What do schools think of the My­road Men­tor­ship Pro­gram?

A joint ini­tia­tive be­tween the Bea­con Foun­da­tion and Coca-cola Aus­tralia, the on­line My­road Men­tor­ship Pro­gram con­nects school stu­dents and in­dus­try lead­ers Aus­tralia-wide.

The Australian Education Reporter - - CAREER COUNSELLORS - EMMA DAVIES

Kings Mead­ows High School (TAS) Ed­u­ca­tor: Emma Dob­son

Q. Why did your school take part in My­road? The over­whelm­ing feed­back from the pre­vi­ous year.

Op­por­tu­nity to em­power young women. Op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with a busi­ness men­tor. Q. What ben­e­fits have the stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enced? [It] started a con­ver­sa­tion for stu­dents about skills and at­tributes needed for the work­place [and] ini­ti­ated con­ver­sa­tions with teach­ers/ par­ents/peers.

The feed­back from stu­dents was ex­tremely pos­i­tive and the feed­back from stu­dent data col­lected from the My­road team re­flected this.

The use of split­ters en­abling groups of stu­dents to work to­gether in the ac­tiv­ity in­creased stu­dent en­gage­ment. Q. Feed­back from teach­ers and par­ents about the pro­gram? Teach­ers re­ported that stu­dents were well en­gaged in the ses­sions and stu­dents were hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions af­ter­wards.

Teach­ers also ben­e­fited from the ses­sions, as it sup­ported them with talk­ing to the girls about ca­reer and life plan­ning. Q. Do you think the pro­gram com­pli­ments the work of school ca­reer ad­vi­sors? As per the My Ed­u­ca­tion frame­work, all teach­ers at Kings Mead­ows High School are teach­ers of ca­reer and life plan­ning.

We do not have a ca­reers ad­vi­sor; in­stead, all staff bring with them a unique set of skills and ex­pe­ri­ences which en­able them to ex­plore ca­reer and fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion op­tions with young peo­ple.

The teach­ers who were in­volved in the My­road pro­gram felt as though they ben­e­fited from this and now have a greater un­der­stand­ing of the key role a men­tor can play in in­creas­ing

Ade­laide Sec­ondary School of English (SA) Ed­u­ca­tor: Koula Gian­nini

Q. Why did your school take part in My­road? We are al­ways keen to in­volve our stu­dents in new ex­pe­ri­ences.

I saw this as a unique op­por­tu­nity for the girls in our school to ex­pe­ri­ence the tech­nol­ogy that is avail­able to stu­dents to in­crease and im­prove their learn­ing from peo­ple around Aus­tralia; not only from the tra­di­tional teacher stand­ing at the front of the class in­struct­ing.

I also saw it as a way for our stu­dents who have lim­ited net­works to ex­pe­ri­ence talk­ing and get­ting to know some­one from an­other part of the coun­try and to hear and talk about jobs and ca­reers that they may not have heard of, or know any­one that is in­volved in them. Q. What ben­e­fits have the stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enced? I think that the main ben­e­fit is the broad­en­ing of their knowl­edge about jobs and ca­reers, and the dis­cus­sion of skills that are re­quired for em­ploy­ment from other peo­ple – the men­tors – and not their teach­ers.

It brought a level of au­then­tic­ity to the dis­cus­sions and learn­ing that they had al­ready com­pleted in their PLP but de­liv­ered by some­one that was out of the class­room. Q. How have on­line stu­dents for­mat? re­sponded to the They were very ex­cited about the tech­nol­ogy and the for­mat, it was a very dif­fer­ent way of in­ter­act­ing with their learn­ing.

They were keen to com­plete the work­sheets as they pro­gressed through the ses­sion, they pro­vided pos­i­tive feed­back at the end, and were very happy that they were able to keep the head­phones.

It was great to have the tech­ni­cal sup­port that was pro­vided from My­road Bea­con to trou­ble shoot any prob­lems with the on­line for­mat. Q. What ad­vice would you give other schools look­ing to make con­nec­tions with in­dus­try men­tors? I would en­cour­age schools to par­tic­i­pate in this pro­gram.

It is very well sup­ported by the per­son­nel from My Road Bea­con, the ma­te­rial is very user friendly and rel­e­vant, and the stu­dents get a lot out of it for lim­ited time out­lay (2 hours), and very lit­tle or­gan­i­sa­tion from the school’s point of view. Q. Do you think the pro­gram com­pli­ments the work of school ca­reer ad­vi­sors? For schools that have Ca­reer Ad­vi­sors, it cer­tainly com­pli­ments their work.

It also com­pli­ments the PLP, Work Stud­ies and stu­dent in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing their knowl­edge on ca­reer ex­plo­ration.

Hel­lyer Col­lege (TAS)

Ed­u­ca­tor: Jane Roper

Q. Why did your school take part in My­road? Pos­i­tive feed­back from both staff and stu­dents at an­other school (Park­lands High). It was an­other op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to con­nect with the “real world”.

[We] highly rec­om­mend My­road to any school who wants to raise stu­dent as­pi­ra­tions and in­crease stu­dents’ knowl­edge of the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to them when they leave school. Q. How have stu­dents re­sponded to the on­line for­mat? Most stu­dents en­gaged well – the on­line for­mat is po­ten­tially less threat­en­ing than face to face meet­ings.

Stu­dents are not pushed as far out of their com­fort zones. Q. Feed­back from teach­ers about the pro­gram? The two teach­ers who did My­road with their classes this year also did it last year and spoke highly of the pro­gram.

They wouldn’t have done it again this year if they didn’t see any value for their stu­dents. Q. What ad­vice would you give other schools look­ing to make con­nec­tions with in­dus­try men­tors? Get as much help as you can. Or­gan­i­sa­tions like Bea­con take a lot of the hard work out of mak­ing in­dus­try con­nec­tions.

Staff have great knowl­edge of lo­cal in­dus­try and ex­cel­lent net­works of em­ploy­ers/ com­mu­nity mem­bers/ed­u­ca­tors (uni, TAFE etc). Most schools want more con­nec­tion with in­dus­try and in­dus­try wants to as­sist young peo­ple.

Bea­con can pull the two to­gether which is some­thing that school staff don’t al­ways have time to do. Q. Do you think the pro­gram com­pli­ments the work of school ca­reer ad­vi­sors? Def­i­nitely – [it’s] al­ways good for stu­dents to have ca­reer con­ver­sa­tions with a range of peo­ple.

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