One moment.

 We are processing your request. 

  Back to Programs of Study Selection

Career & Life Management - Senior High (2002)

© Alberta Education, Canada 
 Table of Contents   Program of Studies

There is 1 Student Resource related to the entire Program of Studies
Rationale & Philosophy

The aim of senior high school Career and Life Management (CALM) is to enable students to make well-informed, considered decisions and choices in all aspects of their lives and to develop behaviours and attitudes that contribute to the well-being and respect of self and others, now and in the future. CALM is the core course for health literacy at the senior high school level in Alberta.

CALM Furthers the Alberta Learning Mission

In CALM, students continue to work toward becoming “responsible, caring, creative, self-reliant and contributing members of a knowledge-based and prosperous society” (Alberta Learning Mission statement, Business Plan 2002–2005).

CALM is a Senior High School Component of the Comprehensive School Health Education Program in Alberta

Alberta Learning is committed to a comprehensive approach to school-related health promotion. Comprehensive school health education is a broad spectrum of programs, policies, activities and services that take place in schools and their surrounding communities.

CALM is a vital component of comprehensive school health education. It emphasizes knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, competencies and values, and provides students with opportunities to enhance their capacities in problem solving, critical thinking and reflection.

Students require an understanding of self as the basis for making healthy choices, having healthy interactions with others and using resources wisely, as well as for lifelong career development. They also require information, planning tools and processes to make decisions and develop action plans for effective life management. This health-promoting course provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and insight, and to acquire essential life skills; it is relevant to the needs of students, now and in the future, and stimulates creativity, encouraging them to learn and providing them with important learning skills.

The CALM course approaches health issues in a coherent and holistic way. It is designed to improve students’ theoretical understanding of health issues and their ability to apply knowledge and skills to personal situations. In CALM, student participation is emphasized.

Connections to Others

Close collaboration among schools, parents and communities is a central requirement for comprehensive health education. Parental involvement is an integral component, since the family is the primary educator in the development of student attitudes and values. Activities and processes in CALM encourage family interest and involvement in student learning. The wider community plays a supportive and complementary role in building on student attitudes and values.

Strong links between schools, school councils, regional health authorities and other community-based agencies and organizations can facilitate coordinated planning and mutual support of efforts that promote lifelong learning and well-being. Collaborative community partnerships that respond to the context and needs of students are essential. CALM encourages and fosters these connections and collaborations.

Connections to Previous Learning

CALM builds on learning outcomes developed in the Health and Life Skills Kindergarten to Grade 9 program. Health and Life Skills and CALM share the same aim—to enable students to make well-informed, healthy choices and develop behaviours that contribute to the well-being of self and others. The general outcomes of Career and Life Management build on the three general outcomes of Health and Life Skills Kindergarten to Grade 9, as follows:

The Health and Life Skills Kindergarten to Grade 9 program and the CALM course contribute to healthy personal development, by providing opportunities for students to consider information and acquire, practise and demonstrate strategies for dealing with the challenges of life and living. The skills that students continue to acquire—building on those developed in earlier grades—are applicable beyond the classroom and throughout life.

CALM is the Core of Senior High School Health Literacy

Health literacy is the capacity to access, interpret and apply health information and services to make healthy choices. The CALM course works to develop health literacy, which includes the key components of critical thinking, effective communication, self-directed learning and responsible citizenship.

CALM Uses the Dimensions of Well-being as a Framework

Well-being stems from having the emotional/psychological, intellectual, social, spiritual and physical dimensions of one’s life in harmony with each other.

These dimensions may not appear to be of equal importance to an individual throughout life; however, all dimensions need to be recognized for their contribution to overall well-being. Balance among the dimensions is dynamic and constantly changing. The dimensions are interdependent and interrelated, and they can work in concert to improve overall health and well-being.

Achieving or maintaining a balanced approach to personal well-being requires ongoing self-management. CALM offers opportunities for students to acquire skills and apply strategies that enhance their ability to think and act independently, and it helps students build the confidence to trust in their personal abilities.

Self-management involves making healthy choices. It requires self-knowledge and establishing a personal vision for the future. Students learn that goals are part of an ongoing series of planning and management strategies that address potential barriers or challenges in life. Students identify areas for personal development and establish criteria for evaluation of effective life management. Support from others is important in identifying realistic targets and providing ongoing assistance to realize the vision. As students develop their ability to self-lead, they, in turn, can mentor and become supportive role models for peers and others in a variety of cross-age groups.

