CERIC releases winter/spring 2021 webinar calendar: Diversity & inclusion, motivational interviewing, experiential learning and more

CERIC is announcing its 2021 webinar calendar and will be offering a variety of webinar series in the next few months to support the career development community on a range of timely topics. Register now to plan ahead for your professional development in the new year.

The winter/spring webinar schedule features:

For paid webinar series, registered participants will receive a password-protected video recording of each session. The recordings will remain available for one month after the final webinar of the series to allow you to catch up if you miss any weeks. For free webinar series, the recordings will remain available indefinitely.

CERIC partners with associations and organizations across Canada and beyond to present webinars that offer timely, convenient and affordable professional development. Previously, CERIC has also worked with the Canadian Association for Supported EmploymentNew Brunswick Career Development Association Canadian Association of Career Educators & Employers, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, BC Career Development Association, Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training and the US-based National Career Development Association.

Person sitting in front of a laptop2020

Young Professionals Bursary awarded for virtual Cannexus21 conference

Ten young professionals will receive bursaries to attend the virtual Cannexus21 conference thanks to a new partnership between CERIC and the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCDA) designed to support emerging employment and career development practitioners.

A total of 27 applications for the Young Professionals Bursary were submitted. Recipients of the bursary come from across the country, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Bursary winners represent professionals who work in areas related to career development such as experiential learning, youth support and Indigenous careers.

The bursary was launched to ensure the diverse voices of the new and up-and-coming generation of employment and career practitioners are being represented and that young professionals can benefit from the extensive professional development and networking taking place at the virtual conference.

Eligibility for the bursary required that applicants be:

  • 30 years of age or younger;
  • Primarily engaged in career development or employment work;
  • A resident of Canada.

Preference was given to individuals from equity-seeking groups and regional representation was taken into consideration when awarding the bursaries.


Graduate students win award to attend virtual Cannexus21 conference

CERIC has announced the recipients of this year’s Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP) Award, providing support for four graduate students to attend the Cannexus21 National Career Development Conference, January 25 & 27 and February 1 & 3, 2021 online.

The recipients are:

  • Roxy Merkand, PhD Candidate, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Waterloo
  • Gabrielle Beaupré, PhD Candidate, Education, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Janet Payne, PhD Candidate, Education, University of Prince Edward Island
  • Walaa Taha, MSc Candidate, Educational Psychology, University of Calgary

The award, presented annually to select full-time graduate students studying career development, provides free registration to Cannexus – going virtual in 2021 – and $1,000. The Cannexus conference promotes the exchange of information and explores innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career and workforce development.

Eligibility for the award is based on participation in CERIC’s Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP) and submission of a one-page article on any career development topic. Read the award-winning articles and all the thought-provoking submissions on CERIC’s GSEP Corner.

Many GSEP members will also be presenting student posters at Cannexus – a great opportunity for attendees to learn from the next generation of career researchers.

GSEP encourages the engagement of Canada’s full-time graduate students whose academic focus is in career development and/or a related field.


New evidence that career education changes high school student pathways

A new CERIC-funded study has found evidence to support that career education in high school changes students’ career choices and pathways. The research by Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) uncovered that career interventions particularly help lower-income students in clarifying their career plans. The research project, “Role of career education on students’ education choices and post-secondary outcomes” aims to understand when, where and how youth initiate and craft their career aspirations.

The report generates new evidence from unique Canadian data to support decisions of policymakers and practitioners on a) how and when to intervene to assist youth in their career decision-making, and b) for whom supports are effective yet currently lacking. This builds on an earlier literature review from SRDC published this spring. Overall, the analysis equips the career counselling profession to respond authoritatively to increasingly urgent policy questions about how optimally to structure career education for young people.

In the research, SRDC uses two rich longitudinal data sources to test career interventions through the linkage of education records to surveys of youth and parents in three provinces. The data document the lives of 7,000 young Canadians over 10 years, including their occupational aspirations as high school students at age 14, their post-secondary education and their employment outcomes. The interventions tested very different types of prompts to youth that might influence their careers.

