Young people most in need of guidance counselling are also the ones least likely to seek assistance. It is vital that we support young people to flourish by helping them choose an education path that is right for them. Support and guidance can aid in reducing social inequalities and narrow the learning gap.
The My Path programme is a research-based programme developed using the findings of the My Path project, designed to help young people make informed choices about their upper secondary education. It is intended to help all young people, especially the most vulnerable, to make the right choices when applying to upper secondary education. My Path is designed to better prepare young people for working life, to improve their wellbeing, and to improve the pedagogical skills of guidance counsellors. The programme also enables guidance counsellors to update, complement and expand their skills and competences. My Path is a complete set of study materials for guidance counsellors to use with students in years 7-9 of comprehensive school.
The original My Path programme was created with funding from the Strategic Research Council. After four years of testing in 30 comprehensive schools, the results went into the making of the present My Path programme. The programme consists of digital and paper-based study materials as well as training days for guidance counsellors. Together these will make schools better equipped to help young people increase their self-awareness, improve their self-esteem and other psychological skills, and learn the skills necessary in working life. The programme also includes workshops organised by Walter Association, an NGO working in schools and well-familiar with the needs and dreams of young people. The workshops are rolled out especially in schools with students who are most in need of support to make successful choices about their future. The My Path programme covers years 7–9 of comprehensive school. The materials are available in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Upper comprehensive schools in the City of Helsinki will roll out My Path in 2021–2024, and the VATT Institute for Economic Research will conduct research into the impact of the programme over the same period.
The materials included in the My Path programme (lecture videos, handbook for guidance counselors and student’s textbook with exercises) are available free of charge on Finnish National Agency for Education’s Library of Open Educational Resources.
Before taking the My Path programme into use, we warmly recommend that the guidance counselors take part in a one-day training organized by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The My Path Programme also includes workshops hosted by Walter Association. The workshops are especially useful for schools with students having difficulties choosing the right secondary education. For more information about the guidance counselor training and workshops, please get in touch with Project Manager Dionne Pounds or Director of School Projects Jan Wieland .