Course Delivery
Credit Allocation

Senior high school Career and Life Management (CALM) is required for graduation with an Alberta High School Diploma.

CALM is a 3-credit course. All three general outcomes of the course must be addressed.

Level for Instruction

To achieve the aim and outcomes of CALM, student maturity level, basic life experience and readiness for expression and reflection must be considered.

Through the senior high school years, student attitudes begin to shift. The closer the inevitable—the leaving of the senior high school environment—the more future-focused students become. Granted, while the degree of this change in attitude varies among students, the upcoming transition becomes more obvious as the grade level increases. Students with an awareness of the upcoming transition are more open to the information and skill development made available to them in CALM.

Length of Instruction

The course relies on providing students with the time necessary to explore the range of issues in depth and to develop a deeper level of understanding of their choices, responsibilities and actions. An extended period of instructional time is important, as it allows for student reflection and learning as well as for development of successful personal processes.

Sensitive Topics

CALM deals with many topics considered to be sensitive. These topics must be treated with care. Students need to have a safe and caring environment in which to explore feelings, ideas and issues surrounding personal choices and decisions. Study of the emotional and spiritual dimensions of health; topics related to family interactions; personal, family and community values; personal relationships; and issues of sexuality are but a few topics that are sensitive in nature and need to be dealt with in a responsible, respectful and professional manner in the classroom.

Instruction in human sexuality education requires communication with parents about the learning outcomes, topics and resources. All human sexuality outcomes have been boldfaced and italicized in this course to assist in identification of these outcomes.


For students who are not at the age of majority or living independently, parents have the right to exempt their children from school instruction in human sexuality education by submitting a letter to the school indicating their intention to do so. Schools will provide alternative learning experiences for those students who have been exempted from human sexuality instruction at the request of their parents. Students must complete the remainder of the course in order to receive credits.

Students may be exempted completely from Career and Life Management for only two reasons:

  • out-of-province Grade 12 students transferring into Alberta schools
  • religious beliefs.

The principal of the school exempts the out-of-province Grade 12 student and notifies Learning Information Exchange Services, Alberta Learning, by April 30 of the anticipated graduation year.

In the case of religious beliefs, parents/guardians must write to the Minister of Learning to request the exemption.

Involving Others

While it is important that the community be involved, as appropriate, in the delivery of CALM, this involvement must have parameters that ensure that students can learn from the presentations, activities and experiences. Presentations need to be pedagogically sound and consistent with the students’ level of development and learning.

Representatives and resources from the community must provide a balanced approach to the issues and topics; these issues and topics must be related to the CALM course.

Course Structure & Organization
General Outcomes

The aim of the CALM course is articulated through three general outcomes.

General Outcome 1: Personal Choices

  • Students will apply an understanding of the emotional/psychological, intellectual, social, spiritual and physical dimensions of health—and the dynamic interplay of these factors—in managing personal well-being.

General Outcome 2: Resource Choices

  • Students will make responsible decisions in the use of finances and other resources that reflect personal values and goals and demonstrate commitment to self and others.

General Outcome 3: Career and Life Choices

  • Students will develop and apply processes for managing personal, lifelong career development.

These three general outcomes serve as the foundation of the CALM course, and each general outcome is to be addressed.

The general outcomes are interrelated and interdependent. For example, processes for responsible decision making regarding the use of resources are also related to career choices. All choices influence and are influenced by the interrelationship of the dimensions of well-being. For student learning, an understanding of these interconnections is crucial, since life decisions often involve the intricate dynamics of balance between many areas simultaneously.

Specific Outcomes

Each general outcome is elaborated with a set of specific outcomes. Specific outcomes are identified with a letter and number; e.g., P5. apply a variety of strategies for lifelong learning. Each specific outcome is supported by bulleted examples. These bulleted examples do not form part of the required course but are provided as an illustration of how the specific outcomes might be developed.

Achievement of the specific outcomes enables students to develop and demonstrate the three general outcomes. Each specific outcome is to be addressed.

