Community Support Worker Certificate
Community and School Support (CASS)


What you'll learn...

CASS 110 Communication Skills

Effective, ethical communication is the foundation of human service practice. CASS 110 helps human service paraprofessionals to develop this foundation. Topics examined in the course include perception of self and others, verbal and non-verbal communication, conflict management, communication in work relationships, and effective participation in groups and teams. Consideration is also given to the influence of disability, gender, and culture on communication. Note: Students need a digital video camera to complete one assignment for this course.
3 CR

CASS 120 Human Diversity: A Disability Perspective

Human development takes many diverse paths. This course examines disability as on expression of this richness. The common categories of disability are surveyed within the context of the person and his/her cultural, social and physical environments. Students will also explore how disability is viewed and valued in Canada, as well as some current examples of disability culture.
3 CR (0,3)

CASS 130 Ethical Foundations of Practice

In CASS 130, you will evaluate the relationship between your personal and professional values, adopt a code of professional ethics to guide conduct in the workplace, and develop and approach to ethical decision making. You will identify the ethical issues raised in a variety of short case studies, evaluate options for resolution, and make clear arguments for decisions made. The course also reviews law relevant to human service work in British Columbia.
3 CR

CASS 140 Positive Approaches to Teaching and Learning: Part 1

This coursed introduces the student to strategies for teaching new skills and addressing challenging behaviour. The intent of this course is to provide a thorough exposure to training strategies and procedures, while alerting the student to ethical concerns when using these strategies.
3 CR

CASS 145 Positive Approaches to Teaching and Learning: Part 2

A continuation of CASS 140, this course builds on the introduction to behaviour change. Successful students will expand their knowledge on developing and implementing procedures of behaviour change to enhance the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities. Prerequisite: CASS 140 with at least a “C” standing.
3 CR

CASS 150 Life Planning and Support Systems

In this course, life planning is presented as a process that values and empowers individuals and their families. Several “person-centred” methods to assess needs, make decisions, act, and evaluate are discussed. The course also surveys a variety of formal (e.g. education, human service) and informal (e.g., family) systems that support individuals with disabilities in fulfilling their life dreams.
3 CR (0,3)

CASS 160 Physical Care

Developing and maintaining good health and wellness practices for ourselves and the people we support is the focus of this course. Emphasis is given to providing personal care in the most dignified and least intrusive ways possible. Topics covered in the course include good mental and physical health, personal hygiene, eating and nutrition, body mechanics, lifting and transferring, and medication safety, as well as the impact of drugs and alcohol, stress management and the challenges of aging.
3 CR (0,3)

CASS 180 Supporting Literacy in Diverse Classrooms

CASS 180 introduces the Education Assistant to the basic skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for supporting literacy learning in classroom settings. The course introduces a wide variety of practical and positive ways that Education Assistants can support diverse learners, especially learners with communication, auditory or other challenges.
3 CR (0,3)

CASS 189 Approved Elective

See Note 1.

CASS 195 Education Assistant Practicum

CASS 190 is a community-based practicum. It is an opportunity for students to integrate and apply skills, attitudes and knowledge learned in prerequisite course work. The practicum’s form will depend on the student’s interests and previous experience working with people with developmental disabilities in community settings. Examples range from student self-directed service learning projects to traditional “block” placements with a service agency. All practicum students complete a variety of assignments, journal exercises and participate in an online seminar.
Prerequisites: CASS 110 (or SSWK 145 or ECE 176/177) and CASS 120 and CASS 130 and CASS 140 and CASS 145 and CASS 150 and CASS 180 with at least a “C” standing in each course.


  • All Practicum (CASS 190) students must also complete a BC Ministry of Justice Criminal Record Check for Children and Vulnerable Adults. This Criminal Records Check must be completed in addition to any you may currently have in place. Payment of any fees is the student’s responsibility. Additional information will be provided to students registered in the CASS 190 Practicum.
  • In compliance with WorkSafe BC guidelines, practicum work must be done within the province of British Columbia.
  • CASS 160 and a three credit or equivalent elective course are not prerequisites for admission to CASS 190 but they are a requirement for graduation. The CSW certificate will not be issued without CASS 160 and the elective.
  • Student wishing to complete their CASS 190 Practicum must submit a practicum proposal and/or placement contact information and obtain instructor approval prior to registering in CASS 190.
  • Practicum placements cannot be guaranteed

3 CR, Total Hours 130

Community Support Worker Certificate (CASS)

  • Credential: Certificate
  • Type: Part-time *maximum three courses per semester
  • Campus: Online through Burns Lake and Prince George; through Quesnel on a rotating basis
  • Fees: $290 per course
These fees are an estimate.
Please note: this program does not qualify for student loan funding