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. From this perspective, skills are viewed as competencies which can be learned and further developed.
Boston City Campus & Business College embraces the growth mindset. Implementing the principle of subject-specific and soft skills development, Boston students engage in the academic institution’s programme of Work Integrated Learning. 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 focus is on equipping Boston 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 Boston CEO, Ari Katz.
“Work integrated learning is the basis of everything we do. Boston students are encouraged to get work experience during their degree. This is done at companies who host a particular student, enabling them to apply the skills and competencies learnt in their degree,” says Katz who emphasizes the importance of harnessing industry related skills in order to secure employment.
“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 practical part of certain programmes 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. This service is performed for students who require practical experience as part of their qualifications, such as the Media students on the campus where Jeannette’s office can be found. And in addition, Jeannette will assist graduates to find employment post their qualifications.
“Students are assisted with their CVs. We play an active role in guiding them where to go and what to do, but the onus is on them to get the placement,” says Katz.
The WIL programme allows the host company to gain insight into the skill level of the student. “Our programme has proved so successful that there are 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). “My lecturers at Boston gave me a chance to grow in the IT field, helping me to go beyond my self-imposed limitations,” he says. “I was fortunate to receive an exceptional standard of education with internationally-recognised qualifications,” says the graduate who to this day believes in unceasing study and improvement of his technical qualifications.
“The current workplace environment demands a high level of education matched with a high skill level. We believe that it is essential to provide our students with a balance of knowledge and skills complemented with the practical understanding of how to apply them,” says Katz.
“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 in a particular industry,” concludes the Boston CEO.