Frequently Asked Questions


There is a solid demand for this program. We anticipate approximately 50-60 applicants to the program each year. Admission to the program is competitive; submit your application and supporting documents as early as possible.

The number of students admitted each year varies depending on the number of part-time students. However the average size of the yearly intake is approximately 34 students.

Students are selected based on the status of their academic record, letters of reference, writing skills, extent of their paid and/or volunteer experience. An interview or group interview may also be required.

The only prerequisite is English 12 with a min. C grade, or equivalent. If you do not meet this prerequisite you may write the Language Proficiency Index to qualify or enroll in our Adult Basic Education program to upgrade your English skills. Contact the Advising Centre for details on these upgrading options.

The interview is intended as an opportunity for faculty to be introduced to students and for students to become familiarized with the program. Be on time and ready to present yourself in a professional manner.

Typically in late April and early May. Depending on the number of applicants and their level of past academic achievement and experience, interviews may not be utilized in our selection process.

Yes, you could complete the English requirement if you do not already have University-level English. 

Students should ensure that their application for admission is complete and current, submitted on time, and be prepared and on time for the interview. Volunteer experience in the field is an asset.

You will be informed of your admission status within a few weeks after the close of applications, generally in April or early May.


Information regarding tuition costs is available in the VIU Tuition Fee Schedule. Other costs such as texts and student materials are estimated at $100 - $150 per course. Students are responsible for travel costs to and from their practicum sites.

Yes. Students taking the program can apply for a student loan. See Financial Aid and Awards for details.

Yes. This certificate has the potential to ladder into the Child and Youth Care diploma, the Child and Youth Care degree and/or the Social Service Worker diploma, as well as a general Bachelor of Arts degree at VIU. Students have also laddered into the Bachelor of Social Work degree at VIU. If you have credits from another university or college program, applicable Human Services courses may be recognized towards this diploma. Please contact the program chair for more information.


The majority of classes are offered in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, however some are offered on-line or through a weekend institute format.

Students can expect 4-6 hours per course per week.

Yes, this program is offered on a part-time basis with a completion requirement within five years.

Yes, a Prior Learning Assessment is only available to students admitted into the program. Once admitted, if you think you may qualify for a Prior Learning Assessment credit, please consult with the Program Advisor, Coordinator or Chair of the program.

Yes, you will have two practicum placement during your program.(105 hours each).

Employment Outcomes

Some further training may be required to enter the job market, for example first aid, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) . Other specialized skills and knowledge would certainly be an asset (i.e., Autism-specific training, Braille, Sign Language Interpreter training, Class IV Drivers License).

The starting wages are approximately $20-$22 an hour for an Education Assistant. Wages are approximately $15 to $22 per hour for Community Support Workers.

It is likely that graduates will find work in the mid-island region. However, this certification is recognized throughout British Columbia.

This Program has a very low dropout rate. Students may take the program on a part-time basis and are allowed up to five years to complete the requirements.

Most graduates who have completed the program in the last three years have found employment in the field, unless they chose to go on to further studies.