Departments & Programs - Career Programs

Career Programs

Our Career Programs aim to help high school students transition smoothly to post-secondary education and work places.

Career Programs provide students with the opportunity to:

  • develop job seeking skills (application process, interview skills, resume writing, etc.)
  • experience the world of work in a variety of careers while still in high school
  • develop and refine employability skills
  • link course curriculum learned in high school to the world of work
  • gain post-secondary credits (program specific where applicable)
  • develop self-confidence and self-esteem
  • complete the 30 hours of work experience graduation requirement

These are divided into Apprenticeship Programs, Career Education Courses, and Programs for Graduated Students.

Apprenticeship Programs

Please visit our Apprenticeships pages.

Career Education Courses


PLANNING 10 (soon to be “Career Life Education”)

Planning 10 is about personal responsibility and inspiration! Its goals include:

  • becoming informed decision makers; accessing and analyzing information relevant to your life; understanding more about who you are and your role in getting and staying personally, financially, educationally and career “healthy”; planning your transition from secondary school to the rest of your life.

Students will be introduced to the Graduation Transition Program in Planning 10, will be responsible for continuing this process throughout Grade 10 and 11 and will complete and present this 4 credit requirement in Grade 12.

GRADE 11/12


Are you thinking of going into careers involving helping others, education, health care, business, entrepreneurship, law enforcement, or other service industries? Then this is the course for you! This is an introduction to collaborative conflict resolution skills. Topics include specific communication skills, the dynamics of conflict, anger management, understanding and handling emotions, and the negotiation model as a process for handling disputes. This is an interactive course that includes team building, discussion and role play activities in a safe and supportive learning environment. Students are able to obtain dual credit for this course in the Justice Institute of BC’s Centre for Conflict Resolution certificate program. The course credit assigned depends on the grade the student is in; for example, a grade 11 student would normally get credit for Conflict Resolution 11. PREREQUISITE: NONE


This course is the second level of three offered in the NWSS Conflict Resolution Program. Topics covered in the level one course (Conflict Resolution) are extended and further integrated into the students’ repertoire. Students enhance their skills in how to have sticky conversations and tap into the potential creative energy that lies in conflict to create longer-term solutions that preserve relationships. As well, students will learn the mediation model of as a process for handling third-party conflicts. Dual credit for this course is available at the Justice Institute of BC.
PREREQUISITE: Conflict Resolution


This course is the most advanced course offered in the NWSS Conflict Resolution Program. Topics discussed in the level two course are extended and further integrated into the students’ repertoire. An added component to this course is the study of selected topics in mediation; namely, dealing with intense emotions; shifting from positions to interests; mediating with groups; advanced skill development; and legal and ethical considerations to name a few. Students will also develop their leadership and coaching skills and study the emerging literature in mediation. Dual credit for this course is available at the Justice Institute of BC.
PREREQUISITE: Conflict Resolution Advanced

Graduation Transition Program (soon to be “Career Life Connections”):


Want to finish your required Graduation Transitions Program (GTP) efficiently and effectively? Attend this class every other day (alternating with a study block) in 1 semester to complete the required GTP for 4 credits. You will have a teacher present to guide you through the program, answer questions and conduct your final interview.

Once you have met the requirements and completed your interview, you do not need to attend class any more.


If you work well without any supervision or structure and can still complete your assignments on time, this may be the option for you. Pick up the Graduation Transitions booklet in Sept. and complete it on your own. You will have a teacher assigned to you to track your progress for report cards and to conduct your final interview. Otherwise, you are on your own – if you select this option, be sure you can find answers to your post-secondary questions and read and follow directions well on your own – it’s the independent route!


Work experience is intended to help prepare students for the transition from secondary school to the world of work or further education and training. The community becomes the classroom where students gain knowledge and experience about the workplace and are provided with a frame of reference to review or revise their career goals.

Work experience provides students with an opportunity to apply classroom learning in a context outside of school and to bring back to the classroom new perspectives about their learning. Work experience also provides students with the chance to gain new skills that can be used in future work opportunities.

20% of work experience course hours is devoted to in-school learning or assessment activities for the course. 80% of the time will consist of actual work placements in the community setting. An application process is required. Please see your counsellor for details. Once students have requested Work Experience, an interview with Career Programs teacher is required in order to ensure there is an appropriate match for work placements


This is a partnership between the New Westminster Fire Services; Parks, Culture and Recreation; the Justice Institute of BC and the School District. This program provides students in grades 11 and 12 with the opportunity to experience a condensed fire academy situation. The program includes: first aid, auto extrication, fire science, fire safety, and a trip to the Justice Institute in Maple Ridge to put out live fires at their training grounds. Ten successful applicants are selected each year. For more information, please call Youth Services at 604.515.3775.


This is a cooperative effort of the New Westminster Police Service and the Justice Institute of BC-Policy Academy. The program provides grade 11 and 12 students with a realistic perspective on policing. The academy consists of approximately 80 hours of instruction. When completed the hours may be applied towards students’ work experience activities for grades 11/12.


Students interested in these programs need to contact the Career Programs Coordinator at 604-517- 6245 during their grade 12 year when applying to the particular post-secondary institute.

BCIT Digital Arts Program is 1 to 2 years in duration and often leads to a career as an animator or digital artist. Graduating NWSS students with marks of 60% or more in Photography and Photoshop 11 or 12, who also meet BCIT entrance requirements, can gain provisional acceptance into the BCIT Digital Arts Program.

Douglas College Animal Health Technology program is 2 years in duration at the David Lam Campus, and often leads to a career as a Veterinarian Assistant. Graduating NWSS students who meet the requirements of the college will be guaranteed an interview for admission to the Animal Health Technology Program.

Douglas College Dental Assisting Program is a 10 month program at the New Westminster Campus and often leads to a career helping dentists and patients. NWSS has an agreement in place whereby each year 1 or 2 graduating students are guaranteed acceptance into the program once they have met the requirements of the college.