Social Services Worker Diploma

Program Description 

student of the social services worker diploma program. Female, seated in library

The Social Services Worker Diploma (SSWD) program provides opportunities for students to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and qualifications to enable them to work in a human services worker field.  The program involves two years of full-time study, with a combination of practice, theory, and academic course requirements aimed to prepare students to become critical practitioners with an emphasis on advocacy, social justice, and social change. The program may also be taken on a part-time basis.

Career Prospects

The SSWD program prepares students to work as paraprofessionals in a variety of social service and health agencies. Typical jobs include, but not limited to: financial assistance worker, bail supervisor, residential service worker, social work assistant, mental health assisted living worker, family support worker, supported employment, community living worker, transition houses, women's programs, Aboriginal support worker and family violence worker.


Details

Location: Dawson Creek and Fort St. John campuses.  The SSWD program can be available at remote campuses through a combination of online and videoconference course delivery methods.  Arrangements can be made practicum placements at remote locations.

Length: 60 weeks (four terms) of full-time study comprising 1055 hours. Part-time study is an option. However, all key** SSWD courses must be completed within six years of program admission.
**Key SSWD courses include SSWD 110, SSWD 120, SSWD 210, SSWD 215/PSYC 220/ECTA 121, SSWD 220, SOWK 200, and SO

Start: Depending on capacity, program intakes may occur in May and/or September.
Note: January intake is for domestic students only.

Fees: Current Fee Schedule


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Admission Prerequisites

English is the language of instruction in all programs at NLC, thus it is imperative that NLC students meet minimum English Language Proficiency requirements.
In University Arts and Sciences and Related Programs, it is understood that the minimum English Language Proficiency requirement is that required to graduate from a Canadian high school program conducted in English. This is defined in the current English Language Requirement document. (English Language Requirement document Effective May 2020)
*Note that some SSWD program elective courses have specific pre-requisites. Meeting the entrance requirements for the SSWD program does not ensure course pre-requisites have been met for all available courses.

Post-Admission Requirements:
A. Students will be required to attend a program-specific orientation session, usually held the first class of SSWD 110.  Accommodations can be made for students enrolling before the add/drop date or part-time students.
B. ALL students must complete a Ministry of Justice Schedule B Criminal Record Check (CRC) for working with children and vulnerable adults before beginning the program.  Failure to do so will prevent students from registering in SSWD 220: Practicum and Seminar and may result in program withdrawal. Please see the NLC Criminal Records Check page for completion instructions and more information pertaining to Criminal Record Checks.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans for Domestic Students. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.  Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. Early submission of applications is encouraged, as limited seats are available. Domestic students are strongly encouraged to apply by the beginning of May each year for the September intake. If you are applying after May, please contact the admissions officers at your local campus to determine the seat availability.female social services worker diploma student sitting at
  3. Graduates have excellent course-by-course transfer
    into the Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Northern British Columbia.
  4. NLC’s SSWD graduates are eligible for direct admission into the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s
    Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing. Advanced standing is granted for PSYC 211 and SSWD 120.
  5. Graduates can also receive block credit transfer into the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication and the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University.
  6. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. 
  7. Find the Social Services Worker Diploma Planning Grid and the Social Services Worker Diploma Completion Guide here: Academic Planning Grids

APPLY NOW for the Social Services Worker Diploma program

Do you need more information? Admissions
Program Contact: Chair, University Arts and Sciences
(Cindy Broberg cbroberg@nlc.bc.ca, Dawson Creek campus; Issoufou Soumaila isoumaila@nlc.bc.ca, Fort St. John campus)

Courses

Semester One:
-ENGL 100: Academic Writing (3 credits/45 hours)
-SSWD 110: Introduction to Social Service Work (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  IHSW 101: Introduction to Human Service Work (3 credits/45 hours)
-PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology I (3 credits/45 hours)
-One of the following:
    - ANTH 101: Cultural and Social Anthropology I (3 credits/45 hours)
    - ANTH 102: Cultural and Social Anthropology II (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 101: Introduction to Criminology (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 103: Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behaviour (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 131: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 135: Introduction to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 210: Youth and the Criminal Justice System (3 Credits/45 hours)
    - IHSW 103: Indigenous Wellness and Healthy Practices (3 credits/45 hours)
    - IHSW 104: Social and Health Issues in Indigenous Communities (3 credits/45 hours)
    - PHIL 110: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology I (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOCI 102: Introduction to Sociology II (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOSC 220: Research Methods for the Social Sciences (3 credits/45 hours)\
-One open elective (choose one elective course in any area at the baccalaureate level.)

