Staff from Student Support Services assisted in administering the PACE career guidance programme to Grade nine learners from Durban’s Greenbury Secondary School – one of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES)’s top feeder schools.

The workshop took place over two days on the Howard College campus at the Academic Support Advancement Programme (ASAP) local area network (LAN).

The workshop stemmed from a visit by the College Public Relations team to the School where parents and teachers requested assistance in helping learners research possible career choices which would influence their subject choices for next year.

The PACE programme is a computer based career guidance tool consisting of 105 questions and is based on the concept of self-reporting.  Once the questions are answered, a report is instantly generated which ranks the individual’s area of interests in terms of percentages.  Pupils are then allowed to explore different careers under relevant headings such as health sciences.

The system then produces a description of each career, the skills needed, the matric requirements and the tertiary studies that can be undertaken.  Pupils were excited to be given the opportunity not only to access the software, but it was also an experience for them to visit UKZN. Well trained counsellors guided them through the entire process after which they were given an opportunity to have a group session with the counsellors to discuss their results further.

Co-ordinator of the Workshop Ms Prashna Singh said: ‘The CAES HC student support services welcomed the opportunity to become involved in the community engagement project initiated by the College PR team In providing a career guidance exercise for Greenbury High School pupils.

‘We believe that students choosing the correct career or degree path is an important factor in ensuring their future academic and personal success.  We often see registered students who are performing poorly due to degree dissatisfaction or career confusion.  If we can assist prospective students chose more appropriate careers/degrees, hopefully we will contribute to their success.’

One of the parents Mr S Panday said: ‘Like many teenagers my daughter was uncertain about her subject choice for Grade 10. It was difficult for me as a parent as I wanted to be careful not to steer her in a direction that would hinder her potential.

‘I am thankful to the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Public Relations team and the team of psychologists who kindly volunteered to assist in that area. My daughter now has a clear indication of her strengths and weaknesses which has given her the advantage of making an informed decision regarding her subject selection and career choice.’

Grade nine learners from Greenbury Secondary School receive subject choice counselling from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Article issued by UKZN