The Powell River Campus of Vancouver Island University is pleased to launch an innovative delivery of School and Community Support Worker Program (SCSW).
Instructor Alison Taplay has redesigned the delivery of this program to make it more accessible to students who work or might not live in Powell River.
The SCSW program prepares students to work with people who have disabilities or as educational assistants in the school system.
“I’m excited to be part of the Human Services Faculty at VIU and to provide leadership to the PR campus programs,” said Taplay. “It is an opportune time join the faculty as there is a motivation to try new things.”
The SCSW program takes one year to complete and uses a variety of delivery methods. Portions of the course are offered online. Face-to-face classes will be offered in two three day institutes per semester in Powell River. Other parts of the course requirements such as University Writing and Research can be taken in class at VIU Powell River. Students not living in Powell River can obtain course equivalents.
A virtual classroom using new technology can be attended from any location with the appropriate equipment. Students participate in sessions several times a week and will be part of a learning team. “Powell River is an excellent environment for innovation in human service program delivery because of its track record of excellence, such as giving an early welcome to those leaving institutions,” said Taplay. “Powell River has been named as one of the most inclusive communities in Canada by the Canadian Association for Community Living.”
In spite of the impression many people may have that there are fewer jobs in the community for those in this profession, students are getting job offers, often before completion of the course.
Sasha Pugsley, a student in the current program, is already working in a few areas in the field. She works with people who have a mental illness as a vocation skills trainer, has casual work as a community support worker in some of the group homes in Powell River and just got hired as an SSA for school District #47.
“I am already very close to achieving my goals and I am not even finished the program yet,” she said.
The completion of the SCSW certificate is equivalent to the first year of the two year Disability Studies Diploma, also offered at the Powell River Campus. This diploma ladders into a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation degree available by distance learning at the University of Calgary.
Taplay said that there are even more options for those who go through the SCSW program. “They can transfer to other VIU diplomas such as the Social Services and Child and Youth Care diplomas.”
Interested readers can contact Alison Taplay at VIU: 604.485.2878 or Alison.Taplay@viu.ca