Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, the VCAL focuses on ‘hands-on learning’. The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a ‘hands-on’ option for students in Years 11 and 12.

VCAL @ Aquinas College

Aquinas College has a reputation for acknowledging the educational needs of our students and being prepared to develop an education policy that caters for the broad spectrum of student abilities and educational needs. To continue that tradition and support these needs the College provides students with the opportunity to undertake the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) at Aquinas.

Applied learning is an approach which emphasizes the relevance of what is being learnt to the ‘real world’, outside ‘the classroom’, and makes that connection as immediate and transparent as possible to the student.

Equally important is recognizing the student’s strengths, interests, goals and experience. In this way we are working with the whole person, valuing skills and knowledge that would not normally be the focus of more traditional school curricula.

How is the Program Structured?

The Applied Learning Program has been designed to operate in conjunction with the College’s VET program. Structured around the students' four VCAL subjects, students will select a VET unit from a range of VET certificates being offered by the Mullum Cluster and local TAFE colleges.

It is important to note that there is no choice of subjects within the VCAL program, only VET. Employment needs to be linked to their VET Certificate. Student’s weekly commitment in Year 11 to the course over a five day period will include:

  • One day Paid/Unpaid Employment
  • One day VET Certificate Training
  • Three days VCAL Subjects at Aquinas College

In Year 12 Employment will be two days, VET one day and two days of VCAL Subjects.