Semester Two:
One of:
- ENGL 105: Nonfictional Prose (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ENGL 110: Introduction to Workplace Communications (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ENGL 111: Poetry and Drama (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ENGL 112: Prose Fiction (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ENGL 230: Technical Writing (3 credits/45 hours)
-SSWD 120: Ethics and Practice (3 credits/45 hours)
-PSYC 102: Introduction to Psychology II (3 credits/45 hours)
-One of the following:
    - ANTH 101: Cultural and Social Anthropology I (3 credits/45 hours)
    - ANTH 102: Cultural and Social Anthropology II (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 101: Introduction to Criminology (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 103: Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behaviour (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 131: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 135: Introduction to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions (3 credits/45 hours)
    - CRIM 210: Youth and the Criminal Justice System (3 Credits/45 hours)
    - IHSW 103: Indigenous Wellness and Healthy Practices (3 credits/45 hours)
    - IHSW 104: Social and Health Issues in Indigenous Communities (3 credits/45 hours)
    - PHIL 110: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology I (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOCI 102: Introduction to Sociology II (3 credits/45 hours)
    - SOSC 220: Research Methods for the Social Sciences (3 credits/45 hours)
-One open elective (choose one elective course in any area at the baccalaureate level.)

Semester Three:
- SOWK 200: Introduction to Social Work Practice (3 credits/45 hours)
- SSWD 210: Methods of Intervention and Practice Areas (3 credits/45 hours)
- WGST 100: Women and Gender Studies (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  PHIL 111 Contemporary Moral Issues (3 credits/45 hours)
- PSYC 211: Developmental Psychology (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  HDEC 101 (3 credits/45 hours) and HDEC 104 (3 credits/45 hours) **
One of:
- SSWD 215: Interpersonal Communications (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  PSYC 220: Interpersonal Communications (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ECTA 121: Interpersonal Communications (3 credits/45 hours) **

Semester Four:
- SOWK 201: Introduction to Social Welfare (3 credits/45 hours)
- SSWD 220: Practicum and Seminar (3 credits/200 hours)
- HIST 104: Canada, Post-Confederation (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  POLI 101: The Government of Canada (3 credits/45 hours)
One of:
- FNST 100: Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  FNST 102: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ANTH 202: Ethnography of Canada's First Nations People (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ANTH 203: Contemporary Canadian Native Peoples (3 credits/45 hours)
One of:
- PSYC 235: Structure and Dynamics of the Family (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  SOCI 204: The Family in Canada (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  IHSW 102: Indigenous Family and Parenting (3 credits/45 hours)
OR
  ECEC 201: Building Professional-Family Partnerships (3 credits/45 hours)**

Notes: Students should consider post-diploma plans when choosing program-specific and open electives. In particular, students moving on to degree programs are advised to consult with receiving institutions to ensure students have selected required courses for a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program.

Students wanting to have an indigenous focus on Indigenous studies should select four of the following courses:
- ANTH 202: Ethnography of Canada's First Nations People (3 credits/45 hours)
- ANTH 203: Contemporary Canadian Native Peoples (3 credits/45 hours)
- IHSW 101: Introduction to Human Service Work (3 credits/45 hours)
- IHSW 102: Indigenous Family and Parenting (3 credits/45 hours)
- IHSW 103: Indigenous Wellness and Healthy Practices (3 credits/45 hours)
- IHSW 104: Social and Health Issues in Indigenous Communities (3 credits/45 hours)
- IHSW 105: Community Helping Project (3 credits/45 hours)
- FNST 100: Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (3 credits/45 hours)
- FNST 102: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights (3 credits/45 hours)

** Students who have completed the first 3 semesters of NLC's Early Childhood Education and Care diploma program (fifteen three-credit courses), and graduates of NLC’s Education Assistant Certificate, will be granted course credit for SSWD 110; also, as indicated above, HDEC 101 & HDEC 104 will substitute for PSYC 211, ECTA 121 for SSWD 215, and ECEC 201 for either PSYC 235 or SOCI 204.  These courses may impact transfer to other institutions; check the BCCAT transfer guide for information about transfer credit at https://www.bctransferguide.ca/