Introduction

This curriculum policy presents the revised and updated curriculum expectations for the compulsory Grade 10 Career Studies course (GLC2O). This revised course supersedes the course outlined in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 and 10: Guidance and Career Education, 2006. The Grade 10 Career Studies course implemented in all Ontario secondary schools is now based on the expectations outlined in this curriculum policy.

Educators should be aware that, with the exception of this course, the 2006 Guidance and Career Education document for Grades 9 and 10 remains in effect. The Grade 9 course Learning Strategies I: Skills for Success in Secondary School (GLS1O, GLE1O, GLE2O) and the Grade 10 course Discovering the Workplace (GLD2O) will continue to be based on the curriculum expectations outlined in that curriculum document.

To prepare students for the future, it is necessary to empower them to take an active role in finding their path in the world of work and the community. With the rapid pace of technological, social, and cultural change in today’s global economy and with new understandings of what a career looks like in this context, it is more important than ever that students be supported in their transition from secondary school to their initial postsecondary destination, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace. Thoughtful and intentional education and career/life planning that involves both parents and educators is essential in ensuring that students make well-informed decisions as they look ahead. It is also important that students learn about the fundamentals of financial management, so that they can be informed about and responsible for the implications of their decisions, and better managers of their own lives.

The revised Career Studies course will enable students to consolidate and share what they have learned in the four areas of learning of the education and career/life planning framework – Knowing Yourself, Exploring Opportunities, Making Decisions and Setting Goals, and Achieving Goals and Making Transitions – at a key time in their education. While exploring the career opportunities that are available to them, their own interests, values, and goals, and their particular pathway options, students will also learn about the skills, strategies, and resources that can help them adapt to change and challenges and become lifelong learners.

Curriculum Expectations and Supporting Elements

Mandatory learning is described in the overall and specific expectations of each strand. The overall expectations describe in general terms the skills and knowledge that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of each course. The specific expectations describe the expected skills and knowledge in greater detail.

Supporting elements – examples, teacher prompts, and instructional tips – are included for many of the specific expectations. These are offered strictly as illustrations for teachers. They do not represent mandatory learning, and they are not meant to be exhaustive. The examples are meant to clarify the requirement specified in the expectation, illustrating the kind of skill or knowledge, the specific area of learning, the depth of learning, and/or the level of complexity that the expectation entails. The “teacher prompts” are sample guiding questions that can lead to discussion and promote deeper understanding, and the “instructional tips” are intended to support educators in delivering instruction related to the knowledge and skills set out in the expectations.

Strands

The expectations for this course are organized into three distinct but related strands. Strand A, which focuses on developing  the skills and habits students need for success in planning and in meeting their goals, must not be seen as independent of the other strands: Instruction and learning related to the expectations in strand A are to be interwoven with instruction and learning related to expectations in strands B and  C, and  students’ achievement of the expectations in strand A must be assessed and evaluated throughout the course.

Strand A. Developing the Skills, Strategies, and Habits Needed to Succeed

  • This strand outlines student learning about the skills, strategies, and habits that will contribute to long-term individual success and well-being. Students will develop decision-making strategies and apply them throughout the course. They will also focus on skills and strategies that support adaptability and resilience.

Strand B. Exploring and Preparing for the World of Work

  • Students explore the changing nature of work and the transferable skills they need to pursue work opportunities, with a focus on opportunities in key growth areas. They investigate how digital media use and a social media presence can influence their career/life opportunities. They assess and reflect on their own skills, values, and interests, developing  a personal profile and taking it into account in their education and career/life planning, and they explore opportunities within their own communities and beyond.

Strand C. Planning and Financial Management to Help Meet Postsecondary Goals

  • In this strand, students apply information gathered throughout the course to set a goal (or goals) for their first year after secondary school. They develop an initial plan for fulfilling their goal(s), and then consolidate their discoveries and learning by preparing various materials related to applying for a job, internship, apprenticeship, scholarship, education or training program, or other next step of their choice. Learning in this strand develops students’ financial literacy, teaching them about the importance of responsible management of financial resources. Among other things, they learn about the different forms of saving and borrowing and the risks and benefits associated with each as they create a budget for their first year after secondary school.