Specific outcomes are developmentally appropriate, building upon and making connections to prior learning throughout the Health and Life Skills Kindergarten to Grade 9 program. The specific outcomes are progressive and lead to more developmentally complex thinking skills that address the interrelated dimensions of health. Students can extend and refine learning in real-life situations. This is the core of health literacy.

Depending on the learning context and developmental needs of students, specific outcomes can be integrated or reclustered.

General Outcome 1: Personal Choices

Students will apply an understanding of the emotional/psychological, intellectual, social, spiritual and physical dimensions of health—and the dynamic interplay of these factors—in managing personal well-being. 

Specific Outcomes

Students will:

P1. analyze the dimensions of health and their interrelatedness, the impact of the determinants of health, and the dynamic nature of balance in life

  • describe the combination of factors that contribute to personal well-being
  • examine the determinants of health and their effect on lifestyle choices
  • explain the holistic nature of well-being
  • demonstrate an understanding of the interrelated and interdependent aspects of well-being and healthy lifestyles
  • describe the importance of balance in life and the changing/dynamic nature of this balance

P2. evaluate choices and combinations of choices that can create barriers to achieving and maintaining health, and identify actions to improve health

  • appreciate the value of positive attitudes about self when making choices
  • analyze poor choices or lack of ability to pursue healthy choices and decisions
  • assess the effects of substance use and abuse—tobacco, alcohol, drugs—on health
  • evaluate the impact of situations of risk and risks in combination
  • describe how peer pressure and the expectations of others influence choices
  • develop and implement a personal plan to improve one aspect of well-being

P3. develop and assess personal strategies to enhance creative thinking skills

  • explain the thinking process
  • analyze the effect of positive attitude on thinking
  • apply creative thinking strategies
  • describe how learning expands problem-solving capabilities

P4. develop approaches/tactics for creative problem solving and decision making

  • describe the existence of self and the importance of self-confidence
  • assess own well-being and own ability to cope with challenges and overcome obstacles
  • analyze the ability to make a change or difference, for self and others
  • explain the impact of continual change and growth in life
  • discuss living and liking life’s challenges

P5. apply a variety of strategies for lifelong learning

  • identify characteristics of effective learners
  • apply skills for learning, studying and being assessed
  • practise skills and strategies for managing time and dealing with procrastination
  • distinguish among learning styles, and develop strategies to adapt to various learning situations
  • apply relevant brain-based learning research to develop effective learning strategies
  • describe the relationship between continual personal change and growth in the thinking and learning process—lifelong learning

P6. determine practices and behaviours that contribute to optimal physical well-being

  • describe how individuals have control over physical and other dimensions of well-being
  • analyze safety/risk-taking behaviours, nutritious choices, fitness and exercise as contributors to physical well-being 
  • develop and implement health action plans

P7. analyze a variety of strategies to achieve and enhance emotional and spiritual well-being

  • describe the components of emotional/spiritual well-being
  • explain how feelings affect moods and behaviours
  • examine personal responsibility and acceptance for the multiplicity and range of feelings and how they are expressed—personal responsibility for constructive expression
  • discuss possible consequences of not constructively dealing with emotions—anger, depression, suicide
  • describe external influences on emotional/spiritual expression

P8. develop and assess strategies for anticipating, identifying, managing and embracing change

  • recognize that change and stress are inevitable in life
  • develop strategies for managing stress; and investigate the benefits and limitations of stress and the negative, stressful and harmful responses to stress
  • explain role conflict and role transition
  • identify skills for continual change and growth, including ongoing communication with self
  • examine the dynamic nature of balance and the ongoing importance of balance

P9. demonstrate and apply effective communication, conflict resolution and team-building skills

  • examine methods of communication, barriers to communication and strategies to enhance communication
  • describe the stages of conflict, strategies for negotiating conflict, and issues and difficulties in resolving conflict
  • apply skills to deal with negative peer pressure and negative views of others

P10. examine various attitudes, values and behaviours for developing meaningful interpersonal relationships

  • explain our need for relationships
  • identify positive elements of relationships; i.e., trust, integrity, respect, responsibility
  • describe the skills, attitudes and behaviours for building, maintaining and enhancing healthy, positive relationships
  • describe how roles and role expectations change with age, growth and changes in life
  • generate a list of ways to provide support to others
  • identify strategies for dealing with significant change and loss in a relationship and for ending a relationship
  • develop strategies for identifying unhealthy relationships and for dealing with exploitation and violence in relationships

