisites that must be previously earned
- Review the course curriculum
- Discuss with other parents and/or students who have taken these courses previously and are following similar career paths
Utilize Education Professionals
- Make an appointment with the school guidance counsellor to provide information and advice
- If applicable, inquire about special education specific course support
- Attend high school open houses and ask questions about course options
- Talk to soon-to-be teachers about what your son or daughter can expect in their class
- Visit University/College websites and fairs to learn about prerequisite high school courses needed for specific programs
High school students and parents often ask about how they can learn more about career opportunities and how best to position themselves for the future.
Below are some helpful tips for any student to get engaged and begin to understand potential career paths.
Gain Real World Experience
The best way to learn about the careers that may interest you is to see first-hand what different jobs entail, both formally and informally. On the formal side, there are numerous programs for students to learn about career options. Take Our Kids to Work Day in early November is an excellent annual program where 200,000 grade 9 students spend the day at work job shadowing a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host. Also, high schools provide Co-op programs where students can spend part of their school day getting on the job experience in a career that may interest them. On the informal side, we would encourage students to speak with family and friends to learn more about their careers and the paths they took.
Keep Doors Open
As students consider what careers may interest them, it is important they keep as many doors open as possible. Parents and students can leverage a variety of resources, including reviewing requirements for University / College programs, utilizing education professionals (ie. Guidance Counselors) and learning about the course curriculum and pre-requisites.
Both developing a good resume and being prepared for interviews are very important as students look to gain further experience. We would recommend that students begin to build a resume early in high school and practice for future interviews. In addition to support from family or friends, there are numerous resources both online or through education professionals that can help provide guidance.
As students consider their course selection and potential career interests, it is important they continue to gain opportunities to better understand their interests, strengths and abilities.
Take Our Kids to Work Day is an excellent program for Grade 9 students to gain a better understanding of the complexity of career choices and the benefits of early exploration.
On Wednesday, November 7 over 200,000 students across Canada will spend the day at work, job shadowing a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host.
Benefits for Students
- Develop a better understanding and appreciation of the workplace
- Link classroom and workplace experiences in a practical way
- Begin discussions with adults about their career options
- Gain a better understanding of the importance of career choices and the benefits of early exploration
How Parents can get Involved
- Engage in discussions on career options before and after the visit
- Invite your daughter or son to spend the day with you
- Contact the school, speak with the guidance counselor or co-op teacher and ask if they can assist in finding a suitable placement for the day
- Contact local businesses and ask if they are hosting students in an area your daughter or son may be interested in
- Ensure you have reviewed the safety of the location prior to your child’s workplace visit
Please feel free to contact us we can be of any further help as you and your child continue to explore career options.