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Social Work Diploma

As a social worker, you will learn how to actively engage with others to help themselves. You will enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. In addition to learning the skills for social work practice, you will develop a unique multicultural focus with intercultural values and knowledge. Learners registered in this program are required to write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) assessment in semester one.

This program is brokered from NorQuest College.

For students taking a full load of courses, this program can be completed in 2 years, including 4 academic terms of study plus two practicum placements which would be taken over two spring/summer sessions.

Need more info?

For more information about the Bow Valley College Social Work Diploma, call 403-410-1402.


Courses in Program

Curriculum is subject to change

Click on the course to view the course description.

Term 1

ENGL1201 - English: Composition (3 credits, 45 hours)

Learners will explore various genres of English composition. This course is not remedial; competency in high-school grammar and composition is required.
Prerequisites: None

HEED1000 - Health Education: Individual Health and Wellness (3 credits, 45 hours)

Gain an overview of the physical, social, psychological, environmental, and spiritual aspects of personal health and wellness within the context of the community, the Canadian health-care system, and the global environment.  Lifestyle choices are introduced as physical and social determinants affecting personal health and the health of others.  Learn how to take responsibility for your own health and to advocate for the health of others.
Prerequisites: None 

PSYC1101 - Introduction to Psychology (3 credits, 45 hours)

This introductory course provides learners with a basic understanding and an overview of the field of psychology. Attention is given to major psychological perspectives and the fundamentals of scientific thinking, biological factors, cognitive processes, social and cultural influences, personality, psychological disorders, and human motivation. Learners will be encouraged to apply what they learn to their own lives and the world around them.
Prerequisites: None

SOWK1010 - Introduction to Social Work (3 credits, 45 hours)

Study the history of social work and its evolution as a profession as the foundation for understanding social work's current roles and practices. Learn about social policy, political structures, social issues, and practice with diverse client groups.
Prerequisites: None

SOWK1020 - The Helping Process (3 credits, 45 hours)

Focus is on the helping process, which is the essence of social work practice. Examine the qualities and values of the helper in the context of multicultural practice. Study communication theory, techniques, and interviewing skills. Apply theory and skills to case studies and role-play scenarios.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisites: SOWK 1010

SOWK1023 - Social Work Field Education Laboratory I (2 credits, 30 hours)

Develop and heighten your awareness of and readiness for social work field education. Learn reflectively and analytically through practice-oriented activities such as case studies, role plays, and agency visits to build skills and a value for professional ethics and competence reflective of the social work helping process.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisites: SOWK 1010, SOWK 1020

Term 2

ENGL1011 - Critical Reading and Writing: Prose (3 credits, 45 hours)

The literary content of ENGL 1011 will vary from section to section, but students should expect to encounter novels, short stories, and other prose forms. All sections will include two novels selected from different historical periods. Texts will reflect a range of historical, cultural, and social contexts, with attention paid to representations of gender.
Prerequisites: None

PSYC1201 - Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of human growth and development and typical behavioural responses throughout the lifespan. You will analyze human development across three domains: biological, psychological, and sociological. Emphasis is placed upon the stages of development and their linkage to common events occurring during these stages. 
Prerequisites: None

SOCI1101 - Introduction to Sociology (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course provides a comprehensive, introductory overview of sociology as a developing discipline. Topics include human social development, culture, diversity, and social trends, with a focus on where Canada fits in a global society. You will learn how people's positions in society shape their lives, and how people adjust to their social and cultural environments.
Prerequisites: None

SOWK1030 - Assessment and Interviewing (3 credits, 45 hours)

Build on theory and practice skills and integrate communication and interview skills with theoretical models and concepts to provide a framework for client assessment. Learn a systematic approach to effectively assess and intervene with clients.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisites: SOWK 1010, SOWK 1020, SOWK 1040

SOWK1040 - Models and Practice from an Anti-Oppressive Perspective (3 credits, 45 hours)

Study concepts that address oppression and oppressed peoples, from a historical and a contemporary perspective and apply these concepts to social work practice models. Explore issues associated with internalized dominance and oppression. Apply different theories and perspectives to provide a framework for practice.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisites: SOWK 1010, SOWK 1020, SOWK 1030

SOWK1024 - Social Work Field Education Laboratory II (2 credits, 30 hours)

Continue to develop and heighten your awareness of and readiness for social work field education. Learn reflectively and analytically through practice-oriented activities such as case studies, role plays, and agency visits to build skills and a value for professional ethics and competence reflective of the social work helping process.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisites: SOWK 1010, 1020, 1023, 1030, 1040

Term 3

SOWK1025 - Social Work Practicum I (5 credits, 290 hours)

Apply previously learned concepts of social work practice in a practicum setting. Demonstrate knowledge and application of social work interviewing and assessment skills at a beginner level. 
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK classes first year

Term 4

POLS1010 - Canadian Politics: Institutions and Issues (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course explores the development of Canadian political institutions and political issues in Canada. The learner will learn about contemporary Canadian politics by examining the evolution of federalism, the Constitution, parliament, aboriginal and minority rights, the welfare state, multiculturalism, and similar topics. The course focuses on teaching critical thinking and writing skills by testing normative and empirical theories against Canadian historical and contemporary evidence. 
Prerequisites: None

SOWK2010 - Community Development (3 credits, 45 hours)

Examine the theory and definitions of community, community organization, and community development, as well as related concepts. Consider power and equity in relation to oppression, and apply models of intervention and strategies for change to diverse communities. Study the varied roles of the social worker in community practice and apply principles of community work.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK classes first year