From the Future to Discover project:

  • Learning Account (LA) – A promise made at the end of Grade 9 of an $8,000 grant automatically payable upon enrolment in post-secondary education over two years
  • Explore Your Horizons (EYH) – These expert-designed career education workshops support participants in preparing for career development through a carefully constructed developmental sequence of classroom-based activities
  • LA+EYH – Encourages engagement and preparation with more certainty around the availability of financial aid, by combining the supports in the above two interventions

From the BC Advancement Via Individual Determination (BC AVID) project:

  • BC AVID – Promotes and supports academic engagement with specially trained educators and counsellors intended to change the high school experience of students with as-yet-untapped potential to succeed in post-secondary education

The literature review established youth are often in their career exploration stage until age 20. It follows that youth can have low clarity on their career aspirations as well as less information or knowledge about the program requirements, which hinders matching their career aspirations to a program of study. Because the interventions provided additional support or focus (or both) to prepare or engage youth in their career development, students could be helped by them in clarifying and realizing their career interests. The analysis was designed to detect 1) what intervention made a difference and 2) to whom, in either switching from their initially unclear career aspirations to a clearer career plan OR maintaining their career aspirations and being able to identify the steps they need to realize their aspirations at an early stage. At this point, the researchers did not assign a positive or negative value to the changes observed.

The report draws the following broad conclusions:

  • The LA early guarantee of a post-secondary grant and EYH offer of career education workshops appeared to directly impact lower-income students, switching them away from their early career aspirations. BC AVID had similar impacts.
  • There is evidence that the effect of EYH workshops for students from higher-income families was more often indirect, inducing them to increase volunteering activities. Among this group, more tended to change career paths as an effect of the volunteering.
  • Career education typically increased the number of other career-related activities students engaged in, which appeared in turn to delay some disinterested students from entering the labour market via easy-to-obtain jobs straight after high school.
  • Having a LA increased participation in career activities, academic engagement, parental valuation of post-secondary education and volunteering for students from lower-income families, pointing to the importance of addressing the financial barriers to further education.
  • Notably, the interventions decreased the likelihood that students from lower-income households carried out their early career aspirations, suggesting that career programming is effective at changing the focus and choices of youth with more disadvantaged backgrounds.

The study also found evidence of career teachers/counsellors, parents and peers influencing the impacts of career education.

What was apparent from the research is that there are differences in career pathway decisions between socioeconomic groups. Students with a lower socioeconomic status start with less clarity in career aspirations or less often have firm career plans than their counterparts from families with higher socioeconomic status. Career education interventions seem disproportionately to help those without post-secondary-educated parents and from lower-income families clarify their career plans (and thereby result in more changes for these youth to their intended program of study at Grade 12 relative to their intent at Grade 8/9).

According to the report authors, led by Research Director Reuben Ford, while this large set of findings sheds important light on a poorly understood yet key stage of youth career decision-making, much more needs to be done. They will be seeking to apply the research approach to consider how career education affects outcomes beyond career choices, to:

  • improve life chances of the youth involved (health, well-being, earnings);
  • improve the functioning of the labour market or economy, including minimizing disruption in future, adult career transitions; and
  • reduce the time spent out of work or NEET, underemployed or in occupations where their skills are misaligned with the tasks they must perform.

The authors state that “Career decision making is, by definition, a long-term endeavour of critical importance to the life chances of individuals and the functioning of economies.” Therefore, they recommend further investment in data that can help youth, those who advise and support them and policymakers, understand the consequences of those decisions and the environments that support optimal outcomes. They also flag that there is a need to consider gender, language and racialized dimensions of career decision-making. Additionally, they highlight the need to project the results onto the labour market and educational realities of the 2020s, to ensure further recommendations are relevant to an era transformed by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, automation and artificial intelligence, other influences on labour market precarity, new online learning as well as diversity and inclusion.

You can learn more about the findings in a free CERIC webinar on “What Influences High School Career Decision-Making” with the project leaders on November 23. Project leaders will also host a Learning Lab on January 27 as part of the virtual Cannexus conference where participants can explore the research in-depth.


New webinar series to help school counsellors support Black students

CERIC is pleased to be partnering with the Ontario School Counsellors’ Association (OSCA) for the first time to offer a 2-part webinar series – Shifting the Trajectory for Black Students: The Role of School Counsellors in Supporting Positive Outcomes for Black Students with Nicole Baxter-Lyn and Kamilah Clayton.

School counsellors play a pivotal role in supporting Black students’ sense of connectedness to their school community, and in setting students up for academic and professional success beyond their elementary and secondary school experiences. By attending this webinar series, current and prospective guidance counsellors as well as other educators and career practitioners, will learn how to approach guidance using an anti-racist, healing-informed approach.

