Human Services Professional Diploma
Specialize in: Social Work Assistant, Youth Work, Education Assistant.
Graduates from the Human Services Professional Diploma Program may be successfully employed in a variety of settings such as public and private educational settings, social and community service agencies such as group homes and halfway houses, correctional facilities, community health centres, and in programs addressing alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging. Human Service workers offer assistance to individuals requiring physical and cognitive rehabilitation and lifestyle maintenance – including leisure integrative programs, children and youth at risk, settlement services, and supporting individuals requiring social work assistant intervention. Education Assistants may work in any number of educational facilities such as public and private schools with students having all types of needs. Many students with disabilities require daily assistance. The starting salary for Human Services workers can be up to $63,000 per year.
Employment possibilities may include but are not limited to:
- Social Work Assistant
- Child and Youth Care Worker
- Education Assistant
- Settlement Worker
- Respite Specialist Worker
- Community Support Worker
- Child and Family Support Worker
- Disability Services Worker
- Immigrant Aid Support Worker
- Outreach Worker
- College and University Admissions Advisor
Columbia College has been successfully preparing Human Services workers since 2006.
2016 – 2017: 84% Graduation Rate
2016 – 2017: 90% Employment Rate
Why choose Columbia College’s Human Services Diploma Program?
- Columbia College has been educating human services workers since 1996. We have the experience to know what you need to become a professional in this area and secure employment.
- Our one year accelerated Human Services diploma program gives you the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the helping profession by completing two years of study in one year. Complete fifty-weeks and you are finished, ready for work.
- Not only to you build this foundation, but you can concentrate on a specialization area of your choice – Social Work Assistant, Youth Worker, Education Assistant.
- We prepare you to be employment ready. You engage in practicums, start networking in the profession, resume writing, interviewing strategies, attend practicum workshops, and get a certificate in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training.
- This program is licensed by the Private Vocational Training Branch of the Alberta Government.
Our Human Services Professional Diploma Program has a unique blend of core courses and specialization options. Specialize in being a social work assistant, disability services worker, child and youth worker, an immigrant services counselor, child development worker, education assistant, or other areas of specialization. In our program you are able to choose the courses that make up your specialization.
The Human Services Professional Program consists of the following:
- Complete a 2 year diploma in 12 months – Accelerated Program! Be out quickly and start earning a salary.
- 50 week program (12 months); 20 courses; 2 courses every 5 weeks; including 300 hour field practicum and an additional 28 hours of in-class practicum workshops.
- The program consists of 5 week semesters and you will be enrolled in 2 courses at a time with 39 hours of instruction per course.
- Additional Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training (8 hours).
- Linking Theory and Practice – An opportunity to apply what you learn in your courses into a real-work setting. You will complete 300 hours of practicum with an organization in your specialization area.
- Career and Employment support.
- Full time and Part Time course-by course options.
The aim of our practicum placements is for you to gain experience and employment in your area of specialization. You will be required to complete 300 hours of practicum experience over 2 practicum periods (Semesters 1-5 and 6-10). This provides you with valuable hands-on experience in the field and greatly increases potential for employment. Part of your practicum experience is to attend an additional 28 hours of practicum workshops. This is an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of your career choice and preparation for the workplace. You will also be provided with Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training to better prepare you for employment. You will benefit from the relationships Columbia College has built over time for placements where organizations value the maturity of our students and their knowledge and skills.
University Transfer Credit
Transfer opportunities may be available at a variety of degree granting institutions across Alberta, Canada, and the world. Transfer opportunities allow graduates to receive credit for some or all of their completed courses towards a bachelor degree.
Note: The institution you wish to transfer to makes the final determination on the transfer credits they will accept. Before commencing your studies at Columbia College, please consult with the institution you are planning on transferring to.
- Attend Columbia College’s tuition-free College Skills for Success course (20 hours) before the start of your program.
- Current Police Security Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Search (prior to starting the program).
- Child Intervention Record Check (prior to starting the program).
- Standard First Aid and CPR Training Level C (prior to starting practicum – by the end of the first semester).
- An Admission interview to determine suitability for the profession and possibility for success in the program.
Other Admission Considerations
- Do your academic skills need to be upgraded to meet admission entry requirements?
If your academic skills need to be improved in one or more areas, the student may be referred to Columbia College’s Academic Preparation – College Prep (free courses). See Continuing Education – Academic Preparation – College Prep.
- English Proficiency Requirement
For applicants whose first language is not English, please refer to the English Language Proficiency Requirements section.
- Are you working or have worked in this field?
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) recognizes this non-formal learning, and you may not need to take all the courses in this program. We will assess your experience in determining what courses you need to take to become certified. Read more in the PLAR Guidelines 2016 document.
- Do you have courses to transfer from another college or university?
If you have taken courses at another college or university, these courses may be transferable to this diploma program.
- There are no additional selection requirements. Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first-accepted basis. A waitlist may be established. Columbia College reserves the right to grant or refuse admission to any applicant.
Please click here to view the student handbook for the Human Services Professional Diploma program.
Course List and Descriptions
For a full list of courses and course descriptions for this program, please click here.
Columbia College’s tuition and general fees come into effect August 1 of each year.
For more information about tuition and the Columbia College Tuition chart, please see the Tuition and Fees page.
Refund of Tuition Fees
Please refer to the Student Contract of Tuition form for details of tuition refund policy. This form is available from this program’s Student Admission Advisor.
January 2, 2018
May 22, 2018
September 4, 2018
How to Register
For details on applying or reapplying to this program, please refer to the Admissions page.
To graduate from the Human Services Diploma Program, students must successfully complete each course, earn 66 credits, and achieve a minimum overall program grade point average of 2.0.
Board of Advisors
Tobias Mwandala, MSW., RSW. (Chair)
Cecilia Ifko, CPHR, Director of Employee Relations, The Salvation Army
Natalie McCaskill – Team Leader, Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
Vivien Lok , Manager Settlement Services – Immigrant services Calgary
Isabel Ries Ferrari, Director, Education, Research and Best Practices, the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society (The DI)
Rachael Allum, Early Intervention Therapist, Society for Treatment of Autism (Columbia Human Services Professional Diploma Alumnus)
Manuel Rumbaoa, B.C.R., Services Coordinator – Community Support Services Dept. Columbia College
Board of Advisors: Education Specialization
Tobias Mwandala, MSW, RSW, Chair, Director Human Services Programs, Columbia College
Lindsay Hillier, CPHR, Recruitment Consultant, Calgary Board of Education (CBE)
Tom Brinsmead, Supervisor, Diverse Learning Calgary Catholic School District (CSSD)
Jane McKeown, Supervisor, Early Intervention Program, Foothills Creative Beginnings – Cochrane and Calgary
Lyndon Chubbs, M.Ed, CPHR, Manager of Human Resources, Rockyview Schools
Marian Bobak, Vice Principal, Calgary Quest School
Lucy Dooley, M.Ed., Education Assistant Practicum Advisor, Columbia College
Naveeda Kousar, Columbia College Education Assistant Professional Certificate Alumnus
Kim Palmer, Principal, Phoenix Education Foundation
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- Lectures 1
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 1
- Certificate No
- Assessments Self