We wish to see all our senior students leave well informed about tertiary courses, course pre-requisites, necessary qualifications for careers, how and when to apply for tertiary courses, well prepared for interviews and with up-to-date curriculum vitaes. Careers programmes are aimed at ensuring the girls make a confident entry to the next stage of their education and knowledgeable about how to access careers-related information.

All Years 7 to 13 girls participate in Careers Education, with programmes appropriate to their Year level and interests.

The Careers Adviser is responsible for the Years 7 to 13 Careers Education programmes and for providing advice and guidance to individual students (parents are also welcome to use the service).

Students are able to access a wide variety of written material in the Careers Office as well as having their own independent online access to Careers information.

Beyond the curriculum, all students in the Senior School have a special Careers Unit or Module taught by the Careers Adviser.  In Year 11 the focus of the Careers Visit (also taught by the Careers Adviser) is on increasing students’ self-awareness. They are encouraged to recognise their strengths and weaknesses and the attributes they wish to develop further. Students also research different occupations on the CareersNZ website.  The focus of the Year 12 programme is to explore opportunities and to begin preparation for the transition from school to tertiary study and the work place. Topics include curriculum vitaes, cover letters and interviews.  Research into tertiary study is also undertaken.  Year 13 is a time for making decisions and taking action. To that end goal-setting and action planning activities are provided. Other topics include job trends, choosing tertiary qualifications, student finances, and scholarships. More research into tertiary courses is also undertaken.

All Year 13 students are interviewed and encouraged to develop a Career Plan. As the year progresses they are informed of application deadlines for courses, scholarships and accommodation. Representatives from the main New Zealand tertiary institutions and some overseas universities give lunch-time presentations and return later in the year to provide course planning assistance.

Old Girls are invited to speak at special assemblies about their tertiary courses and careers. Students and parents receive information about events such as the annual Otago Careers Festival and tertiary information days.

Drawing on expertise from the Columba College community a “Careers Show Case Evening” is held every two years. A wide range of presenters is organised by the Careers Adviser to be available to speak individually with interested students and parents.

A two-day Careers programme has also been introduced for Years 9 and 10 students in Term Three prior to their course selection for the following year. The programme includes the study of special Careers units of work and a range of speakers which include university students.

Curriculum and Course Information Evening

A Curriculum and Course Information Evening for Years 9 to 13 students and their parents is also held each year in Term Three before students make their subject choices for the following year. The evening is attended by representatives of the city’s tertiary institutions,  our Careers Adviser, the NCEA Co-ordinator and Heads of Department who are available for parents and students to speak with individually after the plenary session.

Course and Careers Handbook for Years 9 to 13

The above Handbook is produced annually and provides extensive information for parents and students on the secondary school course structure, course outlines and subject requirements as well as on NCEA and Careers.