Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) contextualises learning in a way that empowers and motivates students, while assisting them to develop key skills and knowledge required for employment, further education and active participation in their communities.
Students studying for VCAL are most likely to be interested in attending Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, starting an apprenticeship, traineeship or obtaining employment after completing school. In fact, many of our students are offered employment over the course of the school year and are closely monitored for academic and work readiness in preparation for the end of the year.
If you intend to take up a University offer at the end of year 12 you will need to choose VCE. However, the VCAL pathway does not stop you from applying for University later on as a mature age student. Check the entry requirements with your University before making this decision.
Applied learning is an approach that emphasises the relevance of what is being learnt to the ‘real world’ outside the classroom, and makes that connection as immediate and transparent as possible. Lavalla Catholic College’s Career Enterprise Opportunity (CEO) provides students with real-life application of the skills and knowledge they need to plan a project or deliver a service. There is also flexibility in their school timetable in years 11 and 12 to participate in the workforce.
As a result of this, applied learning enables students and their teachers to develop partnerships and connections with organisations and individuals outside school. These partnerships provide the necessary out-of-school context for students to demonstrate the relevance of what they have learnt.
The Lavalla Catholic College applied learning team nurture and work with students in a holistic manner, which takes into account their personal strengths, interests, goals and previous experiences. This is not normally the approach of a traditional curriculum.
VCAL has three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. Students start and complete their VCAL certificate at the level that matches their needs and abilities. It is common for some students to study for the one VCAL level over two years. However, they are encouraged to meet all outcomes over one year. The Senior VCAL certificate requires a strong commitment and can only be achieved by Year 12 students.
The VCAL CEO program also acknowledges that part of the transition from school to work involves being treated as an adult, and that moving students out of the classroom to learn also means helping them to make a shift to become more independent and responsible for their own learning. Learning is student centred therefore, applied learning goals and outcomes are negotiated with students, as well as other stakeholders.