Introduction

This handbook provides detailed information to assist students with their career planning and includes information about the course selection process and senior programs offered at Diamond Valley College.

Over the next few weeks students will undertake a journey to develop some long-term goals and identify the steps they will need to take to achieve them. This can be a difficult journey, but it is part of growing up and it is best to start sooner than later.

It is important that students make decisions based on what is best for them and not their friends or family. Each student is different therefore they will have different, values, interests and pathways to follow. Ideas will evolve and develop as students continue on their journey.

Career planning is a more formal way of thinking about the future by writing down a proposed way forward and periodically revisiting the plan to ensure that it is on the right track. People with higher levels of schooling are more likely to make a successful transition to further study or work.

Our college provides both of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) programs. The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is undertaken by the majority of students and has a more academic focus. The Vocational Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is designed for students seeking apprenticeships or on the job training. Both programs provide options for the individual needs and interests of students.

The VCE is completed over a minimum of two years however three year programs beginning in year 10 or extending into year 13 are common. Students are required to satisfactorily complete 16 units of study, including: 3 units of English and 3 sequences of other studies at Units 3 and 4 level. Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificates may form part of VCE programs.

VCE students should plan their program on the basis of completing 22 units over two years. This will normally result in students doing 12 units in year 11 and 10 units in year 12. If students undertake an advanced placement subject in year 10 they would plan their program with 24 units of study. Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs can also be included as part of VCE studies.

Students completing a VCAL program receive a certificate for each year of study indicating the achievement either at foundation, intermediate or senior level. Students will generally study between 10 and 12 units each year although this may vary depending on the delivery of their VET program. VCAL students have fewer subject choices as 8 units are compulsory.

It is difficult to meet all requests for subject choices due to limitations of staffing and class sizes, however every effort is made to assist students with their choices. VCE students select their program, from subjects listed on the VCE selection form. This will take place after several career pathways have been investigated and interviews with parents and staff are held.

Interviews may be required for some students to change selections. Final blocks are developed as soon as possible. Students can change their mind about subject selections; however this can only occur between the blocks and only if there are spaces in the subject requested. Students should make careful, informed choices in the first instance and ‘reserve’ selections in case a requested subject is not available. Once VCE has commenced, students can only change subjects at the conclusion of Unit 1 and Unit 2. No student can change subjects during Unit 3 and Unit 4.

Constructing a VCAL program is quite different because it has compulsory units in English literacy, Mathematics or Numeracy skills, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills. Students must also select a VET or TAFE course to suit their individual vocational interests. Students in a VCAL program must arrange work placements and make applications for VET courses before the end of 2017 and be prepared to start these programs by the beginning of 2018 at the latest.This can often be a complicated process and depends on the availability of courses and industry regulations. The VCAL and work placement co-ordinator are available to assist students with this task.

The college is always available to assist students with their pathway planning over the next few years. The senior sub-school staff, home group teachers and the careers staff will continue to support students with their pathway planning over the next two years through to their final placement in a tertiary course, apprenticeship or employment.

Enjoy your journey.

Senior Sub-School team