Community Studies

Vibrant, healthy communities are a key component in Alberta's future and growth. Skilled and compassionate human services professionals provide a wide range of community services and make a difference in every community in the province. Along with theory and classroom knowledge, students will apply their skills in practicum placements to enhance the interpersonal and client relationship skills vital to work in these fields.

Programs are offered in a variety of delivery formats to meet the work and life balance and flexibility needs of students – please see individual programs for available deliveries.

Community Support WorkerFull-time, Hybrid

This exciting certificate program provides graduates with generalist skills to work in a variety of frontline human service settings. Students will have the opportunity to focus their training in one of four unique communities:

  • Indigenous peoples
  • Immigrants/refugees
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Older adults
Early Learning and Child CareFull-time, Part-time, Hybrid

The Early Learning and Child Care certificate program prepares graduates to provide quality child care in a wide variety of settings and to plan developmentally appropriate activities for the children in their care. Knowledge of child development, family dynamics, play, and program planning will equip graduates to support the healthy development of children through child-centred learning experiences.

Social WorkFull-time

NorQuest College offers an approved, two-year Social Work diploma program with a multicultural focus. As its mission, the program emphasizes the value of human diversity and teaches practice within an anti-oppressive framework that is supportive and empowering.

Aboriginal History, Identity and Culture
Examine the historical foundations of Aboriginal culture.  Study the key events that have impacted Aboriginal individuals, families, and communities.  Focus on the application of Aboriginal cultural awareness and knowledge of Aboriginal history to community support practice.
Appropriate Practice in Child CareOnline
Basic health, safety, and nutrition, observation and documentation, and appropriate practice with children across curricular areas are linked to practice through this seminar.
Assessment and Interviewing
Build on theory and practice skills and integrate communication and interview skills with theoretical models and concepts to provide a framework for client assessment. Learn a systematic approach to effectively assess and intervene with clients.
Basic Computer SkillsOnline
This course provides learners with the skills they need to create the documents, spreadsheets, and presentations needed in college human services programs and employment in human services.
Canadian Politics: Institutions and IssuesFull-time, Open Studies, Online
This course explores the development of Canadian political institutions and political issues in Canada.  The student will learn about contemporary Canadian politics by examining the evolution of federalism, the Constitution, parliament, Aboriginal and minority rights, the welfare state, multiculturalism, and similar topics.  The course focuses on teaching critical thinking and writing skills by testing normative and empirical theories against Canadian historical and contemporary evidence.  Transfer: UC
Child Growth and DevelopmentOnline
This course focuses on the development of children from conception to twelve years of age, including the physical child, the thinking child, the social child, and the whole child, as well as introducing atypical development. Students will study key theories and theorists in child development.
Community Development
Examine the theory and definitions of community, community organization, and community development, as well as related concepts. Consider power and equity in relation to oppression, and apply models of intervention and strategies for change to diverse communities. Study the varied roles of the social worker in community practice and apply principles of community work.
Community Development in Urban and Non-Urban Aboriginal Communities
Examine the concepts and lived realities of community and community development from an Aboriginal perspective.  Focus on developing working knowledge and skills in organizing and building communities and resources in support of Aboriginal individuals and families in both urban and rural settings.  Students learn to apply practice methods such as group work, community engagement, and organization.
Community Service Learning
Engage with your community through experiential learning. Apply theories learned in the classroom to real-life service projects. Learners will explore basic concepts and skills of experiential learning, including community benefit and community-based research methods. Projects will pair learners with community organizations for mutually beneficial outcomes.
Community Support Work Practicum
Gain comprehensive practical experience as you apply previously learned theory and practice in working with individuals, families, communities, and organizations.
Critical Reading and WritingFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
ENGL 1011 introduces students to post-secondary literary study through the analysis of a range of texts from different genres and historical periods. Although specific texts and/or themes will vary from section to section, students will read fiction and poetry and may also encounter drama, film, visual media, and/or non-fiction prose. This course introduces students to literary analysis, research, and critical thinking and writing.
Critical Reading and Writing: Poetry and DramaFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
The literary content ENGL 1012 will vary from section to section, but students should expect to encounter works from two major forms: poetry and drama. All sections will include at least two long texts, such as plays. Texts will reflect a range of historical, cultural, and social contexts, with attention paid to representations of gender. Transfer: UC
Developmental Psychology: Human Life SpanFull-time, Open Studies, Online
Study the biological, cognitive, moral, emotional, and social changes that occur in an individual during the human lifespan. Transfer: UC
