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May Micla, a Stenberg grad, is a Program Manager at Semiahmoo House Society and discusses her journey from the Philippines to a career in community support work.

Community Support worker

(Developmental Disabilities Specialization)

Attend an Upcoming Info Session

Wednesday August 5th, 2015
Suite 750 - 13450 102nd Ave
Surrey, BC V3T 5X3
(Central City Mall Office Tower, 7th Floor)


Are you searching for a rewarding career serving your community and the exceptional people within it? If so, check out the Community Support Worker Diploma Program at Stenberg College.

The Community Support Worker Diploma Program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive theoretical and practical education so students can provide support to people of all ages who have a developmental disability or dual diagnosis (i.e. developmental disability and mental illness). Students are trained to effectively promote the mental, physical and emotional health of people with specialized needs so that they may live as fully and independently as possible.

After taking foundational coursework, students begin weekly field experience placements. These placements, alongside ongoing academic coursework, provide applied practice and give students a continual real-world context as they complete their studies. An intensive four week consolidated practice experience occurs at the end of the program. This practice experience is the final consolidation of knowledge, skills and abilities so that students are immediately ready to join the workforce upon graduation.

To discover more about this satisfying career, keep on reading...

Program Goals

The Stenberg College Community Support Worker Program prepares graduates to:

1Demonstrate the knowledge base, skills and attitudes consistent with industry expectations for entry level employment as a Community Support Worker
2Gain employment in the field within 6 months of graduation

Typical Job Duties

Community Support Workers assist people with learning disabilities, physical challenges or other special needs, along with their families. They model, teach and support all functions of home life, daily living activities, leisure and recreation leading to an improved quality of life and greater self-reliance for people with specialized needs. Community Support Workers also build community relationships (i.e. networking with employers) so that they may encourage people with developmental disabilities in their career discovery process. Furthering employment options for those they work with, Community Support Workers also build training plans and provide direct support within the workplace.

Potential Employers

After completing the Community Support Worker Program, graduates will be qualified for employment in:

  • Residential, supportive housing units
  • Day-programs
  • Community healthcare agencies
  • Adult protective services
  • Social services support
  • Respite Care

Wages and Career Outlook

Wage and career outlook information is difficult to predict. Unlike other occupations, most opportunities in community living are driven by the current government policies rather than the business cycle. Based on recent employment statistics gathered by Stenberg College, the average starting wage of students who have completed the Community Support Worker Program and are working in their field of study is $18 per hour.

The related national employment occupation classification number-a system used to group jobs-for Community and Social Service Workers is 4212. Please realize that survey results are based upon groupings of a large number of related jobs. Wages and career outlook may differ due to education level, geography and type of employer:

Is This Program For You?

It is if you:

1Like to support and encourage others towards independence
2Are interested in improving the quality of life of people with specialized needs
3Value community inclusion
4Are flexible and compassionate
5Can communicate equally well with clients, their families and healthcare professionals
6Have patience and can handle stress
7Want to have a career where you can truly make a difference in people's lives
8Are not allergic to chlorine (as swimming is a commonplace activity for Community Support Workers)

Program Admission Requirements

  • Completion of Grade 12 or 19 years of age or older
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance examination
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Successful completion of a short written essay
  • Passing Verbal Test of English if English is a Second Language
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Reference letter stating suitability to work with people with developmental disabilities

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a physician

Note: A valid driver's license (or new driver status) is highly recommended. Graduates without a driver's license may face limited employment opportunities and lower wages.

NB: Additional criteria may be required to fulfill industry guidelines; students will be informed in advance of any requirements that need to be fulfilled for placements

Duration and Financing

Duration: 32 weeks, including integrated and consolidated practice experience

Financing: You could be eligible for Employment Insurance Funding for education, government student loans as well as other financing options; the Stenberg College Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Quick Links

Community Support Worker: Program Learning Outcomes

Community Support Worker: Program Courses & Additional Certification(s)

Community Support Worker: Top Reasons to Choose Stenberg

Over 92% of our graduates are working in their field of study within 6 months of graduation

2014 - 2015 2013 - 2014 2012 - 2013

Community Support Worker
Community Living BC
Fraser Health
Interior Health
Northern Health
Provincial Health Services
Semiahmoo House Society
Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver Island Health

"I can't thank you all at Stenberg enough. My experience was positive in every way. From encouragement and direction to inspiration and friendships. My instructor Evelyn was the factor in my sticking with the program at times of struggles with juggling life stressors. Thank you once again to you Kathleen and all the others at Stenberg College for making a difference in my life. I will always value my time spent with such exceptional people."

Debbie D.