Careers & ePortfolio

Author – Mr Colin McCowan, OAM, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Col has been Head of Careers & Employment at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for the past 15 years. Recently his circumstances changed and he now works part-time at the same service and also makes significant contributions to selected University projects such as; the Student ePortfolio* Project, the Work Integrated Learning Project, the Transition Out Project and the Career Development Modules Project.

He is a registered psychologist, teacher and counsellor who has worked in a variety of roles in the education industry for over 40 years – in areas such as practitioner, academic, consultant, researcher, manager, and principal policy officer for both State and Commonwealth governments. He was also responsible for the formal introduction of the focus on first year experience at QUT.

His service at QUT has won national best practice awards, he himself won the 2004 National Excellence in Career Counselling Award and in 2006 he was awarded an Order of Australia for service to the career industry in Australia. He is on the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Career Development and has authored three books, the latest being “Working the Web; Career planning via the Internet”. He has undertaken two consultancies for UNESCO in the country of Bhutan and another in the country of Oman.

His other special interests are in generational research and research on decision making processes.

[*The QUT Student ePortfolio is a tool designed to enable students to record, reflect on, catalogue, retrieve and present their experiences, activities, and products – from both inside and outside university – as evidence of their skills relevant to their lifelong learning and career development.]

More information is available from QUT Student ePortfolio

First Year Curriculum Perspective

This commentary examines first year curriculum design from the perspective of a career development approach (pdf 1.73MB) and observes that the pervasive use of student ePortfolio might assist in addressing and mediating a range of transition issues concurrently. Additional matters raised in this commentary include the distinction between positive and negative attrition, the potential contribution generational research might make to this area, student decision making and career choice, focus on models of transition and acknowledgment of the increasing role that parents play in some young peoples’ lives.