Provincial Competition Exceeds Expectations in BC
Victoria, BC. Over 2700 students, parents and teachers took part in the ChatterHigh BC Provincial Postsecondary & Career Exploration Competition, sponsored by Okanagan College. The 6 week competition ended recently
with Dr. Charles Best Secondary, North Peace Secondary, Prespatou Elem-Secondary and Cowichan Valley Distributed Learning schools winning their respective division honours. The rewards go beyond online game bragging rights – ChatterHigh is an interactive alternative to dusty books on shelves about careers and postsecondary options. As a fund raising event, schools raised nearly $7000 for themselves plus $1500 for Free The Children, simply by exploring options. Schools use this exciting and high engagement program in career education courses where students ponder the age-old question, “What will I be when I grow up?”
This competition exceeded the expectations of sponsor Okanagan College, as Associate Registrar, Recruitment and Admissions Inga Wheeler explains, “ChatterHigh helps inform thousands of students about postsecondary and career possibilities in a fun way. There are many choices to discover out there and we were pleased to share information about the 120 programs we offer, from traditional Arts, Science and Business programs to unique paths like Audio Engineering and Music Production or Water Engineering Technology. We hope young people will feel more empowered to make choices based on the doors ChatterHigh has opened.”
What is ChatterHigh?
ChatterHigh is a free, daily 10-minute online activity that creates accessibility to many postsecondary pathways, possible career goals, health and financial information. Points earned in the quizzes earn awards and are used in the inter-school competitions.
“52% of students that drop out of first year at post-secondary do so because of ‘lack of interest with their program or a lack of direction in their career.’” (Parkin & Baldwin, 2009) Founder, Lee Taal, believes that ChatterHigh can help reduce this rate as more students actively explore and become better informed. Postsecondary champions of the program agree, such as Jody Gordon, Vice President of Students at the University of the Fraser Valley. “ChatterHigh gives students a great opportunity to explore their post-secondary careers early. This raises awareness for universities and college programs but also results in more highly engaged students who know how to better navigate their post-secondary education upon their arrival.”
By the Numbers:
ChatterHigh piloted in Victoria and became available throughout BC in 2012 and Alberta in 2013 and now is ready for the rest of Canada. Since Sept 2014, 11,000 people from 316 schools in 96 districts in four provinces have visited close to 1 Million web pages to explore options!