  • Webinar #1: Enough is Enough: Disrupting Marginalizing Practices within Guidance – presented by Nicole Baxter-Lyn, Wednesday, November 25, 2020 | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm ET
  • Webinar #2: A Focus on Inclusion – presented by Kamilah Clayton, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm ET

Baxter-Lyn is the co-founder and Vice-President of The Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organization for Mentoring or Training. Currently, she is a Provincial Equity Leadership Facilitator and she is also the Equity Teacher Facilitator Co-ordinator who oversees a team of anti-racist, anti-oppression consultants within the York Region District School Board. Clayton is a Registered Social Worker and psychotherapist, with over 10 years’ experience working with children, youth and families in multiple settings. She utilizes an Identity Affirming approach to mental health and wellness for people of African descent/heritage, and her practice areas include: anxiety, depression, stress and racial identity.

This webinar series is generously sponsored by the Ontario School Counsellors’ Association (OSCA). Thanks to their contribution, the series is offered at a discounted rate for non-OSCA members ($99) and for free if you are a member of OSCA.

CERIC partners with associations and organizations across Canada and beyond to present webinars that offer timely, convenient and affordable professional development. Previously, CERIC has worked with the Canadian Association for Supported EmploymentNew Brunswick Career Development AssociationOntario Association for Career Management, Canadian Association of Career Educators & EmployersCareer Development Association of AlbertaNova Scotia Career Development AssociationCanadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada, Career Professionals of Canada, Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training, and the US-based National Career Development Association.


Marilyn Van Norman Bursary awarded for virtual Cannexus21 conference

In recognition of Marilyn Van Norman’s valuable contribution to the career development field, CERIC is awarding 13 bursaries to community-based counsellors for Cannexus21, courtesy of The Counselling Foundation of Canada.

CERIC received a total of 21 applications and wishes to acknowledge all the organizations that applied. Recipients of this year’s Marilyn Van Norman Bursary (formerly the Elizabeth McTavish Bursary) come from across the country, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Bursary winners this year represent organizations that support newcomers, youth, Indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities.

The bursary is given in recognition of Marilyn Van Norman, the recently retired Director of Research Initiatives at CERIC. Known as a collaborator, visionary and expeditor, she is widely respected for her more than 40 years of leadership in the career development field.

A bursary provides a full registration for the Cannexus conference. The Cannexus21 conference takes place in January 27 & 29 and February 1 & 3, 2021. ­­


Fall issue of Careering highlights Career Superpowers

CERIC’s Career Superpowers issue of Careering magazine highlights the many ways career professionals can help clients and students become the heroes of their own career journeys. Authors provide tools to help get you and your clients through tumultuous times, and offer guidance on navigating barriers to career success, such as discrimination.

As we all continue to make our way through COVID-19, it is easy to focus on the challenges. We can’t escape them. However, the strengths, skills and tools described in this issue are ones that anyone can use or develop. Career development is a superpower, and we need it now, more than ever.

Articles in this issue:

And much more:

Careering magazine is Canada’s Magazine for Career Development Professionals and is the official publication of CERIC. It is published three times a year both in print and as an emagazine, including select content in French. Subscribe to receive your free copy. You can also access past issues for free online.

The Winter 2021 issue of Careering magazine will be on the theme of “Social Justice.” New contributors are welcome, and can submit in English, French or both languages. Please review our Submission Guidelines and send a 1-2 paragraph proposal outlining your topic idea to Editor Lindsay Purchase, lindsay@ceric.ca, no later than October 9.


Survey shows career professionals finding new ways to support clients, but mental health concerns and burnout emerge as risks

Canada’s career and employment services practitioners continue to find innovative ways to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their clients and students but challenges remain. Nearly half of respondents in a new survey of career and employment services (49.4%) identified developing new partnerships or services over the summer compared to 25.9% who said the same in June. Since the pandemic began, CERIC has been tracking how career and employment services have been affected and sharing insights back with the field.

In June, CERIC released its first Recovery Pulse Survey of 1,146 career development professionals from across the country. Over July and August, follow up interviews were completed with select individuals to further explore some of the experiences that practitioners were going through in greater detail. Between September 10 and 18, CERIC reached out to a sampling of respondents from its June survey who agreed to participate in a second survey to see how things had changed for them. A total of 195 respondents replied, allowing CERIC to get a sense of how some practitioners have seen their work evolve over the past few months.

