VCAL (changing to VCE Victorian Pathways Certificate in 2023)

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands on option for students in Years 11 and 12.

Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, the VCAL focuses on hands on learning. Completion of the VCAL leads toward pathways including TAFE, apprenticeships and getting a job.

Students in the VCAL program will be expected to work toward becoming an independent traveller. Independent travel is a vital skill supporting the student transitioning to their post school pathway.

The Jackson School VCAL program is based at school, but involves students learning in the wider community. A usual week comprises of two school based project days, one day of structure workplace learning and one to two days of vocational training or school based apprenticeship studies.

VCAL enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs.

Students select accredited VCE modules, Vocational Education and Training (VET) modules and units from the following:

Literacy & Numeracy Skills

The purpose of the VCAL Literacy & Numeracy Skills units is to develop literacy skills and knowledge that allow effective participation in the main social contexts in which we function in Australian society, such as family, work, education and community settings.


For more information on the Victorian Senior Secondary Reform (VCE and Victorian Pathways Certificate) please visit: 

Students in recording studio

Industry Specific Skills

The VCAL learning program includes Vocational Education and Training (VET) units of competency. Students can choose from a wide range of VET subjects including automotive, engineering, building and construction, hospitality and retail, agriculture, horticulture, warehousing and hair and beauty.

Work Related Skills

In order to develop employability skills, VCAL offers the choice of undertaking a structured work placement, a part time apprenticeship/traineeship or part time work. A range of other units and modules are available to help prepare students for work.

Personal Development Skills

As part of the VCAL program students participate in projects and activities at school and in the wider community developing team work skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work.



The ASDAN – Towards Independence Program caters for students between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. The program has been carefully designed to provide an emphasis on developing student independence and ‘life-skills’.

Towards Independence provides a framework of activities to develop and accredit personal, social, work-related and independent living skills.

Towards Independence offers formal recognition for small steps of achievement towards a larger goal. There are more than 70 modules, which can be used separately and accumulated to build a record of personal achievement.

The ASDAN curriculum is focused on the following areas, integrating Literacy and Numeracy skills:

Literacy & Numeracy

The ASDAN curriculum is based and assessed around real-life skills and hands-on learning. Accordingly, numeracy covers such things as working with money, shopping, budgeting and measuring cooking ingredients. Similarly, literacy focuses on reading instructions and signage, recipes, form filling and essential reading/writing skills.

The ASDAN program is designed to support students to reach their full potential and discover post school options that best suit their needs. Students completing the ASDAN program leave school with confidence in their ability to participate in, and be valued members of the community.

Work-Related Skills & Supported Work Experience

Students participate in a variety of supported work placements including retail, gardening/maintenance, assembly & packaging, and volunteer work. These opportunities provide valuable experiences and build confidence.

Independent Living Skills (Personal/Interpersonal)

It is essential for students to learn to develop and apply their own skills, strategies and resources. It is equally vital to learn how to work cooperatively as part of a team and to build effective social relationships. Students develop their skills in budgeting & shopping, food preparation, personal care, home care, and caring for clothing.

Travel Education & Community Access

Travel is an essential element to broadening students’ future options. Students are encouraged to develop their public travel skills and are involved in an extensive travel-training program. Initially, students explore their local community and what it has to offer, before moving on to more challenging journeys further afield. This also allows students to become familiar with their local community and some of the sporting, recreational and social opportunities that it may provide.


For more information on ASDAN please visit:

Student woodworking