Disability I: Challenges and Needs of the Physically Disabled
Focus on developing working knowledge and skills in supporting physically disabled individuals and their families. Develop your skills in interviewing, advocacy, supportive counselling, conflict resolution, information and referral, and case management.
Disability II: Challenges of the Mentally Disabled and Those with Multiple Disabilities
Focus on developing working knowledge and skills in supporting mentally disabled individuals and those with multiple disabilities. Learn how to build communities and locate resources that support disabled individuals and their families.
Emotional and Psychological Needs of Older Adults
Older adults often experience increasingly limited access to their communities that results in their emotional and psychological needs being unmet. Learn about the resources available to assist older adults to maintain their independence and their emotional and psychological well-being.
Foundations of Human BehaviourFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
Build on your introductory knowledge of the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. Focus on the study of cognition (thinking), intelligence and creativity, motivation and emotion, personality, health, stress, and coping, psychological disorders, therapies, and social behaviour. Note: Students with credit in another introductory psychology course may not be eligible for credit in this course. Please check with the Program Chair.
Guiding Children's BehaviourOnline
This introductory course provides an understanding of children's behaviour in a developmental context, and the importance of realistic expectations of children in various stages. The social development of the young child will be examined in the context of positive guidance to support self-regulation. Appropriate strategies to help children to develop positive self-esteem and develop appropriate behaviour will be discussed. The prevention of behaviour problems through developmentally appropriate practices and interventions will be emphasized.
Helping Skills in the Immigrant and Refugee Context
Learn the skills required to support new Canadians in accessing resources and community services in order to meet settlement needs and function effectively in their effort to integrate successfully as members of their communities.
Interpersonal Communication for Health-Care ProfessionsFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
Explore the fundamentals of communication and interpersonal relationships. Examine effective communication, barriers to effective communication, and specific communication strategies that can improve interactions with others. Learn theories related to communication climate, groups, teams, conflict, and conflict management.
Interpersonal Relationships and CommunicationsOnline
Effective communication, including mindful listening, conflict resolution, non-verbal communication, managing emotions, and perception checking are critical for successful interpersonal relationships. This course will assist students to develop the strategies they need to communicate with others accurately and effectively, whether the relationships with others exist in a work place, a family, a friendship, or a classroom.
Introduction to Community Support Work
Learn the roles of support workers within diverse communities. Identify the skills, knowledge, and practices necessary to implement effective support interventions and service resources in the local community.
Introduction to Early Learning and Child CareOnline
This survey course focuses on understanding the goals and essential components of developing successful early childhood programs. By studying the role of early childhood professionals, students will gain insight into their own philosophy of early childhood education.
Introduction to PsychologyFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
This course is the basic foundation course in psychology. It provides an introduction to the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. This course examines the evolution of psychology, research methods, descriptive statistics, the brain and behaviour, human lifespan development, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, conditioning and learning, and memory. Note: Students with credit in another introductory psychology course may not be eligible for credit in this course. Please check with the Program Chair.
Introduction to Social WorkFull-time, Open Studies
Study the history of social work and its evolution as a profession as the foundation for understanding social work’s current roles and practices. Learn about social policy, political structures, social issues, and practice with diverse client groups.
Introduction to the Study of SocietyFull-time, Distance, Open Studies, Online
Explore introductory sociology through the study of social relations, community, and society. Learn about the institutions of Canadian society, such as family, politics, ethnicity, education, and religion.
Leadership, Team Building and Organizational Behaviour
Students examine and apply best practices of leadership in team and organizing work. Attention will be drawn to best practices specific to working in Aboriginal, immigrant/refugee, and the disabled communities.
LiteracyOnline
This introductory course will provide students with an understanding of early literacy. Students will learn strategies that can be used to develop a child's interest and skills related to listening, speaking, reading, and writing that form the foundation of a language arts curriculum. Students will also explore the effective use of children's literature, storytelling, puppetry, and dramatic play and the importance of cultural considerations and individual differences.
Mental Health: A Multicultural Perspective
Approach mental health from a holistic and multicultural practice perspective. Examine the traditional medical model of illness and non-traditional cultural practices in mental health. Explore common mental health disorders in relationship to different cultural groups.
Models and Practice from an Anti-Oppressive Perspective
