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Community Support Worker Program

(Developmental Disabilities Specialization)

Watch this video on the career profile of a Community Support Worker and the success of many of our grads:


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 you with a comprehensive theoretical and practical education so you can provide support to people of all ages who have a developmental disability or dual diagnosis (i.e. developmental disability and mental illness). You will learn how 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, you will begin weekly field experience placements. These placements, alongside ongoing academic coursework, provide applied practice and give you a continual real-world context as you complete your 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.

Next Start: TBA

Program Goals

The Stenberg College Community Support Worker Program prepares graduates to:

1 Demonstrate the knowledge base, skills and attitudes consistent with industry expectations for entry level employment as a Community Support Worker
2 Gain 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:

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

Program Delivery Format

This full-time, 32-week program is delivered in a face-to-face classroom environment. The first course, Orientation & Student Success Skills, provides an important opportunity for you, faculty, and administration to meet each other and to get a comprehensive overview of your program.

Following the Orientation & Student Success Skills you will spend the next 27-weeks completing 14 theory courses. During this time you will complete a 1-week Career Search Strategies course which is delivered in a combined delivery format. Portions of this course will be delivered online, using Moodle as the online learning platform, as well as face-to-face for the interview portion of the course. During the theory component of your program there will be a 75-hour Integrated Practice Experience.

Following the theory portion of the program, you will complete a 4-week Consolidated Practice Experience followed by a 1-day program debrief and celebration.

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