Overall, demand for services and programming over the summer months has varied:

  • 37.3% of respondents reported a decrease in demand,
  • 32.6% reported an increase, and
  • 30.1% reported no change.

A plurality of respondents continued to say they would be able to stay open, but with some slight changes to services/programming at 48.8% as compared to 54.7% in June.

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Many respondents shared examples of how they have been able to overcome certain challenges and demonstrate resilience. Comments were shared related to:

  • Finding new ways to support clients or students. “Not being able to provide our youth with a group setting was very concerning to me. We have created an online classroom through Google and with guest speakers from the community, and through a daily check-in, humour, information and perseverance, we have managed to create a safe and meaningful space for these youth. Very successful!”
  • Implementing tech solutions. “Communicating while working from home was a challenge, but initiating a Slack channel for our team helped immensely. It allowed us to collaborate quickly, keep in touch daily, and support each other in real-time. It also kept our communication very well-organized by topic/project, which made it significantly more useful than other ‘chat’ services such as WhatsApp.”
  • Maintaining a work-life balance. “A major stressor across large numbers of staff was having their children at home while they had even more than usual in front of them. Resolved through explorations of how to divide up the work differently; encouraging even more flexible headspaces; checking in with staff to connect personally.”
  • Creating staff connections. “We had 3 months of team challenges, where people received weekly points for things such as meditation, walking, exercise, drinking water, learning a new skills, connecting with a friend or co-worker etc., a blog and LinkedIn group where we would share pictures and stories with prizes at the end of each month. It was well received. People said it kept them motivated and gave them something to aspire to each day.”
  • Dealing with changing demand. “Most noticeable is a decline in new intakes and a decrease in current client participation in activities. To increase our intakes we are working more aggressively with the Ministry to contact the recently employed and not wait for them to come to us. For clients that already exist, it is about informing them that a return to work may mean that there is a shift in how their job is done or that new skills may be required and this is an opportunity to address the shifting employers needs to stay relevant and achieve new and stable employment.”
  • Handling a return to the office. “Shortly before we unlocked the doors to fluid traffic from the public, we were faced with a potential exposure to COVID-19. While procedures were in place to address cleaning, sanitizing and a variety of other health and safety practices, we did not have a process to deal with a potential exposure, as opposed to confirmed exposure. We had to work very quickly to contain the situation and mitigate any further or wider spread exposure. While extremely stressful, we learned that we could adapt very quickly and it forced us to further recognize that we would have to remain flexible and resilient as circumstances can and will change very quickly.”

Respondents noted some slight improvements over the summer months in how they felt their students or clients viewed their situation. In September, 21.8% said that their clients or students view this time as an opportunity compared to 13.5% back in June. Overall, however, the vast majority of respondents, 78.2% in September (86.5% in June), continued to say that this time period was a source of stress for their clients or students.

Thinking ahead a few months, practitioners were asked for their thoughts on what their own work environment might look like and mean. Most respondents (38.8%) saw a partial return to the office in their future with some days in the office and some days at home. A further 26.8% said they were already back in the office full time, while 21.3% expected to continue to work from home until the end of 2020.

When asked what the implications for continuing to work remotely would be, a majority felt that their ability to work would carry on mostly unimpeded.

On the flip side, burnout was identified as a real possibility for many respondents in the coming months and that the problem was potentially even more acute for senior leadership. Overall, 35.5% were moderately or very concerned about burning out themselves. This compares to 42.9% who were moderately or very concerned about their senior leadership burning out.

Similarly, the mental health of both practitioners and the clients or students they serve is a strong concern. A noteworthy seven in 10 respondents (70.3%) indicated a deterioration in the mental health of their of clients or students. Meanwhile, 38.1% noted a similar deterioration in their own mental health.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to present uncertainty in all aspects of society, CERIC will keep tabs on where the field is going, what challenges are proving to be thorniest and what new opportunities are emerging. CERIC will continue to do outreach to the sector and share back what its learning so others can learn too. Towards the end of 2020, CERIC will be launching its third Recovery Pulse Survey to check-in once again and see how the situation is further evolving.


