Case Study: Setting up the Ponder Program

Naomi Gill, Careers Counsellor & Pathways Specialist at Carroll College Broulee and Trinity Catholic College Goulburn shares her insights into incorporating the Ponder Program into her schools

Careers Educator: Ms Naomi Gill Schools: Carroll College Broulee & Trinity Catholic College Goulburn

I can set up the full program for both schools in about an hour”

Careers Counsellor & Pathway Specialist Naomi Gill is unique in that she has a full-time teaching load spread across two regional catholic secondary schools. This posed some challenges, both in being time-poor but also having to duplicate her resourcing for each campus despite not having timetabled career lessons at either school.

With over 500 students to support in each location, she was looking for a careers program that offered plenty of resources, but also flexibility in how they could be delivered. When she discovered Study Work Grow after a referral from a colleague, she saw that it was exactly what she needed, and especially so as she was at a decision point with another service she was using.

Here’s some of Naomi’s key takeaways:

  • She was able to advise the school executive that they were meeting the national requirements for career education at school by using the Ponder Program.
  • She found that the University and Pathways Guide PDFs have saved her a “monumental” amount of time in searching for information while also helping her to inform students and parents about the options, even when she’s not at school.
  • The students and staff love the videos – some of her fellow educators would come up to her later and say things like “great video today Naomi” – elevating her role as the career practitioner in school.

Ponder Program

Naomi was looking for a way to deliver career education to her students without needing to get time allocated in a busy curriculum at both schools. She immediately realised that it was possible to integrate the short, engaging student videos into Pastoral Care periods at one school, and in Home Group periods in her other school.

Guides

Naomi finds that the Study Work Grow university guides like Entry to Medicine 2023 have been incredibly helpful for her in saving time, but also in guiding students through the process of choosing. For instance, she recently had a Year 12 student come to her for a discussion who had printed the guide and added sticky notes and highlighter marks on the questions they had and courses they liked, automatically improving the quality of the help that Naomi could provide her student.

Job Spotlights

Just like many schools, the Job Spotlights have been helpful in getting her students to think about a wider range of careers (expanding their exposure to options, which leads to better career decisions).

Posters

The non-biased career & further study posters have been great for events and expos, as parents and other educators don’t criticise her if she has one university’s posters but not others. They’ve also been helpful in guiding conversations with students, inspiring parents with good things to be asking their children.

To use the Ponder Program like Naomi, you can:

  1. Set up Ponder access for yourself at school and share the current term’s overview document which has all of the resource links that teachers need to deliver the Ponder Program themselves.
  2. Make the guides, job spotlights, and newsletters available to students, staff, and parents – this is easily done through your Google Classroom/Microsoft Teams, or school intranet.

We thank Naomi Gill for her time in sharing her experience of using the Ponder Program in support of other educators.

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