Planning Your Future

/Planning Your Future
Planning Your Future2020-05-04T11:34:02-04:00

Going from elementary school to secondary school is an exciting time. As a Grade 9 student, you will experience new routines, new roles, new relationships, and mentors to assist  you in preparing for your high school experience. And, we’ve got you covered! There are many opportunities for you to become involved, or find the right person to help you so you feel comfortable, safe, and prepared for your future.

We want to help you in every way possible to make sure that you are successful, so we encourage you to visit the Education and Career Pathways site for more information and resources!

Individual Pathways Plan (IPP)

The Creating Pathways to Success program is a pilot initiative that will begin in some of our schools in September, 2014.

As you progress through school and life, you will need to make many choices about your education and career path. Beginning in Grade 7, you will create an Individual Pathways Plan (IPP) and start reflecting on the following four questions:

  1. Who am I? (Knowing Yourself)
  2. What are my opportunities? (Exploring Opportunities)
  3. Who do I want to become? (Making Decisions and Setting Goals)
  4. What is my plan for achieving my goals? (Achieving Goals and Making Transitions)
    By completing and reflecting on your Individual Pathways Plan as you transition through Grades 7 to 12, you will have established a clear plan for your initial postsecondary destination – whether it be apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace – and with the confidence that you can revise your plan as you, and the world around you, changes. This vision sees you as the architect of your life.

Knowing Yourself

To help answer the question “Who am I?”, students will:

  • Identify the characteristics that describe who they are, and create and maintain a personal profile that reflects those characteristics (example: interests, strengths, intelligences, accomplishments, values, and skills, including the learning skills and work habits evaluated on the provincial report cards, and the Essential Skills described in the Ontario Skills Passport).
  • Identify factors that have shaped who they are and that are likely to shape their profile over time.
  • Reflect on how the characteristics described in their profile influence their thoughts and actions, and how those thoughts and actions may in turn affect their development as a learner, their relationships, and their education and career/life choices.

Exploring Opportunities

To help answer the question “What are my opportunities?”, students will:

  • Explore the concept of “opportunity” and how the choices they make can open pathways for them.
  • Identify co-curricular and community-based opportunities (e.g., recreational, social, leadership, volunteer, part-time employment).
  • Investigate a variety of fields of work, occupations, and jobs, as well as the potential impact of local and global trends (example: demographic, technological, economic, social) on the opportunities available to them.
  • Investigate the preparation required for a variety of co-curricular and community-based opportunities, occupations, and jobs (i.e., acquiring the necessary experience, education/training, and specific skills, including the Essential Skills and work habits documented in the OSP) and how this preparation can be obtained.

Making Decisions and Setting Goals

To help answer the question “Who do I want to become?”, students will:

  • Identify the demands, rewards, and other features of the various opportunities they have explored, and reflect on the fit between those features and the characteristics they have described in their personal profile.
  • Based on the connections they identify, use a decision-making process to determine personal and interpersonal goals as well as education and career/life goals.
  • Review and revise their goals in light of any changes that may arise in their personal profile and in the opportunities that are available to them.

Achieving Goals and Making Transitions

To help answer the question “What is my plan for achieving my goals?”, students will:

  • Create a plan that identifies in detail the steps required to achieve the goals they have set.
  • Identify the resources required to implement their plan.
  • Identify potential obstacles and challenges they may encounter in implementing their plan, and devise possible solutions.

OSAP Brochure – Find out about the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
OSAP Website – Access the application for next school year. – Research correlations between college and university programs.

Are you wondering about college or university program pre-requisites? Do your research at:

ElectronicInfo – To research Ontario University programs.
OntarioColleges – To research Ontario College programs.

Guidances offices support the school community in a variety of ways. They aim to create a welcoming environment for students to get  information and assistance in making decisions that will help build their future. Guidance offices serve the school community in a variety of ways. They:

  • Support students in academic planning and course selection.
  • Help students to seek out special pathways programs in secondary school that support their learning styles, interests and needs.
  • Help individual students to envision a plan for post-secondary and target some short and long term goals.
  • Provide information around all post-secondary pathways (workplace, college, apprenticeship, university) and career pathways.
  • Support students in establishing effective study habits and exam preparation.
  • Coach in the scholarship application process.
  • Support students in such life skills as decision-making, problem-solving, conflict-resolution,/stress & time management and relationship awareness.
  • Provide personal counselling and referrals to community resources.
  • Provide crisis counselling and referrals to community resources.

Students are always welcome to visit their high school guidance office to speak with a counsellor. Make an appointment by visiting or calling your high school Student Services office, and they will be happy to help you.

Choices Into Action: Guidance and Career Education
For educational, social and career success in the twenty-first century, students require effective work habits and skills, such as the ability to make sound decisions, solve problems, plan effectively, work independently, communicate well, research, evaluate themselves realistically and explore new educational and career opportunities.

A carefully planned guidance and career education program, beginning in the elementary grades and continuing through secondary school, will help students acquire these skills. myBlueprint is an individualized online tool to support the guidance program in helping students learn how to set goals for their education or training after high school and develop the knowledge and skills that will help them manage their learning throughout their lives. The components of the program are:

  • The Ontario Curriculum – elementary and secondary
  • Orientation and exit programs
  • Individual Pathway Plans (through myBlueprint)
  • Individual Academic and Career Portfolios (through myBlueprint)
  • Career Exploration activities
  • Workshops, seminars and small groups
  • Mentorship programs
  • Peer Assistance programs
  • Individual and short-term counselling

For more information, check out the Ontario School Counsellor’s Association (OSCA) website.


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