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Social Services

Create change in your community and enhance quality of life for the individuals you serve.

A woman sits in front of another; it appears one is talking and the other listening.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

This program gives you the entry-level skills required to work in most social service agencies. Through your study, you gain a good understanding of yourself and your values, the social services system, the populations served by social services organizations and the skills and strategies needed to help people in your community.

Work experience

  • Field experiences (work placements) are mandatory credit courses completed throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • You participate in work placements in public and/or private settings within the province.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid. Some evening and/or weekend shifts may be required.
  • You're not guaranteed placements of our choice.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • You develop helping strategies, including facilitation, creative problem solving and assessment skills.
  • You learn from instructors who bring a range of academic and professional experiences to the classroom.
  • You experience hands-on, practical learning, where you apply your skills and knowledge to real projects and work experiences.
  • Small class sizes enable you to be very involved in your learning and make the most of your class time.

Other info

  • This program is not always offered at the same location each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • Many employers in this sector require one – or all – of the following as part of the hiring process: current, official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and/or Child Abuse Register search.
  • A conviction or finding in Family Court may impact your ability to secure employment.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus Yarmouth Full time In-class Seats available
Ivany Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Kingstec Campus Kentville Full time In-class Waitlist
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In-class Waitlist
Pictou Campus Stellarton Full time In-class Seats available
Strait Area Campus Port Hawkesbury Full time In-class Seats available
Truro Campus Truro Full time In-class Waitlist

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Cumberland Campus Springhill Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to obtain a work placement. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations and completion of Standard First Aid, CPR Level C. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,620
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates have the skills to work in a range of roles available in most social service agencies.
  • Grads work in family support and resource centres, emergency shelters, community drop-ins, after-school care programs, residential facilities, and various other organizations that provide services to children, youth and adults.

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

GDEV 1025 - Developmental Psychology
This course examines the expected growth and developmental patterns of individuals from conception through to oldest old. The emphasis is on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of development.

SOCS 1000 - Introduction to Sociology
This survey course focuses on the major sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives.

SOCS 1001 - Introduction to Psychology
This survey course will introduce students to the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. It will explore its goals, theoretical perspectives, research and applications. It will challenge students to make connections between areas of study and their everyday experience.

SOCS 1005 - Writing Skills for Social Service Practice I
Effective written communication skills are a necessary component for success in the social services environment where transparency, accountability and integrity are core values connected to providing service for others. This one semester course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop the skills required to manage information and prepare documents used in the social services field.

SOCS 1010 - Professional Practice I
This course introduces the learner to the concept of professional behaviour. The learner will engage in a self-assessment process and demonstrate professional behaviours in the classroom setting.

SOCS 1014 - Social Service Counselling Skills
This course provides an understanding of helping theory and the development of basic listening and responding skills within the Social Services content.

SOCS 1017 - Foundations of Social Service Practice
This course introduces the learner to the fundamental concepts and skills associated with the helping field. It supports the student in an exploration of his/her fit in the profession. The course will also introduce the concept of crisis and begin to explore the role of the social service worker in supporting clients during crisis.

SOCS 1018 - Reflective Practice and Interpersonal Insights
This course introduces the learner to the concept that self- awareness is key to being an effective social services worker. In the exploration of self-awareness, learners will examine their strengths and skills and identify areas for development and empowerment. The course also introduces the learner to the concepts of interpersonal relationships that are strategic to creating and maintaining good communication in working relationships in the field of social services.

SOCS 1020 - Professional Practice II: Cultural Competency and Anti-Oppressive Practice
In this second level course, the learner will examine professional conduct through the lens of cultural competency and anti-oppressive theory and practice. Industry standards and employer expectations will be explored. Learners will continue to engage in a self-assessment process to determine areas for continued growth.

SOCS 1024 - Applied Social Service Counselling Skills
This course is designed to build basic helpings skills explored in the Social Service Counselling Skills course. The learner will begin developing skills in the application of an advanced communication model to support a climate that will encourage interdependence and individual centred planning. This course is a non-supplemental course and therefore is not eligible for supplemental exams.

SOCS 1050 - Applied Service Learning Project
NSCC recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for the learner to make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace. To ensure that the learner is capable of transferring the skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired in the classroom setting, NSCC requires an experiential learning component to be successfully completed before learners are eligible for graduation.

SOCS 2000 - Understanding Families
During the past few decades, family life in Canada has been undergoing many changes. This course deals with a variety of family challenges and family issues that have a direct relevance to the field of Social Services. The course theory and assignments as well as class activities and discussions will help learners manage future work situations.

SOCS 2001 - Behavioural Learning Principles
Learners will be introduced to behavioural terminology and the principles of learning. Learners will foster positive behavioural strategies that support the principles of interdependence using a multidisciplinary approach.

