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Ontario College Diploma | 4 semesters | Barrydowne

Learn to help vulnerable or at-risk individuals, families, and groups deal with various personal and social problems through engaging fieldwork and in-depth casework. As a Social Service Worker student, you'll learn to be an effective communicator and understanding counsellor in order to encourage positive change in the lives of clients.

You will be challenged to bring a special level of maturity and motivation to your work, along with a commitment to work for social justice, a fundamental belief in the dignity and potential of people, and a desire to promote justice, equality, and access to culturally-appropriate services regardless of race, gender, age, religion, etc.

Cambrian's program is recognized by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, which allows you to apply to become a Registered Social Service Worker in Ontario when you graduate.

Program Highlights
  • 2 years – 4 semesters

  • 2 placements

  • Dynamic course delivery that includes case studies, theoretical concepts, guest speakers, and real-world experience

  • Mental health and dementia course options unique to Cambrian's program

  • Earn certification in Non-violent Crisis Intervention during program


Two supervised field experiences with a community-based organization are integral parts of the program. You should budget for expenses incurred during out-of-town placements for those who qualify and for the first semester's week-long seminar (lunches, gas, parking, bus fare, etc.).

During the second semester, there will be a four-week block placement in a community agency. The entire fourth semester will be a placement in a community agency.

Registration to Practice

Persons who wish to use the title Social Service Worker or Registered Social Service Worker must be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Generally, graduates who have obtained a two-year college diploma in social service work from a College of Applied Arts and Technology qualify for registration. It is the responsibility of the graduate to register with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Quick Links

How to Apply

Community Services

Admission Requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C), (U), or (M)


  • Computer competency in relevant software

Additional Requirements
  • First Aid Certificate prior to field placement

  • Criminal record check completed at least one month prior to field placement.

  • Two-step TB test and flu shot


Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the 2017-18 Academic Schedule which will be posted on our website in early 2017.

Program of Study

Semester 1Credits
ENG 1002College Communications 3
PSY 1050Introduction To Psychology I 3
WES 1001Communication in Small Groups I 3
WES 1110Social Work Practice I 4
WES 1115Social Services I 3
The following General Education course:  3
Intro to Indigenous Studies 3
 Term Credits: 19
Semester 2
ENG 1242Speaking/Writing Comm. Services I 3
GER 1002Introduction to Gerontology 2
WES 1210Social Work Practice II 4
WES 1215Social Services II 3
WES 1240Communication in Small Groups II 3
WES 1295Field Work I 2
One of the following General Education courses:  3
Personal Finance 3
Positive Psychology 3
Human Sexuality 3
Media and Current Events 3
 Term Credits: 20
Semester 3
WES 1251Ethics 3
WES 2052Recording Observation 3
WES 2310Social Work Practice III 4
WES 2320Group Dynamics 3
WES 2330Family Dynamics 3
One of the following General Education courses:  3
Personal Finance 3
Negotiation Labour Relations 3
Dementia 3
Positive Psychology 3
Human Sexuality 3
 Term Credits: 19
Semester 4
WES 2490Field Work II 20
 Term Credits: 20
 Total Credits: 78
Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books & Supplies

The cost of books and supplies for Year 1 for the 2016-2017 Academic year is approximately $1,500. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates may seek employment for casework and counselling positions within:

  • Social agencies of the municipal, provincial, and federal governments
  • Non-government services and agencies
  • Charitable organizations
  • Clinics
  • Foster and group homes
  • Half-way houses
  • Long term care and retirement homes
University Degree Opportunities

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at university and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.

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