Pen & Book
Office of the
Associate Vice-President (Academic)


ISS* 4320 Transition From School to Work

ISS*4320 is an applied “capstone” type course. The course examines two major themes:

1.  Transition from School to Work: We will look at the changes taking place in organizations and work, and the advanced level, general skills needed by university graduates in the workplace.  Transition issues, such as the change from the role of ‘student’ to ‘employee’ or ‘entrepreneur,’ will be studied. Within the transition theme each student will prepare a Skills Portfolio containing a personal mission statement, an intellectual autobiography, résumés in alternative formats, example cover letters, record of job interviewing experience, and a presentation (with support material) of the development of skills in each of the four “Bases of Competence:”  Managing Self, Communicating, Managing People & Tasks,and Mobilizing Innovation & Change(Evers, Rush & Berdrow. The Bases of Competence: Skills for Lifelong Learning and Employability. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998).  Skills Portfolios have been shown to be an excellent way to reflect on education and work experience and prepare for job searching, job interviews, and career development.

2.  Leadership: In the research reported in Evers, Rush & Berdrow (1998), university graduates working in Canadian companies and managers of university graduates consistently rated “leadership” as the skill in the greatest demand. We will explore leadership models and applications. Students will be encouraged to study leadership issues that relate to professions in their disciplines. Related to the leadership theme, students will work on an Action Project (individually or in teams) which will involve researching creative approaches to leadership issues.  

Course Material:         

  • A binder of your choice with dividers to use for the Skills Portfolio - 2.5 - 3 inches wide
  • Evers, Frederick T. & Gardner, Philip D.  From Backpacks to Briefcases: Resource for Students Making the Transition from College to Work - DRAFT. (To Be Published by Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco.)  This book will be distributed in class - it will be not available in the Book Store
  • Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance & McMahon, Timothy R. (1998) Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make a Difference. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. This book will be available at the Book Store


Skills Portfolio                                    50%
Action Project Report                        35%
Presentation (Solo or Team)          15%


Downloadable Course Documents (in PDF)

Course Outline
Skills Portfolio Specifications
Personal Mission statements
Intellectual Autobiography
Making the Match Competencies Checklist
Action Project Proposal Form
Action Project Specifications
Presentation & Report Tips


© 2006, University of Guelph