Outlined below are some policy considerations that are of particular importance to program planning for the Career Studies course. For more information  about considerations for program planning, educators should refer to “Some Considerations for Program Planning” in The Ontario Curriculum,  Grades 11 and 12: Cooperative Education, 2018.

Education and Career/Life Planning

The curriculum expectations in Career Studies provide opportunities for educators to relate classroom learning to the education and career/life planning policy outlined in Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools – Policy and Program Requirements, Kindergarten to Grade 12, 2013. This policy, which is designed to prepare students for success in school, work, and life, identifies the following goals for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12:

  • ensure that all students develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed education and career/life choices;
  • provide classroom and school-wide opportunities for this learning; and
  • engage parents and the broader community in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, to support students in their learning.

The intent of the program is to ensure that students leave secondary school with a clear plan for their initial postsecondary destination, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace, and with confidence in their ability to implement, and revise or adapt, their plan throughout their lives as they and the world around them change.

The framework of the program is a four-step inquiry process based on four questions linked to four areas of learning: 

  1. Knowing Yourself – Who am I? 
  2.  Exploring Opportunities – What are my opportunities?
  3. Making Decisions and Setting Goals – Who do I want to become? 
  4. Achieving  Goals and Making Transitions – What is my plan for achieving my goals?
Four separately coloured ovals overlap and are linked around a central oval with the words: Education and Career/Life Planning. Each oval is labelled as follows, clockwise from top: [inside:] “Who am I?”, [outside:] “Knowing Yourself”;  [inside:] “What are my opportunities?”, [outside:] “Exploring Opportunities” ; [inside:] “Who do I want to become?”, [outside:] “Making Decisions and Setting Goals”; [inside:] “What is my plan for achieving my goals?”, [outside:] “Achieving Goals and Making Transitions”.

Classroom teachers support students in education and career/life planning by providing them with learning opportunities, filtered through the lens of the four areas of learning, that allow them to apply subject-specific knowledge  and skills; explore subject-related education and career/life options; and become competent, self-directed planners. Students reflect on and consolidate their learning in an Individual Pathways Plan (IPP), which typically contains: a record of their initial postsecondary destination, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace, and of their other postsecondary goals or plans; a detailed plan for completing the courses and experiences required to achieve their goals; and strategies to support the plan, overcome obstacles and challenges, and access the resources and assistance needed. Students’ work in the Career Studies course can inform the development of their IPP, and  vice  versa.

Experiential Learning in Career Studies

The Career Studies course helps prepare students for the world of work, supporting their exploration of different kinds of work in different fields as well as their development of transferable skills. Experiential learning opportunities help broaden students’ knowledge of themselves and of career opportunities in a wide range of fields.

Planned learning experiences in the community, including job shadowing and job twinning, field trips, work experience, and cooperative education, provide students with opportunities to see the relevance of their classroom learning in a work setting, make connections between school and work, and explore a career of interest as they plan their pathway through secondary school and on to their postsecondary destination. Through experiential learning, students develop the skills and work habits required in the workplace and acquire a direct understanding of employer and workplace expectations. In addition, experiential learning helps students develop self-knowledge and awareness of opportunities – two areas of learning in the education and career/life planning program outlined in Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools – Policy and Program Requirements, Kindergarten to Grade 12, 2013.

For information about assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student achievement, educators should refer to Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12, 2010. This document sets out the provincial assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy. The policy aims to maintain high standards, improve student learning, and benefit students, parents, and teachers in elementary  and secondary schools across the province. Successful implementation of this policy depends on the professional judgement of educators at all levels as well as on their ability to work together and to build trust and confidence among parents and students. 

