Your Name and Title: Grzegorz Kata, PhD
School or Organization Name: University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin
Co-Presenter Name(s): Robert Porzak, PhD; Jacek Łukasiewicz, PhD
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Poland, Central Europe
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): educators, career counsellors
Short Session Description (one line): High Quality Career Counselling as a Push for the Global Development – presenting best practices from the Erasmus+ Career Tree Project
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
Due to the gradual globalisation process, people all around the world often face similar challenges in many different realms. This is equally true for the employment and education. The unemployment, and especially the youth unemployment, is a serious issue in many countries around the globe. In Europe itself, it is a pressing problem that needs to be addressed by proper policies, initiatives, education and support measures.
Youth unemployment as a global issue hinders the development not only by its negative effect on economic growth and productivity, but, predominantly, by wasting the potential of young people and limiting their chances to develop necessary skills and competences, as well as gather experience. Youth unemployment may cause deskilling, social exclusion and raises the risk of poverty. For this reason, many young people may feel trapped in the vicious circle finding themselves lacking experience to enter into long-time employment and in desperate need of support.
This loss of talent and skills hampers the development of whole regions and countries globally. The University of Economics and Innovation WSEI in Lublin has recognized the need to face this challenge. The University has addressed the issue in its numerous regional, national and international projects and initiatives raising the quality of education, adjusting it to the current labour market needs and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among the young.
Nevertheless, apart from projects of a purely educational character, the University has also become the leader of the CaT – the Career Tree Project addressing career decision making and career indecision, work adjustment, and career education. WSEI together with partners worked on a set of concrete solutions aimed at increasing the quality of career counselling that may significantly improve the chances of young people on the labour market making them more likely to enter into long-term, high quality employment.
One of the issues, the project consortium has raised, was the need to assist young people in making the career-related decisions at the early stage. The career guidance existing at schools is still often insufficient not providing necessary knowledge on characteristics of various occupations and personal predispositions students may possess. This in turn, leads to misrepresentation and complete misunderstanding of the career planning concept among young people, who base essential career related and education decisions on information from the Internet, media and recommendations of their peers. As young people may face difficulties assessing their strengths and predispositions, making career-related decisions proves to be difficult for them causing a high level of stress. The support often comes too late, preventing young people from making well-informed decisions concerning their education, skills development and, eventually, career path. Knowing how important this kind of decision is, often shaping young people’s further choices and the whole professional development, the project consortium recognised a demand to ensure a high quality level of counselling and support career counsellors’ in their work.
The solutions we have provided are mainly dedicated to the secondary school students, as well as career counsellors and advisors. CaT aimed at creating a modern tool enabling diagnosis and analysis of future career, as well as an appropriate education guidance. Our goal was to raise the quality of the process aimed to define capacities, aptitudes and professional interests of secondary/vocational schools students and adults, and conducting career guidance and career planning through creation of a modern (standardised on a representative group) modular system for analysis, diagnosis and education guidance of career that would support the work of career counsellors.
The project resulted in five main outputs. The first one was the model of predispositions and leading competencies for professions. The model contains the description of knowledge, skills and competences necessary for fulfilling professional tasks. It addresses around 200 professions, which makes the model extremely efficient and constitutes a vital source of knowledge on the professional competences mostly in need contemporarily.
The second project outcome was a modular system for diagnosis, analysis and education guidance of career. The system consist of 8 modules:
This set of categories make is a basis for the right diagnosis and analysis of one’s predispositions and potential. As such it plays a significant role in the career guidance process and make the approach as personalized as possible.
The set of modules have been complemented by the handbook for diagnostic. The handbook enables the proper usage of the diagnostics tool and contains theoretical basics leading to development of the tool aimed and diagnosis beneficiaries. By development of the handbook the consortium tried to raise the reliability and accuracy of methods. The handbook consists in the description of the way of running the examination, procedure of calculating results and interpreting those results, as well as the description of professional competences types with regard to norms. As such the handbook is an instruction on how to implement the tool both dedicated to its technical and substantive part.
In order to help young people in planning of their career and education, the project developed also the personal portfolio for participant career. The portfolio is connected with Europass supplement and aims at presenting the learning outcomes gained during formal, informal and non-formal education. It is a crucial tool for young people to be used while their personal assessment of their achievements and realization of their future education targets.
