How the Challenge Cards are Helping Students at Ashbury College

JP Michel
Grade 10 careers teacher Kate Lane at Ashbury College had an important task last semester. She wanted to help her class of 28 students look beyond the traditional list of job titles. To do this, Kate helped her students discover important challenges to work on. The goal was to engage students to discover new, meaningful possibilities for their future. 
Located in Ottawa, Canada, Ashbury College is one of the country’s leading coeducational International Baccalaureate boarding schools. Founded in 1891, the college has a long-standing reputation for excellence both nationally and internationally.
  • Who: 28 students, Grade 10 Career Course
  • When: Summer 2020
  • What: Digital Challenge Cards, by SparkPath.
  • Why: To broaden the horizons of her students so they can prepare for a future with purpose. 


Students who attend prestigious institutions operate in competitive environments with high standards of performance. This reality can make them more vulnerable to the ‘job title’ mindset, where they feel they must choose one job title to prepare for their future. Unfortunately, this limits their ability to think more broadly about all the ways they can impact the world and the vast career options that are available to them. 
To address this, Grade 10 careers teacher Kate Lane helped her students look beyond traditional, prestigious job titles. First, students watched the Challenge mindset TEDx Talk: Helping Youth Find Purpose and ImpactThis helped them learn that if they don’t choose their challenges they want to work, someone else will choose for them. Next, they used the digital Challenge Cards to discover inspiring challenges to work. 
After the card sort, students shared the reported the following results


Students also shared the ‘most important thing’ they learned: 

  • “That I don't have to choose a job, I can find careers involved in challenges I want to solve.”
  • “That you have to look at the challenge you want to complete instead of the job.”
  • “I learned about more job opportunities and a different way to look at careers/my future.”


We are grateful for educators like Kate who are leading the way in transforming the way students prepare for their future. Would you like to engage your students in a more meaningful approach to career exploration? If so, contact to get started. 


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Let's keep in touch