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Social Work and Human Services
www.ufv.ca/swhs

Community Support Worker certificate

This program prepares people to work in a variety of roles with children and adults with mental and/or physical disabilities. Graduates are prepared for employment in community support roles, such as group homes for people with mental and/or physical disabilities, and in various special education settings. Special education assistants work under the supervision of classroom teachers and perform such duties as coaching in basic subjects, preparing specialized teaching materials, and meeting students’ special physical needs, as well as maintaining progress records. The program includes both theoretical studies and practical applications and focuses on basic information and skills needed by front-line workers in the social services and educational systems, including professional roles and standards, values and ethics, history of service delivery, philosophies, training technologies, communication, and creation of community support.

The program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Transfer

Some of the courses in the program are transferable to university and are clearly marked in the course descriptions. In addition, most courses in this program will apply to the Social Services diploma, and many courses can be used towards other diploma and degree programs.

Entrance requirements

1. Demonstrated suitability for working with people with disabilities is required. Evidence of this could consist of volunteer work in a classroom setting and/or with special needs adults.

2. Secondary school graduation or equivalent (ABE Provincial, Advanced, or GED), or satisfactory demonstration in terms of undertaking university-level work. Mature students, 19 or older, who have completed at least three university-transfer credits that apply to the program at the time of application do not require a high school transcript.

3. You must meet the pre-requisites for CMNS 155.

4. You must be willing to undergo a criminal records check.

5. You must include all documentation (see "How to apply").

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider the Social Services Studies program path.

How to apply

1. Submit the application fee along with your UCFV application for admission form to the Admissions and Records (A & R) office. Application forms are available from any A & R or Student Services office. See the Program Charts for a complete list of application dates and general information.

Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent (see Entrance requirements).
• Evidence of having met the pre-requisite for CMNS 155.
• Official transcript (or interim transcript) from all other previous post-secondary institutions showing grade/course achievement.
• An additional application information form detailing all your past work and volunteer experience and education (include social services related and other).
• A personal statement indicating why you want to enter the program and what has brought you to this career choice. Please refer to the kinds of experiences you have had in this field, either paid or volunteer. This should be not less than 250 words and not more than 500 words.
• Two recent satisfactory letters of references from past employers, teachers, or volunteer supervisors who can comment on your suitability to work with people in the social services field should be included with your application package. These must be on reference forms available from the SWHS department either online or in person at UCFV.

2. Upon admission to the program, you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register (see the Fees and Other Costs section). This money will be applied toward your tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due the end of the second week of classes.

Basis for admission decision

1. All complete applications received by January 31 will be reviewed. Applications received after this date will be reviewed if space permits.

2. Personal suitability of applicants will be assessed using a point rating system. Points are awarded for past academic education, all work or volunteer experience (social services or other), demonstrated writing ability, reference letters, personal statement, and the group interview. Admission will be granted on a first-qualified, first-served basis to those scoring above the required threshold, and who have completed a successful interview.

3. A successful group interview. The group interview generally consists of four to six student applicants and two SWHS department members. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their career goals and knowledge of the field, and are expected to demonstrate appropriate interpersonal and life skills.

4. Only those who submit complete applications and score the minimum required points will be called for a group interview. Every effort will be made to give an admissions decision within two months of the application deadline.

If the program is full, qualified students will be placed on a temporary waitlist. If you meet the entrance requirements and a space becomes available before September 1, you will be contacted. After September 1, the waitlist is void.

In cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admissions decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements. Proof of completion of entrance requirements is due the end of the first week in August.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section for regular course fees. Courses numbered HSER 190, 192, 195, and 196 are offered on a cost-recovery basis with higher tuition fees. Textbooks and additional supplies will cost approximately $150 per course.

There will also be other expenses such as travelling to practicum sites and field trips. Two courses are only offered on the Chilliwack campus. Funding may be available through student loans or HRDC. Contact the Financial Aid and Awards office for more information.

Academic regulations

See the Social Services diploma section for details.

Practicum regulations

Acceptance into the program does not guarantee practicum placement. If you are not 19 before October 31, we may not be able to place you. Placement into a practicum will be at the discretion of the instructor.

A GPA of 2.0 is required for practicum placement. You will be individually assessed during the first semester as to your readiness for the practicum, in terms of skills, attitudes, and knowledge. The ability to pass a criminal records check is a prerequisite for most placements and suitable appearance is necessary.

A valid driver’s licence and access to an automobile is required for most practica.

Students must register for seminars and practica on their assigned campus as practica will be done in that region; students are not guaranteed the practicum of their choice.

Students wanting a certain type of practicum may be required to do a block practicum in May and June (six to eight weeks full-time). Students currently working in the field may be able to challenge part of the practicum. See the program director for more information. Students can enhance their certificate by completing continuing studies courses in sign language, computer skills, food safety, and other relevant support skills.

Note: A valid first aid certificate is required for practicum placement.

Laddering to a Social Services diploma

Students possessing a Community Support Worker certificate may proceed on to earn a Social Services diploma, which will qualify them for jobs in program management and administration, and which is partially transferable to degree-level studies in Social Work, Adult Education, and General Studies.

Students wishing to complete the Social Services diploma program, on either a part- or full-time basis, must apply to that program on or after October 1 for the following September start. Students must submit a UCFV application and a letter requesting permission from the department to be admitted to the diploma program.

Program outline

Semester I

Course Title Credits
CMNS 155 Communications for Human Services 3
HSER 120 Intro to Interpersonal Communications 3
HSER 127 Practicum Seminar 1
HSER 190 Intro to Community Support 3
SOWK 110 Intro to Social Work & Human Services 3
SOWK 225 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 3
Total   16

Semester II

Course Title Credits
HSER 192 Supporting Skill Development 3
HSER 195 Relationships and the Community 3
HSER 131 Practicum 6
HSER 196 Personal Care for Persons with Disabilities 3
 Total   15
     
Total program credits 31

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.


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