Major aspects of assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy are summarized in the main Assessment and Evaluation section. The key tool for assessment and evaluation in Career Studies - the achievement chart - is provided below.

The Achievement Chart for Career Studies

The achievement chart provided here has been updated and adapted from the discipline achievement chart given in the Guidance and Career Education document (2006) for use with the revised Career Studies course.

Knowledge and Understanding – Knowledge of subject-specific content of the course, and understanding of its meaning and significance
Categories 50 – 59%
(Level 1) 
60 – 69%
(Level 2)
70 –79%
(Level 3)
80 – 100%
(Level 4)
  The student:
Knowledge of content (e.g., information, terminology, vocabulary) demonstrates limited knowledge of content demonstrates some knowledge of content demonstrates considerable knowledge of content demonstrates thorough knowledge of content
Understanding of content (e.g., skills, processes, concepts, strategies) demonstrates
limited understanding of content
demonstrates some understanding of content demonstrates considerable understanding of content demonstrates thorough understanding of content
Thinking – The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes
Categories 50 – 59%
(Level 1) 
60 – 69%
(Level 2)
70 –79%
(Level 3)
80 – 100%
(Level 4)
  The student:
Use of planning skills (e.g., setting goals, gathering and organizing information and ideas) uses planning skills with limited
effectiveness
uses planning skills with some effectiveness uses planning skills with considerable
effectiveness
uses planning skills with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of processing skills (e.g., analysing, reflecting, revising, refining, evaluating, extending, integrating, and detecting point of view and bias) uses processing skills with limited
effectiveness
uses processing skills with some
effectiveness
uses processing skills with considerable
effectiveness
uses processing skills with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of critical/creative thinking processes (e.g., use of decision-making, research and inquiry, problem-solving, and metacognition processes) uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with limited effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with some effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with considerable effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication – The conveying of meaning through various forms 
Categories 50 – 59%
(Level 1) 
60 – 69%
(Level 2)
70 –79%
(Level 3)
80 – 100%
(Level 4)
  The student:
Expression and organization of ideas and information (e.g., clarity of expression, logical organization) in oral, visual, and/or written forms (e.g., interviews, presentations, portfolios, graphic organizers, posters, letters, résumés, emails) expresses and
organizes ideas and information with limited effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas
and information with some effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas and information
with considerable
effectiveness
expresses and organizes ideas and information
with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, potential employers) and purposes (e.g., to inform, to persuade, to solve problems) in oral, visual, and/or written forms communicates for different audiences and purposes with limited effectiveness communicates for different audiences and purposes with some effectiveness communicates for different audiences and purposes with
considerable effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with a high degree of
effectiveness
Use of conventions (e.g., style, format, level of language, forms of address), vocabulary, and terminology of the career sector of interest to the student in oral, visual, and/or written forms uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology with
limited effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology with
some effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology with
considerable
effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology with a high degree of
effectiveness
Application – The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts
Categories 50 – 59%
(Level 1) 
60 – 69%
(Level 2)
70 –79%
(Level 3)
80 – 100%
(Level 4)
  The student:
Application of knowledge and skills (e.g., education and career/life planning, goal setting, use of technology) in familiar contexts applies knowledge and skills in familiar
contexts with limited effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with some
effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar
contexts with
considerable
effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g., transferable skills, education and career/life planning) to new contexts (e.g., refining and extending skills in authentic classroom scenarios) transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with limited effectiveness transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with some effectiveness transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with considerable
effectiveness
transfers
knowledge and
skills to new contexts with a high degree of
effectiveness
Making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., between learning in the course and the development of their Individual Pathways Plan (IPP); within and between courses; between learning in school, personal experiences, and future opportunities) makes connections
within and between
various contexts with limited effectiveness
makes connections
within and between various contexts with some effectiveness
makes connections
within and between various contexts with considerable
effectiveness
makes connections
within and between various contexts with a high degree of effectiveness