Community Social Work

You can make a difference.

The Community Social Work program at Portage College provides you with practical training and experience to assist individuals, families, and various groups to navigate their way through situations in life. 

Career Potential
Graduates are eligible to apply to become a Registered Social Worker. Current provincial legislation makes it mandatory for individuals with a social work education, who work within the scope of social work practice  to be Registered Social Workers.

Graduates work with individuals, families, groups, and communities in a variety of agencies including: Aboriginal Agencies, Addictions, Court and Probation Services, Disabilities, Emergency Shelters, Provincial and Federal Departments, Residential Treatment Centres, Schools, and Senior Services.

Admission Requirements
Grade 12 or equivalent with:

  • Minimum 60% in English 30-1 or 30; or
  • Minimum 70% in English 33 or 30-2

In addition to these academic requirements, the following documentation must be provided: 

  • Three academic/professional letters of reference (within the last 5 years)
  • Criminal Record Check 
  • Child and Welfare Intervention Check
  • Signed Student Agreement declaring free from substance abuse

Important Links
Textbooks & Supplies
Funding Options 
Moodle Technical Requirements

Practicum
Practicum faculty supervisors meet with students individually and match them with a practicum placement.  
Students complete 450 practicum hours per year at various organizations including: Addiction Treatment Centres, Disability Centres, Probation and Correctional Centres, Schools, Women's Shelters, and Youth Centres.

Credential
This is a two-year Diploma program. Graduates are eligible for provisional RSW registration with the Alberta College of Social Workers.

Transferability
Transfer agreements are currently in place with:

1. University of Calgary (BSW)
2. Athabasca University (BPA)
3. MacEwan University (BSW)

*Students are encouraged to speak to their Student Advisor about specific transferability.

Community Social Work

  • NORTH AMERICAN ABORIGINALS

    Course ID: ANTH250

    Name: NORTH AMERICAN ABORIGINALS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an introduction to the study of the history, cultures, and present concerns of Aboriginal peoples in North America from an anthropological perspective, with a focus on First Nations in Canada. Traditional lifeways and contemporary issues will be discussed through the examination of different culture areas across the continent. Prerequisite – ANTH 101 (Portage College) or equivalent is strongly recommended.

  • INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION

    Course ID: ENGL102

    Name: INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course helps students to develop the academic writing skills they use throughout their university studies. Students learn to identify good writing, and develop research, analytical, and organizational skills. Starting with building good sentences and paragraphs, the essay is the most important genre in this course. A thorough review of grammar and sentence structure is also a key component of this course. This course is designed for students in career programs who require proficiency in writing in an academic setting. Some students may be advised to take English 103, 106 or 108 or equivalent.

  • ELECTIVE

    Course ID: ELEC100

    Name: ELECTIVE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    ELEC100

  • DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC102

    Name: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores the development of the person through the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Each stage of human development will be studied from a physical, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective. The course will include developmental influences related to family systems and culture. Prerequisite – PSYC 104 and 105 or consent.

  • INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC104

    Name: INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is a prerequisite to other psychology courses at Portage College and is normally followed by PSYC 105. (However, PSYC 105 is not a requirement in the CSW program.) This course is intended to inspire an interest in, and an appreciation for, the field of psychology. Topics in this course include the history of psychological science, psychological research methods, the structure and function of the brain and nervous system, learning, sensation, perception, memory, consciousness, thought and language. Prerequisite – None.

  • INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

    Course ID: SOCI101

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to introduce students to the discipline of Sociology and current sociological trends and issues. The course provides an overview of sociological concepts, perspectives, processes and institutions in a Canadian context.

  • PRACTICUM

    Course ID: SOCW110

    Name: PRACTICUM

    Hours: 450

    Credits: 6

    The field work in year one is designed to provide students with an opportunity to observe and practice social work activities as well as gain an awareness of community resources. The social work skills that they will develop include beginning interviewing skills, group project skills as well as being able to integrate theory with practice in their practicum.

  • INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK

    Course ID: SOCW131

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to provide an overview of the philosophy, purpose and objectives of social work. Attention will be given to societal attitudes and values; client expectations and needs; social work ethics; intervention process; social work roles working in an agency. The history of social work, current social work issues and the social work process are all discussed. Students are challenged in relation to their motivation to enter the field.

  • SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

    Course ID: SOCW132

    Name: SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course introduces the integration of social work values and concepts with practical skills. Emphasis is given to initial contact, understanding human behavior and life situations, recording and case disposition. Working in a bureaucracy and coping strategies are also discussed. Prerequisite – SOCW 131

  • SOCIAL WORK INTERVIEWING

    Course ID: SOCW133

    Name: SOCIAL WORK INTERVIEWING

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course introduces the integration of social work values and concepts with practical skills. Emphasis is given to initial contact, understanding human behavior and life situations, recording and case disposition. Working in a bureaucracy and coping strategies are also discussed. Co-requisite – SOCW 131

  • ELECTIVE

    Course ID: ELEC200

    Name: ELECTIVE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    ELEC200

  • ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC285

    Name: ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an overview of a variety of abnormal behaviours that are psychologically oriented. The characteristics and observable symptoms of psychological disorders are studied including various theoretical orientations, treatment methods, cultural, age and gender differences, and various factors related to the incidence of mental disorders. The learning in this course adds to the knowledge students acquired in Introductory Psychology and (for CSW students) Developmental Psychology. CSW Students: PSYC 104 and PSYC 102 or consent. University Students: PSYC 104 and 105 or consent.

  • PRACTICUM

    Course ID: SOCW210

    Name: PRACTICUM

    Hours: 450

    Credits: 6

    The fieldwork in Year two is designed to provide students with an opportunity to engage in social work activities under supervision, and to practice skills as front line beginning professionals. The social work skills that are developed include planning, as well as generalist social work intervention skills. Students are expected to integrate social work theory to practice in their practicum. Prerequisite – SOCW 110, SOCW 133

  • GROUP WORK

    Course ID: SOCW215

    Name: GROUP WORK

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    The course provides the student with the opportunity to learn the stages of group work practice, discuss and practice group techniques and processes, and develop “hands on” skills in the community. Prerequisite – SOCW 132, SOCW 133

  • SOCIAL POLICY

    Course ID: SOCW217

    Name: SOCIAL POLICY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to help social work students to understand the strategies by which Canadian social policy is determined and how this process impacts social work practice. Students also study the history of social welfare policy and how it is influenced by the economic and political environment; how present day social trends are influenced by social policy, historical and present day Aboriginal issues and how social workers can influence the process. Prerequisite – SOCW 132

  • RURAL AND NORTHERN PRACTICE

    Course ID: SOCW218

    Name: RURAL AND NORTHERN PRACTICE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to help social work students to understand the strategies by which Canadian social policy is determined and how this process impacts social work practice. Students also study the history of social welfare policy and how it is influenced by the economic and political environment; how present day social trends are influenced by social policy, historical and present day Aboriginal issues and how social workers can influence the process. Prerequisite – SOCW 132

  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

    Course ID: SOCW219

    Name: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic theories, principles, concepts, techniques, processes and issues involved in community development. Proposal development skills and There will also be the opportunity to develop “hands on” skills as well as proposal development skills. Prerequisite – SOCW 215 or permission of instructor.

  • FAMILY DYNAMICS

    Course ID: SOCW231

    Name: FAMILY DYNAMICS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course continues the integration of social work knowledge and concepts related to family dynamics with Social Work practice skills. Emphasis will be given to the nature, structure and diversity of family units, the history of the family, and current trends. What constitutes a healthy family is discussed, and the issues in working with families from other cultures are explored. Prerequisite – SOCI 101, SOCW 132, SOCW 133, SOCW 232

  • SELECTED ISSUES IN SOCIAL WORK

    Course ID: SOCW232

    Name: SELECTED ISSUES IN SOCIAL WORK

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is a survey of current theory and practices, skills and attitudes related to specific areas of social work practice. These areas are interrelated but each possesses a distinctive social work knowledge base. Prerequisite - SOCW 132

  • ADDICTIONS

    Course ID: SOCW235

    Name: ADDICTIONS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of addictions and to assist them to recognize the symptoms of addictive behaviour. Students will learn how to respond as professionals to the clients’ addiction who they may work with on a day to day basis. Students learn about the services available through agencies dealing with addictions. Prerequisite – SOCW 132, SOCW 133 or permission of instructor.

  • SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH METHODS & ETHICS

    Course ID: SOCW238

    Name: SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH METHODS & ETHICS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This is an introductory course that examines the basics of research including terminology, the nature of knowledge, critical thinking, research design, data collection, and analysis. These areas will be taught in relation to social work interventions and the skills needed to utilize research in practice of the profession. A portion of this course will be spent discussing research ethics and the practice of social work. Prerequisite – SOCW 110 or permission of instructor.

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