Virtual Cannexus21 preliminary program now available online

The preliminary program for Cannexus21, Canada’s Career Development Conference is now available online. Cannexus21 is going virtual and will continue to provide an accessible, content-rich and value-packed opportunity for Canada’s career development communities to convene, share and learn. Cannexus21 takes place on January 25 & 27 and February 1 & 3, 2021, with recordings available for a full year.

Among the over 150 sessions exploring our theme of Career Development for Public Good, highlights include:

  • Building Back Better: How Work Needs to Change for Good After COVID with Jim Stanford (Live Pandemic Recovery Series)
  • Fostering Positive Indigenous Community Engagement with Purpose with Trina Maher (Live Concurrent Session)
  • Thriving with Mental & Emotional Well-being with Shellie Deloyer (Live Concurrent Session)
  • Integrating Career Development in the Early Grades with Ed Hidalgo and David Miyashiro (On-Demand Session)
  • Redeploying Talent: Industry-Responsive Upskilling During COVID with AJ Tibando (Live Workforce Development Spotlight Session)
  • Inclusive Supported Employment Practices for LGBTQ2S+ with Tara Buchanan (Live Concurrent Session)
  • Scaling Virtual Career Development on Three Campuses with Rich Feller, Mark Franklin and Jayne Greene-Black (On-demand Session)
  • Stay tuned for the release of session information for the special Around the World Sessions
  • All plenary sessions will be presented with interpretation

The conference will also have outstanding keynotes from Deloite Future of Work Executive Advisor Zabeen Hirji, Simon Fraser University’s Dr. Kris Magnusson and Olympian Perdita Felicien. There were also be dedicated networking opportunities, including peer-to-peer matchmaking, as well as an Online Exhibitor Showcase.

Register now to receive the Early Bird rate of $248 available until November 12. Groups of at least 5 or Members of one 38 provincial, national and international Cannexus supporting organizations can benefit from an additional 25% off. And Full-time Students can register for just $50. Note that with the virtual platform, registrations cannot be shared, and individuals require their own registration.

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of supporting organizations.


Laval University’s André Raymond appointed as Chair of CERIC Board

CERIC is pleased to announce André Raymond, CRHA, as the new Chair of its Board of Directors for a two-year term. Raymond, Director of both Career Services and Continuing Education at Laval University in Quebec City, will lead the Board in delivering on CERIC’s mission to advance career development in Canada. A national charitable organization, CERIC has two strategic mandates: promoting career development as a priority for the public good, and building career development knowledge, mindsets and competencies.

As a human resources expert, Raymond brings more than 25 years’ experience in recruiting, education and career management. He is an active member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés du Québec (Quebec Board of certified human resources counsellors). He holds a master’s degree in organizational development and a bachelor’s degree in industrial relations.

“We are thrilled to welcome a new Board Chair who helps us to advance our engagement activities with francophone career professionals in all corners of the country,” said CERIC Executive Director Riz Ibrahim. “We are also grateful to have many other volunteer leaders to shape and support these and other endeavours with CERIC.”

Reflecting a cross-section of diverse career development leaders from across Canada, the members of the 2020/2021 CERIC Board of Directors are:

  • André Raymond, Laval University, Quebec City, QC (Chair)
  • Candy Ho, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC (Vice Chair)
  • John Horn, Vancity Credit Union, Vancouver, BC (Past Chair)
  • Cathy Keates, Queens’s University, Kingston, ON (Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Lorraine Godden, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
  • Darlene Hnatchuk, McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • Cynthia Martiny, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC
  • Rosie Parnass, Coach and HR Consultant, Toronto, ON
  • Rob Shea, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL
  • Lisa Taylor, Challenge Factory, Toronto, ON
  • Sue Watts, Employment + Education Centre (EEC), Brockville, ON
  • Donald G. Lawson, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON (Honorary Director – Ex-officio)
  • Bruce Lawson, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON (Executive Officer – Ex-officio)

Members of CERIC’s three Advisory Committees – Practical & Academic Research; Content & Learning; and Marketing, Communications & Web Services – have been appointed by the Board for the next year. Members of these committees play an important role in shaping CERIC’s projects, programs and publications.

CERIC is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. We fund projects to develop innovative resources that build the knowledge and skills of diverse career and employment professionals. CERIC also annually hosts Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference, publishes the country’s only peer-reviewed journal, Canadian Journal of Career Development, and runs the CareerWise / OrientAction websites, providing the top career development news and views.