A portfolio capstone course enhances student career success by using the SDGs as a framework in its overall curriculum and components.
Inspired by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UFV’s PORT 399: Enhancing Career Mobility – a three-credit university career capstone course designed to promote career success of liberal arts students – incorporated the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its resume .
Drawing on skills learned throughout their degree, students will research and learn strategies needed for a successful transition from university into work, graduate studies, or post-university life, or for increasing their career mobility. Students will engage in critical discussions and produce assignments related to professional practices, participation in a learning economy, the future of work, and their exploration of career mobility throughout a lifespan as a way to design their work / life career pathways.
In the course, students pondered three big questions:
- What is the world that I want to live in?
- What do I see are the global problems or opportunities that need our attention?
- What are my talents and experiences that may help address these problems, and in turn improve the condition of our world?
Course elements infused with the UN SDGs included the following:
- A mind map students create as part of their introduction where they identified one or two SDG (s) they see themselves contributing to through their career aspirations
- A mission statement in which students articulate how they want to serve their community by advancing their SDG (s)
- An information interview project that involved talking with professionals related to students’ professional goals, and then reflecting on how the conversations deepen their thinking about their SDGs (s)
- Individual reflections and group discussion activities on skills and attributes, lifelong learning, and future of work that connect back to their SDG (s)
In terms of future directions, a literature review is underway to connect the SDGs and career development, along with a research study on post-secondary faculty members’ awareness of the SDGs and how they can incorporate them into their curriculum.