Responding to a gap between identified workplace needs and current training offerings for the growing numbers of IT service desk technician positions, this program prepares newcomer learners for the Alberta job market.
This two-year project, beginning October 2021, saw two cohorts of roughly 20 learners complete 400 hours course work and a work practicum placement. The first cohort of learners started in January 2022 and the second cohort in May 2022. As part of this project, we delivered a program pilot “Service Desk Technician: A Certificate for English Language Learners”.
This project is grounded in an assessment-first and competency-based approach that provides communication and intercultural competency skills to support newcomers as they pursue information technology jobs. This project further supports learners gain work experience through practicum placements and offers a clear, direct path to pursue courses in the School of Technology if desired.
The project is defined by six key features:
- Assessment First: Recruitment and learning recognizes and assesses internationally educated learners’ prior learning and work experience as it relates to both digital and professional skills.
- Competency Based Education: Ensures that learners can demonstrate the specific digital and intercultural competencies necessary for junior level IT positions. Project content and assessment are designed to ensure they are carefully aligned with the target skills identified by industry experts and the project’s advisory group.
- Simulations: Two simulation-based scenarios provide real-world experience with IT help desk demands and interactions to support learners transfer theoretical skills to practical situations.
- Work Experience Placement: Provides learners with Canadian work experience and hands-on experiential learning. A work placement will see learners shadow help desk employees and interact with clients.
- Career Coaching: Learners will work with career counsellors to develop job search skills and strategies such as resume building, networking tips, and job interview skills.
- Pathway: In addition to providing support to the job market directly, learners can bridge from this experience to School of Technology diplomas and certificates.
Our colleagues in the School of Technology offer expertise as the project’s technology partners and they are well-positioned to support developing project content as they can draw on a strong base of programming (current offerings include four diploma programs and four certificates) that respond to industry demands and learner needs. The School of Technology contributes to the technical development, while the School of Global Access will ensure that content is culturally and linguistically appropriate for newcomer learners. Career Services will support this program through providing coaching services to learners throughout the delivery of the program. Please refer to this webpage for more information on information sessions and key recruitment dates.