Finally, the project has resulted in development of the methodical guidebook for career counsellors. The guidebook makes use of the modular system developed within the project. It includes assumptions and basics of method developed as well as practical guidelines on how to run the counselling process.
The project’s outcomes embrace the set of solutions for high quality career counselling. The central outputs are the model of predispositions and leading competences for occupations, the modular system for diagnosis, analysis and education guidance, as well as the personal portfolio creator that are to assist the young people in making the career-related choices. The solutions have been complemented by instructions and guidance for counsellors themselves on how to properly use the diagnostic tool and the modular system. By introducing these solutions the project team intended to make the career counselling process much more accurate and efficient by equipping counsellors with right tools supporting their everyday work.
Due to the proper structuring and ensuring high quality of the career counselling it is possible to limit the risks of career indecision and predispositions and career mismatch, as well as increase employability among the youth. This approach is fully reflected in our project. Moreover, we believe that our projects and the solutions provided are, due to the global character of the challenges in question, transferable to other countries. Although, there are certainly some country specific aspects of the solution provided, it still can be adjusted and transferred basing the solutions on the overall ideas and developed best practices. Therefore, the University intended to present the experiences and practices resulting from the project CaT and the solutions we have provided together with partners. We think it is necessary to share such knowledge and know-how in order to allow mutual learning and good practices transfer, as well as commonly address the challenges we all face across the globe.
The University information:
The University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin (WSEI) is a non-state higher education institution, funded in 2001, that offers full university degree programmes in a range of academic disciplines. With over 6 000 students, WSEI is a nationally recognized university, demonstrating a commitment to engage in partnerships with EU organizations and institutions to support education, training and research.
WSEI is perceived by independent institutions analysing quality of teaching in higher education as one of leading universities in Poland. For several years, the University has been recognized as the “Reliable School”, “The Academy of Leader” and distinguished with the“Good University – Good Work” label. WSEI has also been recognized as the most innovative and creative university in Poland in creating career prospects (competition organized by Academic Information Centre from Poznań) for three times. In educational rankings, WSEI receives highest marks in the country for: innovativeness, possessing funds from EU programmes, teaching conditions and scientific capacity. According to national ranking “Perspectives” 2017- WSEI is located on the 1st place among non-public universities in the region and on the 18th place in the general national list. For the 6 consecutive years WSEI has been certified as “The School of Leaders” by the Foundation of High Education Development. Furthermore, WSEI employees are also recognized with highest state awards as well as honorary titles of other universities.
All programs offered by WSEI are accredited by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The university is constantly broadening its education offer and raising its quality. It is developing and introducing innovative teaching and training methods and tools. Implementing a modular system of teaching at nearly all fields of studies may be a good example of this activity. The educational offer of the University is constantly modified by creating new programs and specialties to match the current demands of the labour market and respond to the needs of the students.
We owe our success mainly to a high level of education combining academic knowledge with a close relationship and practice of socio-economic life, which is very rare among higher education institutions. The high level of educational process is maintained by a diligently selected didactic staff with proper academic degrees and necessary academic experience. A great part of the staff has also significant practical experience derived from their non-academic activity. Such an excellent team is a guarantee for a high quality relating to economic realities of our region and meeting the EU requirements.
The high level of educational process is maintained by almost 400 diligently selected didactic staff with proper academic degrees and necessary academic experience. WSEI also possesses excellent didactic facilities (11 laboratories, e.g. modern audio-visual and multimedia labs) to support teaching and learning experience, engage in disturbing research activity, as well as build bridges between education, business and industry.
Transfer of knowledge and innovation between business units, public institutions and academic bodies plays a crucial role, particularly in regional context. As one of the leading institutions in educational market, WSEI understands the value it brings to the city and the region; positioning itself as an "enterprise university" and embedding innovation and creativity in the heart of all its activities. By embracing fully its social and economic responsibilities, WSEI demonstrates the key role universities play in leading the development of the region. At the core of our enterprise-led approach there is the development of the enterprise culture, which is focused on providing opportunities for students to fully engage with business, the community and the public sector.
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