Career and Personal PlanningPosted by Antonia
CAPP. If you were raised in B.C. this acronym should ring bells and ringing bells is about all it does for me: Career and Personal Planning. Granted, high school was a few years back, but for some reason CAPP is one of the aspects of high school I remember the least. If I were to strain my memory, I would recall having gone to the CAPP office (yes, the program had it’s own office), being handed a big white binder and having had a look at my volunteer hour requirements. “What do you mean ‘volunteer’?” I remember asking without the foggiest notion of what a real job was, let alone working for free. “It means you have to go complete volunteer work and have someone sign off on your hours.” “What should I do?” “Whatever you want.” Well it was a nice suggestion but I could have used a bit more direction and perhaps even preparation for this task. I had no idea why I had to do this, what I would do and why it all mattered. So, in the end, Mom saved the day. She threw a lab coat on me, gave me a pipette, showed me some samples in test tubes and told me that I was to run the samples through the EPICS. Sounded good to me. After a few sessions of this and some extra fun making buffer solutions for experiments, Mom signed off on my hours and CAPP was done.
Although this was a valuable experience for me, I am not sure that its out-of context position in my studies was effective. I wonder if a focused career and personal planning course could have been devised and taught. Many of us had no idea how to write a resume, how to behave in an interview, how to deal in business situations, how to write business correspondence, how to work in teams or how to plan our finances. This is something that was never learned in high school and perhaps should have been a part of CAPP. Instead, CAPP was the stupid breeze program that no one cared about. Is it still like that? There are so many valuable things that we can learn from CAPP, but it needs to be communicated as an important and serious part of education and it must also be taught in an engaging way.
I just looked up CAPP to see if it is still around. My search did not confirm anything but according to a BC government document, as of 2008, CAPP for grades 8, 9 and 10 was made distinctly separate from CAPP 11 and 12. So things must have changed a bit seeing as I don’t believe that CAPP extended through high school for me. I looked through the teaching suggestions, which were surprisingly quite succinct and well organized albeit lacking certain flair and intrigue. One of the exercises was to create a timeline of the past, present and future indicating career possibilities along the way. For fun, I made one today and it was actually quite neat to see how things changed and how my idea of “career” morphed as I was growing up.
One thing is certain though: I could have done with a little more formal direction and mentorship when it came time to actually make decisions. Important things like help with choosing a university and outlining potential career options based on interests and strengths didn’t happen. What’s more, is that other than the cliché careers out there like being a nurse, doctor, lawyer and police officer I had no idea that there was a plethora of other options and that any job that one could imagine, actually existed.
In light of “back-to-school” season, draw a quick timeline up and see if you remember what you thought you’d be, what you are doing now, and where you want to go from here. It’s never too late for CAPP. Career Timeline