SOWK2020 - Social Work with Groups (3 credits, 45 hours)

Focus on the processes and dynamics of group work in social work practice. Explore the theoretical underpinnings of group work with an emphasis on skill development. Focus on identifying values and practices that differ across cultures and consequently impact group work. Examine a variety of group types, phases of group development, intervention techniques, and leadership qualities.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK classes first year

SOWK2023 - Social Work Field Education Laboratory III (2 credits, 30 hours)

This course provides a forum for senior social work students to reflect upon and consolidate their learning from the Year 1 practicum experience and prepare for the Year 2 agency-based practicum in the spring. Drawing upon their previous practicum experience and a broader theoretical and conceptual knowledge base, students will have the opportunity to increase their skills and competence in advance of the Year 2 practicum.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: SOWK 1023, 1024, 1025, 2010, 2020, 2030

SOWK2030 - Social Work with Families (3 credits, 45 hours)

Focus on the role of the social worker in assessing, intervening in, and supporting the family across its lifespan. Examine families as a unique social institution as well as from the student's personal experience. Explore the historical evolution of family member roles, functions, and characteristics. 
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK classes first year

PSYC2401 - Abnormal Psychology (3 credits, 45 hours)

Learners examine the major psychological disorders, focusing on clinical description, causal factors (considering the interaction of biological, psychological, and social influences), treatment, and outcomes. Learners develop a working definition of abnormal behavior using the DSM-5 criteria as a basis for classification. 

Term 5

SOWK2040 - Social Policy (3 credits, 45 hours)

Study social policy and its relationship to and impact on social work. Discuss social policy concepts and apply them to a variety of Canadian policy issues and societal trends. Examine the benefits and disadvantages of established social policies from the perspectives of marginalized groups. 
Prerequisites: None

SOWK2024 - Social Work Field Education Laboratory IV (2 credits, 30 hours)

This course provides additional opportunity for senior social work learners to reflect upon and consolidate their learning from the Year 1 practicum experience and prepare for the year 2 agency based practicum in the spring. Drawing upon their previous practicum experience and a broader theoretical and conceptual knowledge base, learners will have the opportunity to increase their skills and competence in advance of the Year 2 practicum. 
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: HMSV 2501, SOWK 2023, 2010, 2020, 2030, 2050, 2060, 2070

SOWK2050 - Mental Health: A Multicultural Perspective (3 credits, 45 hours)

Approach mental health from a holistic and multicultural practice perspective. Examine the traditional medical model of illness and non-traditional cultural practices in mental health. Explore common mental health disorders in relationship to different cultural groups.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK courses in Year 1, PSYC 1040, PSYC 1050 

SOWK2060 - Violence and Addiction: Issues in Social Work (3 credits, 45 hours)

Examine in-depth two common abuse situations in contemporary family contexts: violence and addictions. Understand the cycle of violence and its impact on families and communities. Identify addictive substances and behaviours, issues associated with power and control, and impact they have on diverse communities.  
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK courses in Year 1, SOWK 2030

SOWK2070 - Social Work in Organizations (3 credits, 45 hours)

Identify and understand the role of social workers as managers within many types of organizations. Learn the major functions of management and the importance of administration in organizations that provide social services. Examine attitudes and issues relevant to social work in light of the different responsibilities of the social work manager.
Prerequisites/ Co-Requisite: All SOWK in Year 1, SOWK 2010, SOWK 2020

WMST2010 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course is a critical feminist examination of embodied lives in differing social locations. The course challenges the traditional dichotomies of mind/body, culture/nature, and public/private in the treatment of such topics as the feminization of poverty; sexualities, reproduction, and family life; violence against women; women and religion; masculinities; and culture and body image.
Prerequisites: None

Term 6

SOWK2025 - Social Work Practicum II (5 credits, 290 hours)

Apply previously learned theory and practice to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations. Integrate practicum experience with classroom learning.
Prerequisites: SOWK 2023, SOWK 2024
Co-Requisite: HMSV 2501, SOWK 2010, SOWK 2020, SOWK 2030, SOWK 2050, SOWK 2060, SOWK 2070

 


Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • 60% in English 30-1 or equivalent
  • Completed a minimum of 100 voluntary and/or paid hours in the human services field. Documentary evidence containing the following information required:
    • Official letter on letterhead signed by a supervisor, including their contact information
    • Applicant's role/job title
    • Total number of hours worked or volunteered
    • A detailed description of the applicant's responsibilities and the level of interaction they had with clients, their families, and/or the general public
    • All letters are reviewed on a case by case basis. Please note that we do not accept Record of Employment documentation in lieu of an official reference letter

Pre-Practicum Requirement

  • A current Police Information Check (PIC) with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) must be submitted prior to practicum placements.  The existence of a criminal record may postpone or prevent clinical, practicum, or field work placements and, subsequently, successful completion of the program

English Language Proficiency Requirements

  • Applicants whose first language is not English should see the English Language Proficiency Requirements page for details.
  • IELTS score of 6 with a minimum band score of 6.0
  • TOEFL Internet-based test score 84, with no section score below 21
  • CELPIP General overall score of 7, with a minimum band score of 7
  • CAEL 60, with no subtest below 60
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks score of 8 in Reading, 8 in Writing, and no lower than 7 in Listening/Speaking
  • Successful completion of an Alberta Education English Language Arts course that is consistent with the specified academic admission requirements of the Career Program
  • Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of three years of full-time secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction
  • Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of one year of full-time post-secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction


Transferability

Additional Certification

  • Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the Registered Social Worker (RSW) designation with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW)