Community Support Worker certificate

Why earn a Community Support Worker certificate?

You want to be involved in your community and you know you can make a difference in someone’s life. This program will prepare you to work in a variety of roles with children and adults with mental and/or physical disabilities. As a graduate, you will be 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. You can also tailor your studies to become a special education assistant where you would 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.

Once you have earned your Community Support Worker certificate, you can apply to earn a Social Services diploma entering at the second year, which will then qualify you for employment in program management and administration.

What type of career can I expect?
Typical jobs for which diploma graduates are qualified include the following: community service worker, teacher aide, and residential service worker. Many students find jobs through their fieldwork placements, which are carefully selected for employment potential. However, completion of the program does not guarantee that you will find the job of your choice immediately upon graduation.

Why study at UFV?
You have a busy life. We realize that. That’s why we offer this program on either a full or part-time basis. The community support worker program includes both theoretical studies and practical applications and focuses on basic information and skills that are needed by front-line workers in the social services and educational systems. You’ll get a thorough understanding of professional roles and standards, values and ethics, history of service delivery, philosophies, training technologies, communication, and creation of community support.

Can I transfer any of these courses for a diploma or degree program?
Absolutely. Once you’ve earned your Community Support Worker certificate, you can apply to study for your Social Services diploma, which will then qualify you for jobs in program management and administration. You will find that many of the courses you take in this program can be used towards other diploma and degree programs.

Anything else I need to know about this program?
This is a multi-campus program, and because we offer a part-time option to those who are currently working, some courses, such as HSER 196, are only offered on Saturdays in Chilliwack. Others are only offered in Abbotsford (e.g. HSER 127, 190, 192, and 195).

What do I need to get in?
You must have your B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent(ABE Provincial, Advanced, or GED). If you’re a mature student, and you have at least three university-transfer credits that apply to the program, you do not require a high school transcript.

To qualify for the program:

  • You must be physically and emotionally prepared to undertake this program of studies
  • You must be willing to undergo a Criminal Record Check
  • You must be at least 19 years old to participate in the practicum
  • You must also participate in a group interview, which generally consists of four to six students and two Social Service department members, where you will discuss your career goals and your knowledge of the field
  • You must also demonstrate appropriate interpersonal and life skills. Your suitability for working with people with disabilities will be assessed using a point rating system with points awarded for past academic education, all work or volunteer experience, demonstrated writing ability, reference letters, personal statement, and a 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.

I'm interested. What's the next step?
Visit the Application Forms and Relevant Documents� and download the appropriate application forms. You can then either mail your complete application, along with the documents listed in the calendar and the $45 processing fee, to any UFV campus or centre on or transmit it through the internet at

If you plan to start in the fall semester, deadline for submissions is January 31.

When can I apply?
Submit your application after October 1 for the following September. Early application is encouraged.
Applications received after January 31 will be considered if spaces are still available in the program.
Applications will be accepted until the program is filled.

What type of courses will I take?
Here is a basic program outline of the Community Support Worker certificate program:


First Year - Fall Semester

 Course #  Title
 CMNS 155     Communications for Human Services
 SOWK 110  Intro to Social Services
 SOWK 225  Human Behavior and the Social Environment
 HSER 120  Intro to Interpersonal Communications
 HSER 127  Practicum Seminar
 HSER 190  Intro to Community Support

First Year - Winter Semester

 Course #  Title
 HSER 131  Practicum I
 HSER 192  Supporting Skill Development
 HSER 195  Relationships in the Community
 HSER 196  Personal Care for Persons with Disabilities

You will be required to complete a First Aid course before beginning your practicum. You can also have the option to enhance your certificate by completing continuing studies in sign language, computer skills, food safe, and other relevant support skills courses.

How much does it cost? Can I afford to take this program?
Fees are $133.49 per credit for CMNS 155, HSER 120, 125, 127, 131 and SOWK 110 (i.e.: $400.47 for a three-credit course). Courses numbered HSER 190, 192, 195 and 196 will cost $561.00 each course. Textbooks and additional supplies will cost about $150 per course. You also need to keep in mind that there will be other expenses such as traveling to practicum sites, field trips, and obtaining a first aid course.

It’s worth a visit to the UFV financial aid and awards office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of about $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available at

What sort of support will I get?
Plenty. For more information about support and student services at UFV, visit and learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment.
I'm not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?
We want to hear from you. If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services at 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a Becoming a Student Info Session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling. Also, feel free to contact the school of Social Work and Human Services directly at

Sounds good. What do I do now?
Visit for a step-by-step process to becoming a UFV student. Have specific questions? Contact the school of Social Work and Human Service's Program Advisor, Kathryn Garcia at



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