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CareerLAB – an Innovative Model for Supporting Faculty & Staff who Prepare Students for the 21st Century Labour Market (E)

Stream: Supporting Teaching, Learning and Student Success

Vancouver Community College has been preparing students for skilled work for decades through highly experiential, classroom-embedded learning activities led by faculty and staff in their own teaching departments. Students build career readiness within this decentralized learning model despite the absence of an institutional career centre and work-integrated learning (WIL/Co-op) office.The VCC CareerLAB started in 2018 as a collaborative innovation to support career influencers in preparing their students to enter a rapidly changing labour market. A research study conducted in 2020 revealed that VCC faculty and staff often leverage their educational and industry-specific experiences, as well as their own career journeys, to inform how they teach career readiness and support students’ employment goals. These faculty and staff, however, rarely have direct connection to contemporary career development and WIL theories and practices. The CareerLAB serves as a bridge between VCC career influencers and the knowledge base found in the professional career development and WIL realms.Participants will hear how the CareerLAB initiative supports VCC career influencers to expand their existing expertise and meet the changing and diverse career readiness needs of students. Participants will also consider the potential implications for institutions with career centres and WIL/Co-op offices that are looking to extend the reach of these centralized services into the classroom, and how career influencers can and do play a pivotal role.

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