P11. examine the relationship between commitment and intimacy in all its levels

  • identify expectations and commitments in various relationships
  • examine a range of behaviours for handling sexual involvement
  • describe how personal values play a role in relationships
  • explain the role of trust and ways to establish trust in a relationship
  • develop strategies for dealing with jealousy

P12. examine aspects of healthy sexuality and responsible sexual behaviour

  • explain the ongoing responsibility for being sexually healthy
  • examine a range of behaviours and choices regarding sexual expression
  • describe sexually healthy actions and choices for one’s body, including abstinence
  • analyze strategies for choosing responsible and respectful sexual expression
  • describe the ways in which personal values influence choices
  • assess the consequences of being sexually active

P13. investigate how science, technology and media affect wellness

  • examine the benefits and limitations of these sources of developments and discoveries
  • explain the media role and influence over personal emotional/spiritual expression, peer pressure and the use of alcohol and drugs
  • apply current wellness issues in the community, province, country and world relative to developments in science and technology
  • list ways to learn about new developments and be an informed consumer

P14. evaluate resources and support systems for each dimension of health and well-being for self and others

  • examine support systems for assessing and maintaining health and well-being
  • identify support systems and resources for unhealthy relationships and strategies for contacting/using them
  • explain ways to learn responsible consumer strategies and actions of responsible citizenship
General Outcome 2: Resource Choices

Students will: make responsible decisions in the use of finances and other resources that reflect personal values and goals and demonstrate commitment to self and others. 

Specific Outcomes

Students will:

R1. identify personal resources, and explain how they could be of value to self and others

  • describe the combination of resources—time, physical energy, emotional energy and sensitivity, current knowledge and information and the skills to increase these, skills and talents, access to technology, finances—and how these resources can be used to meet lifestyle demands and choices
  • explain how personal resources can grow with maturity, education and new contacts
  • examine the fundamentals of getting and using money—basic information on getting an income, deductions, paying taxes, using money for various expenses
  • prepare and use a personal budget
  • identify strategies for making the most of an income—understanding spending, reducing spending, meeting financial commitments and obligations, saving

R2. compare needs, wants and consequences, with consideration of self, others and society

  • explain how to make thoughtful choices and decisions, using financial plans as tools
  • examine the negative impact of gambling, lotteries and high-risk “get rich” strategies

R3. examine sources of lifestyle aspirations, and relate these to personal resources

  • describe how personal values, goals and lifestyle choices must be integrated into a financial plan
  • define and assess the components of a personal resource plan
  • define and assess the components and characteristics of a financial plan
  • explain why plans must be flexible to adapt to changes
  • examine how to change plans as goals and/or lifestyles change and in response to new information
  • analyze how personal goals and priorities, personal needs and wants, and cultural influences affect the use of all of one’s personal resources

R4. demonstrate knowledge of and a commitment to achieving personal financial goals

  • identify the benefits of proactive personal financial planning
  • develop the skills for calculating net worth and other indicators of the status of personal resources
  • explain the importance of flexibility
  • generate a list of strategies for persisting in meeting financial and personal goals

R5. determine the varied implications and challenges of independent/interdependent living

  • develop a personal budget
  • assess strategies for finding a place to live
  • develop strategies for finding a suitable roommate and living with a roommate
  • describe the rights and responsibilities of a tenant
  • examine the obligations of living independently
  • discuss the consequences of moving back home

R6. develop strategies to be informed consumers

  • explain the power and importance of sustainable development
  • describe the influences on personal consumer choices
  • develop marketplace skills
  • explain the rights and responsibilities of a consumer
  • practise the skills for communicating consumer concerns
  • classify forms of consumer protection
  • demonstrate informed consumer actions regarding health issues, products and services
  • analyze the impact of personal values, wants and needs on being an informed and responsible consumer

R7. evaluate the services and costs of various types of financial institutions

  • identify types of financial institutions
  • describe types of accounts and their uses
  • develop basic banking skills, including electronic fund transfers (EFT) such as automated teller machines (ATMs), online banking, telephone banking
  • examine the use of debit cards and their benefits and limitations
  • analyze the use of other cheque cashing services and their benefits and limitations

