ITE Career Cluster-Based Curriculum Framework
The Career Cluster-based Curriculum Framework (CCF) involves a fundamental shift in the way ITE prepares students for the workforce. ITE will move from training students for a ‘single occupation’ to training students for a ‘cluster’
or grouping of related occupations industries based on common skills and knowledge. Career Clustering will become the fundamental premise by which ITE organises, plans and designs courses.
Students will be provided with a strong foundation of essential life skills and broad horizontal skills of related occupations under a specific cluster. At the more advanced levels of training, students will deepen their skills in a chosen area of expertise.
Features of Career Cluster-based Curriculum Framework
Each Career Cluster has several Career Pathways within which are numerous Career Specialisations, each offering some specific and others, advanced skill learning. Skills learned at the Cluster level can be transferred to other career specialisations within
the Cluster. This is made possible as the skills sets are clustered closely according to a wider range of related career possibilities. This will facilitate lifelong learning, cross-training and alternative pathways for progression – thus ensuring
a higher likelihood of success at work and continual employability.
- Career Pathways for Nitec Courses
GCE ‘O’/’N’ Level students who qualify for a Nitec course, the curriculum is designed to encompass two levels of skills and knowledge: Foundation and Career Core.
At the Foundation level, students will acquire skills and knowledge that cut across all pathways encompassed in the cluster. This also includes Essential Lifeskills and Career Pathway. The next level, Career Core, will lead the students towards
more specific career choices. After the Career Core level, students can either exit with a Nitec certificate to gain employment or progress to the next level at Higher Nitec to learn, Advanced Career Core, which is designed
for specialised workplace skills.
- Career Pathways for Higher Nitec Courses
For students who qualify for a Higher Nitec course, the curriculum is designed to encompass two levels of skills and knowledge: Career Core and Advanced Career Core.
- Career Pathways for Progression from Nitec to Higher Nitec Course
Under this career cluster approach, Nitec graduates with GPA score ≥ 3.0 may now gain direct progression to Year 2 of related Higher Nitec courses. Students who are not able to gain direct progression to Year 2 of Higher Nitec courses may begin their studies from Year 1 with relevant module exemption, where applicable.
Advantages of Career Cluster-Based Curriculum Framework
Career clustering prepares every student to succeed in the 21st century workplace through skills and knowledge that are in step with a rapidly changing business, economic and technological environment. Through having skills needed in the broad spectrum
of careers for the cluster, ITE graduates entering the workforce will be more versatile, be better prepared to learn on the job and to progress in their chosen career through lifelong learning. The advantages of doing so are:
- Better preparation of graduates for career and educational advancement;
- Saving of time for students – The explicit articulation between levels of training (Nitec to Higher Nitec) minimises duplication of content and allows for greater degree of recognition of learning from one level to the other
level. GCE ‘N’ level students can achieve a broader range and higher level of skills set within a shorter timeframe of three years instead of four years, if they perform well in their respective courses;
- More varied learning and applications – The provision of cross-functional and multidisciplinary skills within a career cluster provides greater opportunity for students to benefit from the different styles of teaching and learning and incorporate
possible innovations into curriculum instruction to enhance student learning; and
- Greater productivity and cost effectiveness – ITE can review courses and prepare learning resources, by cluster instead of individual courses.
Term-Based Credit Systems of Training
ITE’s full-time courses are conducted on a Term-Based Credit System of Training (TCT). This system of training offers flexibility, choice and diversity in learning. In TCT, a course of study is structured into a series of modules. When students
pass a module, they will earn credits assigned to that module. Assessment of module is on a term basis. When the students have accumulated the required number of credits in modules relevant to the course of study within the specific duration, they
are deemed to have met the requirements of the course for graduation.
Generally, an average student under the full-time institutional training mode should be able to complete all the prescribed modules within the duration of the course.
There is provision for students to take up an additional year of full-time training to complete all the required modules of a course if they are unable to accumulate the stipulated credits at the end of the course.
Types of Module
A module is a self-contained unit of study, covering selected topics of a subject area. The modules are classified into the following categories:
These are modules that will help students build a firm foundation in the core discipline of studies. Students must pass all these modules in order to qualify for the certificate.
These modules will help students to develop specific focus and fields of specialisation within the course. They are compulsory and accountable for full certification. Students should select the modules that match their interest and learning ability.
Life Skills Modules
Life Skills in broad terms are the foundation skills and personal qualities that an individual can transfer from one job setting to another, and to manage and adapt to changes in technology and work environments.
These elective modules will allow students to broaden and deepen their field of study. Students should select the modules that match their interest and learning ability. Students are required to obtain a minimum number of credits from elective modules
for certification. Elective modules available for selection will be communicated to the students by their College.
Students who have acquired the related knowledge and skills for a particular module through prior learning can apply for module exemption upfront and before they commence the training for the course. The application is to be submitted to the Section Head
of their course of study. The maximum number of module credits exempted for an ITE course (from a non-ITE course) should not exceed 50% of the total credit units required for the full certification of the course.
Students who are representing Singapore in sports and games and need to attend related training can apply for exemption from the Sports and Wellness module. The exemption will be granted for one academic year only. Students may re-apply for the exemption
in the second year provided they still meet the eligibility condition of participating in a competitive sport or game at the national level. Notwithstanding the exemption granted for Sports and Wellness, all students are required to undergo the NAPFA