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

  • 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 needed research, analytical, and organizational skills. Starting with building good sentences and paragraphs, the essay is the most important genre in this course. By analyzing, summarizing, synthesizing, and critiquing a variety of texts, students learn how to develop their own analyses and arguments with appropriate and correctly documented primary and secondary sources. A review of grammar and sentence structure is a key component of this course. PREREQUISITE: 60% in ENG 30-1

  • ELECTIVE

    Course ID: ELEC100

    Name: ELECTIVE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    ELEC100

  • DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC202

    Name: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores the development of the person through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and death. 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. Prerequisites: PSYC104

  • 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, and areas of practice in variety of areas that includes various populations. The history of social work, current social work issues and the social work process are all explored. Students are expected to develop a foundational understanding of the social work profession from micro to macro perspectives. Prerequisites: 60% in ENG 30-1 or 70% in ENG 30-2

  • 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. Prerequisites: PSYC 104 and PSYC 202, or PSYC 105

  • 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. Prerequisites: SOCW 218 and SOCW 132

  • RURAL AND NORTHERN PRACTICE

    Course ID: SOCW218

    Name: RURAL AND NORTHERN PRACTICE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course presents the characteristic features of rural, northern and remote communities in Canada and the implications of these settings for social work practice and their impact on generalist social work practice. Case studies of communities in Northern Canada are also explored. Prerequisites: SOCW 131 and 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. There will also be the opportunity to develop "hands on" skills as well as proposal development skills. Prerequisites: SOCW 215 and SOCW 232

  • 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. Prerequisites: SOCW 215

  • 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 131 and 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. They will also learn about different addictive substances. Students are given ideas as to how to respond as professionals to the addicted clients they will work with on a day to day basis. Students learn about the services available through Alberta Health — Addictions and other agencies in Alberta. Prerequisites: SOCW 133

  • 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. Prerequisites: SOCW 215 and SOCW 218

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