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Human Services Programs

School and Community Support Worker

VIU also offers a Disability Studies diploma program.

Program requirements prior to June 2015

The Program

This program includes both theoretical studies and practical applications for working with people who have disabilities, across the life span. The core and specialty courses provide students with the skills and knowledge to work in schools and community. The program is offered with courses rotated.

Acceptance into the program does not mean that students will be placed into a practicum. Students will be individually assessed as to their readiness for the practicums in terms of skills, knowledge and personal suitability. Placement into a practicum will be at the discretion of the program Chair.

Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Vancouver Island University certificate. This certificate may ladder into other Human Services diplomas and degrees.

Program Delivery

The School and Community Support Worker program is an 18-month certificate program delivered in-class at the Nanaimo campus and delivered both online and in-class at the Powell River campus. The Powell River program will be delivered in-class 2 - 4 days each semester and the remaining coursework delivered online.

Career Opportunities

The program prepares students to work in entry level positions in community settings with people who have disabilities and as educational assistants, in the public school system.

Admission Requirements

Recommendations for Admission

  • Volunteer or paid experience working with people who are mentally, physically or behaviourally challenged.

Notes on Admission

  • Fieldwork and/or practicums will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act. Students are advised that a criminal record may limit their practicum possibilities and their work opportunities in the Human Services field.
  • For admission to the program, applicants will be assessed on past academic achievement, related volunteer/paid employment, writing skills, and performance at an interview with faculty.
  • Applicants may be required to provide a letter from a family physician attesting to the applicant’s physical suitability to take the program.

Transfer Credit (from other institutions)

Vancouver Island University recognizes the academic knowledge and achievement of students who have undertaken post–secondary studies at other colleges, institutes, or universities. Credit is assigned on the basis of an official transcript, course outlines, and other supporting documentation. Transfer students must meet all of Vancouver Island University's admission requirements.

Student Transfer into Other Programs

Students who complete the School and Community Support Worker certificate will be able to bridge into other VIU diplomas and degrees such as the Disabilities Studies diploma, Social Services and Child and Youth Care diplomas, as well as the Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care degree.

Start Date and Application Deadline

Students will start the program in September or January (following an 18 month course rotation) and applications are accepted anytime between October 3 and March 31, 2016. For further information regarding late applications and program contacts check the Program Availability List for the Nanaimo and Powell River campuses.

Completion Requirements

To be eligible for a School and Community Support Worker Certificate, students must:

  • Have successfully completed all of the required program courses and maintained a "C" average in all courses required for the credential;
  • Achieve a passing grade in the practicum courses; and,
  • Complete all program requirements within 5 years.

School and Community Support Worker

Courses Offered *

CYC 152 - (Interpersonal Communication Skills in a Therapeutic Context)


SCSW 110 - (Foundations for Practice)


SCSW 120 - (Citizenship and Human Rights)


SCSW 130 - (Teaching and Learning Strategies)


SCSW 140 - (Understanding & Supporting Behaviour Across the Lifespan)


SCSW 150 - (Applied Professional Practice I)


SCSW 160 - (Applied Professional Practice II)


SCSW 170 - (Challenging Conditions)


SCSW 180 - (Practicum: School-Based)


SCSW 190 - (Practicum: Community-Based)


One of:
ENGL 115 - (University Writing and Research)
ENGL 125 - (Literature and Culture)
ENGL 135 - (Literature and Criticism)
LBST 111** - (Love and Friendship)




Total Credits


* The order of courses delivered is subject to change.

** LBST 111 (6 credits) will meet both the English and elective requirements.

*** Students may choose any academic course to fulfil this requirement. Students should choose courses that will assist in understanding people and their environments. The elective may be taken in any semester.


Updated: January 5, 2016