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Social Service Worker (SSW)


Do you wish to become a skilled social services practitioner, helping and supporting people with different needs? 

The Social Service Worker (SSW) program integrates university credit courses with social service career courses, and combines classroom theory with the practical skills necessary for employment in a broad range of social services occupations.

Practicum opportunities available in Northwest communities allow you to practice what you learn in workplace settings and gain valuable practical experience. SSW Certificate graduates are prepared to work at the para-professional level or to continue their education to diploma and degree levels of education. SSW Diploma program graduates can either work at the para-professional level or continue their education to a degree.


Program Outline 

The Social Service Worker (SSW) program is offered on a full- and part-time basis. Students must maintain an average GPA of 2.0 to receive the credential.

Social Service Worker Certificate

The one-year SSW Certificate includes two semesters plus a practicum. 

LPAT 100-1 Student Success
ENGL 101-3 Introduction to Composition 
CPSC 111-3 Introduction to Computer Science
SSW 112-3 Interpersonal Communication
SSW 191-3  Introduction to Social Service Agencies
PSYC 101-3 Introductory Psychology I
SOCI 101-3 Introductory Sociology I
ANTH 112-3 First Nations of BC
SSW 113-3 Helping Skills
SSW 192-3 Introduction to Social Service Practice
PSYC 102-3  Introductory Psychology II
SOCI 102-3 Introductory Sociology II
SSW 197-3 Social Service Worker Practicum I


Social Service Worker Diploma

The SSW Diploma requires successful completion of the Certificate and two (Diploma) semesters plus a practicum.

ENGL 151-3  Technical Writing I
SSW 295-3  Introduction to Social Work
SSW 213-3 Group Work
PSYC 201-3  Developmental Psychology I
SOCI 205-3 Sociology of the Family
Plus any 1 University Credit and/or SSW Elective
SSW 296-3  Social Policies
SSW 290-3  Community Development
PSYC 202-3 Developmental Psychology II
SOCI 206-3  The Family in Cross Cultural Perspective
Plus any 2 University Credits and/or SSW Electives
SSW 298-3 Social Service Worker Practicum II
Career Opportunities 

Opportunities for graduates from this program include:

  • Child and Youth Workers
  • Financial Assistance Workers
  • Teacher Assistants
  • Support Workers
  • Family Resource Workers
  • And much more.

Diploma graduates may continue their education to further a professional career in human and social services, including:

  • Social Worker
  • Family Counsellor
  • Probation Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • College Counsellor
  • And any other professional position in the human service field.

All successfully completed university credit courses in the program are transferable.

Under the collaborative agreement between UNBC and NWCC, students who complete the Social Service Worker Diploma program are eligible to receive credit as determined under the agreement. UNBC's Bachelor of Social Work Degree can be obtained at UNBC's Terrace Campus. The University of Victoria awards, on an individual basis, additional transfer credits for a SSW diploma or certificate. 

Admission Requirements 
  1. Apply direct to Social Service Worker (SSW)
  2. Submit proof of English 12 or equivalent.
  3. Once admitted, register in the courses required for the SSW program.

Course prerequisites include:

  • Math 11

The prerequisites for individual courses are outlined in the course descriptions. Students missing prerequisites may enrol in Career & College Preparation (CCP) upgrading courses while completing the program.

English proficiency is required for all students entering NWCC programs.  Please visit our English Language Alternatives page to see how this requirement can be met.  All students admitted to the SSW program will be required to take the CAT 3 English Assessment test. 

Note:  Grade 12 high school graduation is recommended.

Note:  Applicants planning to apply to a School of Social Work (e.g. UNBC or UVic) or Child and Youth Care should consult with the institute in order to take the appropriate university credit electives.

Additional Certificate Requirements

  • A work/volunteer experience résumé and a written statement describing career goals, special interests and reasons for seeking entrance to the program.
  • Two reference forms from an employer, volunteer supervisor, teacher or human service professional, attesting to the applicant's personal suitability for work in human services.
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Check (CRC) is required before the practicum placement.  The presence of certain crimes on the record will prevent practicum placement, graduation and subsequent employment.  Note that CRC’s may take up to eight weeks.

Additional Diploma Requirements

  • Successful completion of a Social Service Worker program or related certificate with the completion of SSW 112 and SSW 113.

Need help with the application process?  Contact an Educational Advisor.

Dates and Locations 

Intakes:  September and January

Campus location:  Terrace

Program length:

  • Start in September and complete the certificate in 1 year or the diploma in 2 years 
  • Start in January and complete the certificate in 2 years or the diploma in 3 years 
  • Study part-time and complete at your own pace

Select courses will be offered face to face or video conference at the Hazelton or Prince Rupert campuses. Courses may be held on Saturdays. 

Speak with an Educational Advisor or Marja Burrows, the Program Coordinator, for assistance with course selection.

Program Fees 

SSW Certificate Year One 

FEES Full-Time Domestic (37 Credits)  Full-Time International (37 Credits) 
Tuition: $3,446.18 $14,646.27
Student Union Fees: $124.56 $124.56
Mandatory Fees: $310.06 $377.38
Health Insurance: N/A $234.60
Tuition Total:  $3,880.80 $15,382.81
Additional Costs:     
**Books: $2,000.00 $2,000.00
**Supplies/Clothing: $250.00 $250.00
**Fieldwork/Practicum: $250.00 $250.00
Total Program Cost: $6,380.80 $17,882.81

SSW Diploma Year 2

FEES Full-Time Domestic (39 Credits)  Full-Time International (39 Credits) 
Tuition: $3,632.46 $15,437.96
Student Union Fees: $124.56 $124.56
Mandatory Fees: $277.68 $322.56
Health Insurance: N/A $234.60
Tuition Total:  $4,034.70 $16,119.68
Additional Costs:     
**Books: $1,660.00 $1,660.00
**Supplies/Clothing: $250.00 $250.00
**Fieldwork/Practicum: $250.00 $250.00
Total Program Cost: $6,194.70 $18,279.68

Fees are effective as of August 7, 2018
Please note that these are approximate costs and may vary depending on courses taken and location of practicum.