R8. evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of credit

  • describe the need for credit, the forms of credit and the procedures for obtaining credit
  • generate strategies for using credit wisely
  • examine the costs of using credit, the dangers of overextended buying and the impact of credit ratings

R9. examine various types of investments and the practical and ethical issues of investing

  • describe the continuum of saving and investing, various common investments and the pyramid of risk
  • explain why investments appreciate and depreciate in value
  • discuss investing with personal values, the meaning of “ethical investing” and the importance of being a wise consumer in this regard

R10. identify and analyze a variety of types of insurance

  • identify insurable risk factors
  • analyze consumer strategies for obtaining appropriate insurance; e.g., automobile, tenant, health, travel, home/condominium, disability, life
  • examine issues of insurance fraud

R11. develop strategies to overcome potential resource challenges

  • examine ways to adapt financial plans and spending in response to both planned and unexpected changes in life; i.e., by envisioning possible futures, by anticipating obstacles and adjusting plans to handle possible changes
  • explain the importance of flexibility in making financial decisions and taking action
  • analyze strategies to deal with crises
General Outcome 3: Career & Life Choices

Students will: develop and apply processes for managing personal, lifelong career development. 

Specific Outcomes

Students will:

C1. examine the components of effective career development as a lifelong process

  • describe the career planning process and principles
  • relate present daily living skills and experiences to career aspirations  
  • explain the importance of ongoing self-assessment and self-appraisal

C2. update and expand a personal profile related to potential career choices

  • assess personal assets, such as interests, competencies—including skills, abilities, aptitudes and talents—personality traits, limitations and strengths, to expand a personal profile
  • assess employability skills and personal, transferable and knowledge-based skills to expand the personal profile
  • examine other influential factors, including aspirations, attitudes, values, goals and the expectations of others, or lack thereof, to include in the personal profile

C3. examine the relationship among career planning, career decisions and lifestyles

  • explain how decision making, goal setting and planning are ongoing, integrated actions
  • demonstrate the use of a decision-making process as part of the career planning process
  • describe various factors that can affect opportunities for education and careers
  • explain why being resourceful is important to success

C4. develop strategies to deal with the transition from senior high school to post-secondary education/training and/or the world of work

  • describe the types and amount of work that can be done now
  • assess existing opportunities for work experience, cooperative education, and volunteer and paid part-time work
  • use the community in a search for information and experience through career mentoring, job shadowing, investigative interviewing, networking and personal research
  • build one or more plans for a transition period of 3 to 5 years
  • analyze the career paths of others

C5. develop a quality career portfolio

  • describe various sources of personal career aspirations
  • assess a wide range of career possibilities
  • build a personal occupational profile, including information gathered while envisioning possible futures, examining future employment trends and researching possible career choices
  • discuss the importance of persistence and the creation of options throughout career development planning
  • build a quality career portfolio by combining the occupational profile and the personal information profile
  • discuss how a career portfolio can be used

C6. investigate the range of learning opportunities in post-secondary programs, on-the-job training and apprenticeship training programs

  • develop a network of information about a wide range of possibilities  
  • assess the range of possibilities, their costs, and the available assistance and funding

C7. analyze variations in employment and the implications in the life career process

  • analyze the value of work in one’s life
  • assess the changing nature of the workplace and the ramifications of unemployment, underemployment, seasonal work and other patterns of employment
  • explain the importance of flexibility in career planning

C8. determine skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to getting a position

  • identify job search strategies for volunteer and paid positions
  • describe personal marketing strategies to find employment
  • develop guidelines for the use of portfolios and résumés, and strategies to find the “hidden job market”

C9. determine the skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary for retaining a job

  • analyze workplace protocol
  • assess strategies for meeting employer expectations to succeed at a job
  • examine the issues and strategies for leaving a job and losing a job

C10. investigate employer and employee ethics, rights and responsibilities

  • examine the responsibilities and rights of employers
  • investigate issues and regulations regarding health and safety on the job
  • examine the responsibilities and rights of employees, and suggest strategies for realizing these
  • generate a list of strategies for identifying and dealing with discrimination in the workplace

C11. design a plan for turning life goals and aspirations into reality

  • consider aspects of enterprise and innovation as possibilities
  • examine various entrepreneurs and their success
  • generate a list of ways to deal with the challenges of “going out on one’s own”

Resources to support: