What are the opportunities for employment with this credential?
There are great opportunities for making a real difference with your EACSW Certificate. Employment after graduation with meaningful work is a solid reality.
Grads who want to work immediately typically start in on-call casual positions within classroom situations or community living environments. After accepting shifts on a regular basis, this can quickly turn into full-time employment.
Many grads will continue with their education, entering the diploma, with a part-time work schedule.
I heard there are many cuts in the schools. Won’t that mean fewer jobs are available for TAs?
Many people have a misperception about employment options in schools due to recent media coverage of teacher cuts. The reality is that each district makes its own decision about budget allocations.
Locally, what we are finding that school cuts to teaching staff actually mean an increased need for EAs or TAs, as the needs of students are still very real.
There are many positions available. Starting on-call or casual and moving into more permanent postings as shifts are accepted and completed.
Does this course ladder into other programs?
Yes, the EACSW Certificate ladders into many opportunities for continuing your education (diploma, degree). Many of our grads go on to pursue their Human Services Diploma in Child and Youth Care, Social Work, Early Childhood Education or some combination. We also ladder into programs for Disability Studies and Community Rehabilitation.
Due to changes in teacher credentialing, a EACSW Certificate can now ladder into CYC Diploma at Selkirk, CYC Degree at the University of Victoria (distance) and then teacher training year at the West Kootenay Teacher Education Program (WKTEP).
This means a person can complete an entire teaching credential without leaving Kootenay Boundary!
Where can I find work?
Your EACSW Certificate is a dual credential—a qualification for both school-based and community living work.
Do I have to take the course full time?
No. Most students take the program full-time and complete within 10 months (September to June). However, many of our students choose to take the EACSW program on a part-time basis for family or work reasons.
It’s possible to complete the program flexibly over one to five years. (The individualization of course offerings for part-time studies is to be confirmed through conversation with your instructors.)
PLAR options also exist to receive credit for prior learning in related work situations.
What is PLAR?
PLAR stand for PRIOR Learning Assessment & Recognition.
If you have at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) experience working in the community living field, in a classroom setting or a combination, you may be eligible for PLAR for at least part of your EACSW credential.
Working with a EACSW instructor, you will develop a contract and portfolio demonstrating your work experience and learning. This must be validated by a supervisor or employer.
Are there prerequisites for the EACSW Program?
- Grade 12 or mature student with English 12 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better, or a minimum Language Proficiency Index (LPI) score of level 4
- Completed Selkirk College application form
- Official transcripts of secondary and post-secondary education
- Two completed personal reference forms
- Completed criminal record check
- Complete assessment testing for reading, writing and math before registration
- Basic computer skills
We also strongly recommend completing the English and psychology courses prior to entering the program if possible. This allows you to focus in on your EACSW content during your time in the program.
Is funding available?
Funding may be available. and many scholarships, loans and bursaries exist. Check with your career counsellor.
Grads who are looking for employment will find it—so this program is seen as a good investment choice by many employment counsellors.
If you are a part-time student, you should ensure that you are enrolled in enough courses per term to qualify with your funding source.
I’m a little nervous, I’ve been out of school (and/or workforce) for a long time. What’s the average age of your students? Will there be supports if I need them?
Students range in age from 18-60. We are committed to offering supports needed for your success. Many systems are in place to offer learning assistance, study skills, counselling, tutoring, note-taking, adaptive tools and supports.
Is this course all classroom based?
Several courses are available by distance. However, much of what we learn in the program involves interactions with each other and with guest speakers.
What level of computer skills do I need?
You will need basic computer skills. Class activities will be delivered via Zoom. You will need a computer with webcam and microphone, or headset with microphone, and access to a stable internet connection to participate. You will not be able to complete the coursework on a smartphone, a computer is required.
Each course has a "Moodle" site connected so that you can access the course materials. Computer support is available.
How much do grads typically earn?
Wages very depending on the setting, ranging from any entry-level wage of $17–$26. Most of our graduates are hired on a part-time casual basis, whether within community living settings or school environments. By accepting shifts when they are offered, an employee often moves swiftly into a more permanent position.
Many graduates balance work between both community living and school settings. Many also provide respite and recreational supports.
Will this credential be recognized in other parts of BC? Canada?
Yes, this program articulates (is recognized by) with all other public post-secondary institutions in BC. We also have articulation agreements with several other universities. That means your EACSW Certificate will transfer into other programs at other colleges.
Visit the BC Transfer Guide for more information.
How large are the classes?
Classes range from 15–35 students.
Do I get to actually work with individuals with disabilities?
Absolutely. In addition to many guest speakers sharing their perspectives, you will be taking two practicum courses. One is usually in a classroom setting, the other in a community-based setting—so you have experience (and a reference) in both parts of the work.
The first practicum experience is from January through April, one day per week. The second is 200 hours, from late April through May. Many students find that these two practicum experiences (where the rubber hits the road) are the richest aspect of their training. They emerge feeling more confident and experienced and often have a job offer!
How is the EACSW program different from the SSW or ECCE programs?
While all three programs offer human services training, the population you are going to be working with differs. The ECCE Credential equips grads to work with children from birth to age six.
The SSW Credential is a more generalist credential leading to more generalist kinds of work in social service agencies and often laddering on to a social work or child and youth care diploma. Graduates of the EACSW program are equipped to work skillfully with individuals with some form of disability or difference across the lifespan in all forms of community settings. EACSW grads are equipped to work with folks with challenging behaviours and learning needs in classroom and community settings.