Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2019

Social Work and Human Services

Social Services diploma - First Nations option

This 62-credit program is designed to prepare Indigenous students or those with strong ties to Indigenous communities to enhance the self-reliance of Indigenous peoples and communities, both on and off reserves. Working from a Stó:lõ perspective, graduates of the First Nations option will work with individuals and groups on issues of concern to Indigenous communities, including child abuse, substance misuse, family violence, wellness, and economic development. As Indigenous peoples assert their right to self-determination, particularly in the areas of child welfare, healthcare, and education services, the demand will continue to grow for Indigenous social service workers who can provide dynamic services to Indigenous communities.

This program will provide students with direct employment-related skills while at the same time allowing them to earn up to one and a half years of credits towards a BSW at UFV. Thus, a student who is interested in becoming a social worker will be able to develop skills and seek employment as an Indigenous social service worker before going on to complete a professional degree.

Emphasis in the program will be on providing specific skills and knowledge required to work with Indigenous communities on issues of concern to Indigenous peoples. At the same time, students will develop an understanding of the social, political, and cultural context of Indigenous communities.

Assessment of Prior Learning is available for qualified students.

Entrance requirements

  1. Secondary school graduation or equivalent (ABE Provincial, Advanced, or GED), or satisfactory demonstration in terms of undertaking university-level work. Students 19 or older who have completed at least three university-level credits that apply to the program at the time of application do not require a high school transcript.
  2. Be physically and emotionally prepared to undertake a program of studies.
  3. Meet the prerequisites for CMNS 125 or ENGL 105.
  4. Complete and include all documentation (see How to apply below).

Note: Please see the Practicum regulations section of the Social Services diploma.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall semester only. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

  1. Apply online at

    Additional documents required for a complete application:

    • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent (see Entrance requirements).
    • Evidence of having met the prerequisite for CMNS 125 or ENGL 105.
    • Official transcript (or interim transcript) from all other previous post-secondary institutions showing grade/course achievement. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.
    • 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 voluntary. This statement must be at least 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. These must be on reference forms available from the SWHS department either online or in person at UFV.
  2. Upon admission to the program, you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required prior to registration (see the Fees and Other Costs section) and will be applied toward tuition fees.

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 performance, all work or volunteer experience (social services or other), demonstrated writing ability, reference letters, and a personal statement. Admission will be granted on a first-qualified, first-served basis to those who score above the required threshold.
  3. Only those who submit complete applications and score above the required threshold will be considered.

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

Program requirements

Please refer to the Social Services diploma for all program requirements.

Program outline

The following courses are required, although the order and timing may vary.

Semester I

Course Title Credits
CMNS 125 Communicating Professionally to Academic and Workplace Audiences
or ENGL 105 Academic Writing 3
FNST 101 Stó:lõ Nation Development 3
SOWK 110 Introduction to Social Work and Human Services 3
Total 9

Semester II

Course Title Credits
ANTH 111 First Nations of British Columbia – Traditional Cultures
or ANTH 112 Aboriginal Peoples in B.C.: Contemporary Issues 3
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology I 3
or PSYC 102 Introduction to Psychology II  
HSER 120 Introduction to Interpersonal Communications 3
Total 9

Semester III

Course Title Credits
HSER 129 Pre-Placement Seminar I 1
HSER 200 Counselling Skills 3
SOC 101 Introductory Sociology 3
Elective Group B, Social Services diploma elective 3
Total 10

Semester IV

Course Title Credits
FNST 102 Stó:lõ Traditional Ways of Healing and Helping 3
HSER 130 Practicum I 6
SOWK 210 Introduction to Social Welfare 3
Total 12

Semester V (Summer)

Course Title Credits
HSER 229 Pre-Placement Seminar II (online) 1
Total 1

Semester VI

Course Title Credits
HSER 230 Practicum II 6
FNST 201 Aboriginal Communications: Stó:lõ World View 3
Elective Group A, Social Services diploma elective 3
Total 12

Semester VII

Course Title Credits
FNST 202 Stó:lõ Social Structure 3
SOWK 297 Introduction to Mental Health and Substance Use 3
CMNS 251 Professional Report Writing 3
Total 9
Program Total 62


Please see this section of the Social Services diploma for lists of eligible elective courses.

Certificate in Extended Studies in Social Services - First Nations option

The certificate is designed for students who:

  1. Have previously graduated with a diploma in Social Services, Substance Abuse, or Criminal Justice, or a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, Criminal Justice, Adult Education, General Studies, or equivalent; and
  2. Wish to complete the equivalent of the First Nations option of the Social Services diploma.

For details about entrance and program requirements, please contact the School of Social Work and Human Services.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students