SOCS 2002 - Mental Health Issues
This course is a general survey course that considers key content in relation to mental health disorders. The student will examine biological and psychological factors related to mental health and illness, ranging from functional to dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours. Current theories, therapies and intervention strategies are explored. Mental Health will be addressed across the life span. Students will investigate legal, ethical and social perspectives in relationship to scope of practice.

SOCS 2005 - Writing Skills for Social Service Practice II
This course provides students with the opportunity to apply skills developed in Writing Skills for Social Services I. Applications include preparing documents that serve as records in the social services field, collecting and clearly presenting information specific to the needs of an audience, and composing documents for employment that are accurate and appealing.

SOCS 2008 - Grief and Loss
This course is designed to introduce the concepts of grief and loss as a field of inquiry and professional social services practice across the lifespan. Utilizing a cross-cultural perspective, a variety of issues associated with grief and loss will be explored. This course includes, but is not limited to, death and dying.

SOCS 2009 - Community Development
The purpose of this course is to explore the dynamics of community change as well as practical approaches for taking action to facilitate community change. Since promoting community change is more than an academic exercise, learners will participate in one or more of the phases of community development.

SOCS 2010 - Introduction to Disability Studies
This course will explore the barriers to full citizenship for persons with disabilities, and identify best practice in supporting full inclusion. This course will challenge the view of disability as individual deficits, by analyzing the way society defines and responds to disability. Priority will be given to the knowledge and perspective that comes from lived experience. Social service approaches which promote inclusion and challenge ableism will be explored.

SOCS 2011 - Behavioural Learning Strategies
Learners will develop, apply and evaluate a variety of positive behavioural change strategies for diverse populations. Learners will be able to support, implement, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of positive behavioural supports programs within their scope of practice.

SOCS 2024 - Group Facilitation
The Group Facilitation Skills course is an introduction to group process and group facilitation. Learners will explore group work theory and practice. Learners will have the opportunity to utilize this knowledge and skill in the planning, facilitating and evaluation of a group.

SOCS 2025 - Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing
Social and recreation service delivery is dependent on grants, contracts or contributions to program funding. Learners will explore the structure and processes required to develop a successful grant proposal for projects associated with recreation and social services delivery.

SOCS 2030 - Professional Practice III: Professional Development
In this third level course, the learner will apply the process of reflective practice to professional conduct in the workplace. Based on the first year practicum experience, learners will engage in a reflective process to identify areas for continued growth in this area.

SOCS 2035 - Introduction to Addictions
This course is designed to provide an overview and introduction to the addictions field. Learners will be introduced to issues and trends from both a historical and present day perspective. It will involve exploring drug and alcohol use from a physical, social emotional and biological perspective. This course will involve an exploration of services offered across the spectrum both locally and throughout Canada.

SOCS 2040 - Professional Practice IV: Advocacy and Social Justice
In this final course in professional practice, the learner will explore concepts of leadership, advocacy and social justice within the social services field.

SOCS 2050 - Practicum I
NSCC recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for the learner to make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace. To ensure that the learner is capable of transferring the skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired in the classroom setting, NSCC requires an experiential learning component to be successfully completed before learners are eligible for graduation.

SOCS 2055 - Practicum II
NSCC recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for the learner to make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace. To ensure that the learner is capable of transferring the skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired in the classroom setting, NSCC requires an experiential learning component to be successfully completed before learners are eligible for graduation.

SOCS 3029 - Crisis Intervention Strategies and Techniques
The first section of this course allows the learner to define crisis and explores its characteristics. It also explores the dynamics of crisis, both in the short term and the long term, for the individual in crisis. The course is specifically designed to provide the helper with a crisis intervention model, which takes into account the differences between crisis and non-crisis intervention for both the client and the helper. The learner will be trained in effective strategies for dealing with crisis, with emphasis on relationship, assessment, and developing an action plan. The second section of the course then explores practical crisis intervention in a variety of specific settings/crises, utilizing the six-step application model presented in the first section of the course. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) will enhance the learners' ability to help a person at risk stay safe for now. Nonviolent Crisis Intervention is effective in teaching the learners to safely manage aggressive behaviour.

SVLN 1000 - Introduction to Service Learning
This course prepares and provides learners with an opportunity to provide direct service to either a local or international human service/nonprofit agency while meeting program and course outcomes. Learners will participate in workshops, carry out research, develop a community profile, develop a service learning plan, engage in reflection and portfolio assessment. Following this introductory course the learner will complete their project in third semester.

Open elective course requirement. One unit/credit. NOTE: No two courses can be used to satisfy program requirements that are at the same level, subject area and topical area or that are otherwise deemed to be equivalent.

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