Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a qualification designed for students in Years 11 and 12 that is recognized around the world. It is a valuable pathway to university study, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and the world of work. It is also possible to do a vocational certificate (VCE VET) or a school-based apprenticeship (SBA) or traineeship within the VCE.

The VCE program is a set of units that are completed over a 2 to 3 year period. Each study consists of units 1-4, with units 1 & 2 usually completed at year 11 and units 3 & 4 at year 12. There is some flexibility to this standard that will be explained in more detail throughout this handbook.

FCJ College offers a wide range of subjects and can tailor a VCE program to match student interests and career aspirations.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the VCE & VCAL

In senior secondary years, students can choose to complete a VET program as part of their VCE or VCAL. There are a number of VET programs from which students can choose, which can contribute towards a student’s satisfactory completion of the VCE or VCAL, and which give the students a nationally recognized vocational qualification. VCE VET programs provide students with pathways to university, TAFE, further training and the workplace and include job training such as music, agriculture, building and construction, multimedia, business, engineering and other fields.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

Some students enjoy hands-on learning activities and the chance to obtain practical industry-related experience in areas such as those referred to above. Schools can benefit these students by offering the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) – a high quality option for Years 11 and 12 students who want a flexible study program that suits their particular learning needs, interests and goals.

FCJ VCAL students participate in a range of activities and partnerships. They assist local organisations such as, but not limited to, St Vincent de Paul Society, Meals on Wheels and Food Share.

The VCAL has four compulsory strands:
• Literacy and Numeracy Skills
• Work Related Skills
• Industry Specific Skills
• Personal Development Skills

These strands give students practical work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that stand them in good stead for both work and life.

VCAL students may apply to enroll in VCE subjects to complement their VCAL program. The VCE application will only be successful if the VCE subject in question does not clash or interfere with their SBA or VCAL subjects on the timetable. If the application to study a particular VCE subject is successful, the student will not sit VCE examinations and will not receive a Study Score for that subject unless the family makes it clear to the school that a Study Score is desired.

School-Based Apprenticeships (SBA)

In the past, many young people had to make the hard decision about whether to pursue an apprenticeship or traineeship and leave school, or to stay on and complete their secondary study. The SBA program enables students to have the best of both worlds. They can participate in paid employment (part-time), while completing their 12 years of schooling.

Available to students as part of their VCE or VCAL, school-based apprenticeships assist students in making a successful transition from school to further training, education or work. They provide multiple pathways to employment, on-the-job training, TAFE and university. Local industries also benefit from school-based apprenticeships, because they help to fill local skill shortages.

The SBA qualification that a student receives will contribute to satisfactory completion of the VCE in the same way that VCE VET programs contribute. Students completing the VCAL also gain credits towards their course.