The Role of Guidance Counsellors in Calgary's Career Pathways Initiative

Dr. Sharon Pelech
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The Calgary Board of Education (Canada) has begun implementing a new model of education at the secondary level called Career Pathways in an attempt to provide opportunities for students to make connections between their learning, interests and career development. A career Pathway is defined by the Calgary Board of Education as a "multi-year sequence of career guidance, related coursework and work-based learning experiences that supports students in their exploration of a variety of career choices while providing a context for learning" (Calgary Board of Education, 2004, n.p.). My paper looks at the Career Pathway initiative by exploring the origins of the model, and compare them to previous vocational trends in Alberta. An exploration of how guidance counselling has evolved from vocational guidance to present career counselling theory is made in the context of how guidance counsellors in Calgary can best impact and help shape Career Pathways to incorporate Career Counselling theory and therefore best fit the needs of the students.

Keywords: guidance counselling, Career Pathways, Career development, Vocational education
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Role of Guidance Counsellors in Calgary's Career Pathways Initiative, The

Dr. Sharon Pelech

Curriculum Leader Student Services and Career Pathways, Student Services, Ernest Manning High School,, Calgary Board of Education

Sharon Macpherson is a teacher and guidance counsellor that has taught in a wide variety of settings. Her teaching career began in a First Nations community in the Northwest Territories, continued in a small oil-town in Northern Alberta and she is presently in the "big city" of Calgary Alberta. She has taught a wide variety of courses and levels of students with the last seven years focused in Biology and Science. After 15 years of teaching Sharon became a guidance counsellor at a high school. After a year in the department, Sharon was made Curriculum Leader initially with Student Services and then the Career Pathways leadership was added. During this time Sharon completed her Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. During this time she completed as her final culminating project this paper on Career Pathways and Guidance Counsellors. One of her main passions is in Career and Personal Counselling. Sharon keeps her love of biology and science alive by continuing to work with a few students to help them complete their Grade 12 level Biology.

Ref: L05P0678