Author Carol S. Dweck is known for her work on the mindset psychological trait, where the ‘fixed mindset’ approaches learning from the point of view that you are born with certain skills and abilities. The other side of this coin is the growth mindset in which skills are viewed as competencies which can be learned and developed.
“Places of Higher Education need to embrace the growth mindset. Implementing the principle of subject-specific and soft skills development, students must engage in an academic institution’s programme that aims to ready them for the workplace.” So says Ari Katz, CEO of Boston City Campus. “We require all Higher Education students to complete a module of Work Integrated Learning,” he says. “Playing a key role in providing practical, on-the-job training in a student’s particular field, the programme provides skill learning in an actual work context.”
“Our aim is on equipping students with top workplace skills, as well as vital professional and interpersonal skills, in order to facilitate ease of employment on completion of their studies at our campuses,” says Katz.
All higher places of learning need to in some way provide practical work experience and training as part of their curriculum in order to adequately prepare graduates for the ‘real world’. “If they fall short of this requirement, they send out graduates that fail to secure employment. This may be due to lack of exposure to the workplace and its expectations of day-to-day workplace behavior such as dress code, interaction with colleagues, and participating in tasks outside the scope of what is written in the employment contract,” says Katz.
“We prepare our graduates with training and graduate competencies that put them in a position to walk straight out of their studies and into a job. Our focus is on incorporating WIL into all degrees and higher education, ensuring that our students are work ready,” says Katz.
The programme is very successful. At the Boston Media House it is overseen by Jeannette Campbell who manages the work integrated learning on a fulltime basis. Providing a bridge between the host company and the student, opportunity is created to harness key skills through experiential learning. In this capacity, Jeannette further solidifies corporate relations, underpinning Boston’s pivotal role in supplying top graduates in various industries over the last three decades.
“Students are actively assisted with their CVs – we actually mark them! While we play an active role in guiding them where to go and what to do, the onus is on them to get the placement,” says Katz about facilitating real life practice for when they’re out in the workplace getting a job.
The WIL programme allows the host company to gain insight into the skill level of the student. “Our programme has proved successful, the greatest success being instances where the work integrated learning has resulted in permanent employment at the host company,” says Katz.
Northern Cape graduate, Elton Kagisho is one such example. “”Boston goes all out to help students develop key skills through on-the-job training within qualifications. In this way we are ready for the workplace from the day we leave,” says Kagisho who is now part of the prestigious State Information Technology Agency (SITA).
“As educators, we are committed to ensuring that our graduates are equipped to make a valuable contribution to the workplace, while furthering their careers. This means adopting a growth mindset, where developing and refining skills is a natural means to achieving competency as well as in a particular industry.
In turn, this enhances the graduates’ chances of being employed. We provide a balanced higher education, giving our graduates an edge which in turn enables them to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive job market,” concludes the Boston CEO.
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