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2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Indigenous Human Service Worker Certificate

Location(s): Online

 This program will prepare graduates for employment as a Human Service Worker, with a focus on serving Indigenous people on or off a reserve. Students will acquire culturally appropriate knowledge, skills, and values while working with individuals, groups, and communities. Indigenous Human Service Worker (IHSW) Certificate graduates will earn course credits that can be applied to NLC’s Early Childhood Education and Care Diploma, Education Assistant Diploma, and Social Service Worker Diploma. Conversely, graduates from these diploma programs may apply relevant course credits to completion of the IHSW Certificate.

Career Prospects

Band Social Worker, Community Wellness Worker, National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) Workers, Aboriginal Patient Liaison Worker or Aboriginal Patient Navigator (APN), Native Courtworker, Youth and Cultural Worker, Cultural Connections Coordinator, Aboriginal Support Workers. Certificate graduates may also ladder into NLC’s Early Childhood Education and Care, Education Assistant, and Social Services Worker diploma programs.




30 credits (450 hours), minimum.

This is a one year program taken over two semesters with minimum of 15 credits per semester.  Part-time studies will take longer. Length of program may be adjusted for sponsored intakes.

Estimated Program Fees

Program fee type: Academic

Costs indicated are estimates for a full-time course load.

Book, instruments, supplies, uniforms/clothing and third-party fees are additional.

Domestic Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Year 1$ 3,581.40$ 149.76$ 0.00$ 3,731.16

International Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Medical Insurance
Year 1$ 11,580.00$ 149.76$ 0.00$ 828.00$ 12,557.76

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Admission Requirements

English Requirement

For domestic applicants, one of the following:

  • English 12 with a grade of C or higher, or equivalent
  • English Literature 12 with a grade of C or higher, or equivalent
  • English First Peoples 12 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • ENGL 050 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • ENGL 099 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • Any university-level English course with a grade of C or higher
  • NLC Writing Assessment with placement at the college level (100)

For all other applicants, one of the following:

  • IELTS result with an overall score of 6.0 or higher with no band less than 6.0. Applicants with a writing band of 6.0 or less are required to complete ENGL 099 with a grade of B or higher before or during the first semester of their program.


Elective courses may have specific prerequisites. Meeting entrance requirements for the program does not ensure course prerequisites have been met for all available courses.

Post-Admission Requirements

  • A clearance letter from the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP), for a Schedule “B” Criminal Record Check (CRC), WORKS WITH Children and Vulnerable Adults. For information and regulations, see Criminal Records Checks.

Important Notes

  1. This program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAidBC to apply for financial assistance online.  Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. Course transfer agreements allow students to receive course-by-course transfer to other colleges, universities, and institutes in BC, as indicated in the BC Transfer Guide.
  3. The program is affiliated with the North East Native Advancing Society (NENAS) and SD 59, 60, and 81.

Program Requirements

Residency Requirement50% of all coursework must be completed at Northern Lights College (a minimum grade of C+ is required for courses being considered for transfer for IHSW 101, SSWD 120, and SSWD 215).
Minimum Grade Requirements2.00 program Grade Point Average (GPA); minimum grade of C+ in IHSW 101, SSWD 120, and SSWD 215.  Minimum grade of C in all other courses.

Semester One

All of:

Semester Two

All of:


Certificate in Indigenous Human Service Worker