Career development learning in the curriculum: What is an academic’s role?




Career development learning (CDL) is an approach to developing student employability that enables students to reflect on and plan their future careers through engaging in activities outside or within their degree. Building on literature arguing for the benefits of integrating CDL within curriculum, this study examines academics’ perceived roles facilitating CDL. Informed by the principles and processes of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), 55 academics were interviewed from one institution, enabling responses to be examined through a common lens of teaching, policy and governance structures. Findings demonstrate that while some participants broadly understood the value of CDL, the term CDL is not well known. Further, while CDL strategies within teaching contexts occur, they are mostly unplanned or dialogic. This paper presents a taxonomy of current practice, featuring 11 diverse roles for facilitating CDL within curriculum grouped as absent, implicit and explicit approaches. The paper offers recommendations for a university-wide agenda for employability that features CDL strategies embedded across core curricula.


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Author Biographies

  • Bonnie Amelia Dean, University of Wollongong

    Dr Bonnie Amelia Dean (PhD, SFHEA) is Head of Academic Development & Recognition in the Learning, Teaching & Curriculum centre at the University of Wollongong. Bonnie is a Director on the Australian Collaboration Education Network (ACEN) board and Chair of the ACEN NSW/ACT State Chapter, the leading national network for work-integrated learning. Bonnie is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Academic Development, an active researcher and advocate for student employability.  

  • Sarah Ryan

    Sarah Ryan is a career development specialist with eighteen years’ experience in higher education in Australia and Ireland. Sarah is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia, and was responsible for leading the development of the Career Development Learning strategy at the University of Wollongong. She is currently a learning advisor for career theory and policy, and professional practice units as part of the QUT Graduate Certificate in Career Development.  

  • Tracey Glover-Chambers , University of Wollongong

    Tracey is a Scholarly Teaching Fellow in Careers Central for the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) portfolio at the University of Wollongong. Tracey is a lecturer in Career Development Learning and Work Integrated Learning subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  Tracey is a member of the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS), Australia’s peak professional body for career development in higher and tertiary education.

  • Conor West, University of Wollongong

    Dr Conor West is a Lecturer, Academic Developer in the Learning, Teaching & Curriculum centre at the University of Wollongong. Conor is a member of the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT). She is a researcher in educational psychology and an advocate for the recognition and support of teaching academics.

  • Michelle J. Eady, University of Wollongong

    Michelle J. Eady is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She is a HERDSA and ISSOTL fellow, a senior fellow of the HEA and holds a national teaching citation for her work in quality teacher preparation. Her research interests include the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Work integrated learning (WIL), Distance Learning/Synchronous Technology, Aboriginal Studies and other current issues in Education. Associate Professor Eady has had the pleasure of speaking at conferences worldwide and looks forward to collaborations with colleagues who have a passion for teaching and learning.

  • Venkata Yanamandram, University of Wollongong

    Associate Professor Venkata Yanamandram (PhD) is Associate Dean (International & Accreditation) of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Wollongong, responsible for making an effective contribution to internationalisation and accreditation within the Faculty. He also holds the role of Director, Assurance of Learning, responsible for executing the plan for systematically collecting data on degree program learning outcomes, reviewing and using the data to continuously develop and improve the academic programs in Business. 

  • Tracey Moroney

    Professor Tracey Moroney OAM is a Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing with an interest in teaching and learning pedagogy and research. She is the current chair of the ANMAC RN accreditation committee.

  • Nuala O’Donnell, University of Wollongong

    Nuala is Associate Director, Student Engagement and Employability at University of Wollongong (UOW). She is the NSW/ACT President of the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS) which is Australia's peak professional body for career development in the higher and tertiary education sectors. Nuala is UOW’s Co-Chair of the WIL Advisory Committee responsible for driving the institution’s WIL strategic priorities.







How to Cite

Career development learning in the curriculum: What is an academic’s role?. (2022). Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 13(1), 142-154.