Frequently Asked Questions

All CYC applications must include two references. We recommend references who have seen you interact with children and youth and who are familiar with the child and youth care field. However, we know not everyone has experience with children. In these cases we suggest teachers, employers or people you've done volunteer work with.

The CYC Diploma is a two-year full-time program that includes one practicum experience and prepares you to work in settings such as after-school and residential care.

The CYC Degree is a four-year full-time program that includes two practicums and prepares you to work in counselling roles in community, school and government settings.

With a CYC degree, you can apply to a wide range of graduate programs. The master's programs typically focus on

  • counselling
  • community, service or program development
  • leadership skills
  • administration

There is a wide range of wages for CYC workers depending on the employer. However, 2019-2021 BC Student Outcomes data reports a median annual salary for a CYC worker of $58, 188.

According to the 2021 BC Labour Market Outlook report, jobs in the social and community service sector are considered high-opportunity occupations. This means there will be high demand and better pay for workers in this field. Demand is projected to continue into 2031, with 12,000 jobs expected. 

The 2019-2021 Student Outcomes data indicates that 97% of CYC graduates found work in Child and Youth Care fields.

Yes, if there is space and you have the prerequisites you can take a CYC course without being in the program. You can take up to three CYC classes without being in the program.

Some examples of the courses are:

  • Child and Youth Care Practice
  • Working with and supporting families and caregivers
  • Activity-based Child and Youth Care practice
  • Child abuse and neglect concerns
  • Elders Teachings
  • Child and Youth Mental Health
  • Understanding Substance Use
  • Trauma and resiliency

See full list of CYC courses

The practicum, or field experience, is an integral part of VIU CYC programs. A practicum is a chance to gain CYC work experience. In VIU CYC programs, it's usually 10-15 hours of work per week over 8 months. You'll work closely with an on-site mentor, and a CYC faculty member will support you in your learning. You'll also attend practicum seminars and other learning activities.

We are not currently accepting applications to the First Nations Child and Youth Care diploma. 

Child and Youth Care Programs Advising

The Child and Youth Care (CYC) Programs Advisor provides advising for students in the Child and Youth Care Degree and Diploma programs and for those interested in transferring into the CYC program.  

The Child and Youth Care Program Advisor can:

  • Discuss how your transfer credits from VIU or another institution apply to either the diploma or degree in CYC.
  • Discuss your course choices, including required courses and electives.
  • Talk through details regarding the CYC Course Matrix.
  • Help you learn how to use the Goal Planning System (GPS) to monitor your diploma or degree progress.
  • Discuss questions related to completing a minor or certificate alongside a CYC credential including course options and requirements.
  • Explain how credits earned in an international exchange can apply to your program.
  • Answer questions concerning practicums.
  • Provide graduation information.
  • Graduating students who are making final plans to complete the diploma or degree in CYC should review their GPS system and check with the CYC Program Advisor  to ensure that all their requirements for their credential have been met.
  • Discuss needs and issues and refer you to other resources at VIU as indicated.

Contact the CYC Program Advisor for advising assistance and to make an appointment:

Heather Sanrud


Phone: 250.740.6394

Location: Nanaimo Campus, Building 180, Room 440

A young woman in a classroom.

Are VIU CYC students happy?

I am extremely happy I chose to take the CYC program. It has given me connections to other CYC's in the field to network with. I feel as though the curriculum is something I draw on every single day in my work, and something that truly prepared me for working with families [and] youth. The community workshops we took place in allowed us as students to put our skills to practice and showed us the positive impacts CYC's make in our clients lives. The professors are dedicated to making sure you get what you are looking for out of their classes and make sure they are always readily available should you run into any bumps or questions.

Holly Dupont, Child, Youth & Family Support Worker at at Qwam Qwum Elementary School, Snuneymuxw Territory 

Still have questions?