This article examines an agreement that has been reached between the provincial government and its universities and colleges that will oblige the institutions to choose areas of specialty and avoid expensive overlap.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Careers, business studies

Key Questions to Explore:

  1. Where in the job market are the greatest opportunities?
  2. What post-secondary avenues are open to students?
  3. How are these various options valuable in preparing for future careers?

New Terminology:

Areas of specialty

Materials Needed:

Access to the Internet

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Many research studies show the long term career benefits of a post-secondary education. As a result, there are ever increasing expectations that students will go on to pursue some form of post-secondary education or training. Certainly socio-economic conditions affect the likelihood of an individual following this path. As the needs of a dynamic workplace change, however, it is becoming increasingly important for students to pursue some form of post-secondary education and those without such training are at a definite disadvantage. Universities and colleges have recognized this increased demand and have attempted to develop programs to attract as many students as possible. This has resulted in program overlap and increased funding costs. In an effort to curb these unnecessary overlaps, reduce costs and develop the depth and nature of existing programs, the Ontario provincial government has reached an agreement with its universities and colleges to develop specialized centres. The idea is that, with specialization, these schools will be better able to offer more depth and better address the needs of the economy. This raises the issues of what avenues best meet the future needs of the country and what each of these offers the students in terms of a viable, satisfying career. This lesson will have the students explore the various options and consider the pros and cons of each.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to indicate if they have decided on a career or educational direction to follow once they have finished their secondary education. Ask them to indicate the institution if appropriate.
  • Compile a list of their responses and then review each and ask the students who identified that choice why they selected it.
  • Discuss with them whether or not the identified locations or programs have a specific specialty or reputation.
  • Inform them that the provincial government has reached an agreement with the provincial universities and colleges to establish specific site-based specialty programs.
  • Provide them with a copy of the article and allow them time to read it.
  • Get their reactions to what they have just read.
  • Having done this, work with them to establish a list of possible avenues for post secondary training or education.
  • With this list established, divide the class into groups, depending upon their interest in a specific avenue, and have them research and respond to the following questions:
    1. How does this specific post-secondary education or training prepare you for a future career?
    2. Do the job trend statistics indicate that this post-secondary experience meets current or future economic needs?

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Ask the students to review the information presented by the groups and evaluate whether or not they believe that certain specific post-secondary routes are viable in preparing a person for a meaningful and long-lasting career.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • The students will be able to identify various avenues of post-secondary education and training and be able to indicate whether or not that direction meets long term job market needs.

Confirming Activity:

  • For homework assign the following question:

As you consider the future, what do you see as typical working conditions and where do you believe the greatest job demands will be?