Study concepts that address oppression and oppressed peoples, from a historical and a contemporary perspective and apply these concepts to social work practice models. Explore issues associated with internalized dominance and oppression. Apply different theories and perspectives to provide a framework for practice.
Physical and Social Needs of Older Adults
Learn the skills required to support older adults as they interact with others in their daily lives. Tools will include person-centred activities and encouragement as a means of promoting older adults’ physical and social well-being.
PlayOnline
Students will develop an understanding of the role of play in a child’s growth and learning. They will also learn about the role of the environment and the early childhood practitioner in enhancing children’s play. This course focuses on the planning of inclusive and appropriate play environments, including indoor and outdoor play experiences. Students will explore a variety of play situations and materials used in child-care settings.
Practicum I
This practicum is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply acquired skills and knowledge from a play-based perspective in appropriate child-care settings under the supervision of the College practicum supervisor and a designated mentor.
Practicum IIDistance
This practicum provides students with an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge of the role of the educator in appropriate child-care settings under the supervision of the College practicum supervisor and a designated mentor.
Social Policy
Study social policy and its relationship to and impact on social work. Discuss social policy concepts and apply them to a variety of Canadian policy issues and societal trends. Examine the benefits and disadvantages of established social policies from the perspectives of marginalized groups.
Social Policy, Legislation and Government Systems
Focus on developing an introductory working knowledge of laws, policies, and government service-delivery agencies related to the community support practice in Aboriginal, immigrant/refugee, and the disabled communities.
Social Work Field Education Laboratory IOnline
Develop and heighten your awareness of and readiness for social work field education. Learn reflectively and analytically through practice-oriented activities such as case studies, role plays, and agency visits to build skills and a value for professional ethics and competence reflective of the social work helping process.
Social Work Field Education Laboratory IIOnline
Continue to develop and heighten your awareness of and readiness for social work field education. Learn reflectively and analytically through practice-oriented activities such as case studies, role plays, and agency visits to build skills and a value for professional ethics and competence reflective of the social work helping process.
Social Work Field Education Laboratory IIIOnline
This course provides a forum for senior social work students to reflect upon and consolidate their learning from the Year 1 practicum experience and prepare for the Year 2 agency-based practicum in the spring. Drawing upon their previous practicum experience and a broader theoretical and conceptual knowledge base, students will have the opportunity to increase their skills and competence in advance of the Year 2 practicum.
Social Work Field Education Laboratory IVOnline
This course provides additional opportunity for senior social work students to reflect upon and consolidate their learning from the Year 1 practicum experience and prepare for the Year 2 agency-based practicum in the spring. Drawing upon their previous practicum experience and a broader theoretical and conceptual knowledge base, students will have the opportunity to increase their skills and competence in advance of the Year 2 practicum.
Social Work in Organizations
Identify and understand the role of social workers as managers within many types of organizations. Learn the major functions of management and the importance of administration in organizations that provide social services. Examine attitudes and issues relevant to social work in light of the different responsibilities of the social work manager.
Social Work Practicum I
Apply previously learned concepts of social work practice in a practicum setting. Demonstrate knowledge and application of social work interviewing and assessment skills at a beginner level.
Social Work Practicum II
Apply previously learned theory and practice to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations. Integrate practicum experience with classroom learning.
Social Work with Families
Focus on the role of the social worker in assessing, intervening in, and supporting the family across its lifespan. Examine families as a unique social institution as well as from the student’s personal experience. Explore the historical evolution of family member roles, functions, and characteristics.
Social Work with Groups
Focus on the processes and dynamics of group work in social work practice. Explore the theoretical underpinnings of group work with an emphasis on skill development. Focus on identifying values and practices that differ across cultures and consequently impact group work. Examine a variety of group types, phases of group development, intervention techniques, and leadership qualities.
The Helping Process
Focus is on the helping process, which is the essence of social work practice. Examine the qualities and values of the helper in the context of multicultural practice. Study communication theory, techniques, and interviewing skills. Apply theory and skills to case studies and role-play scenarios.
The Individual and Family in a Multicultural Context
Focus on the role of the community support worker in serving immigrant families as they deal with challenges in such areas as parenting, parent-child relationships, spousal relationships, schooling, and role-reversals in the family. Learn the skills needed to assess, intervene, and support the individual and the family as they settle and integrate into their community.
The Role of the Educator in ELCC SettingsOnline
Working with diverse families and communities, the role of the educator in observation, documentation, the child’s voice, and play and working as a team member are linked to practice through this seminar.
Violence and Addictions: Issues in Social Work
Examine in-depth two common abuse situations in contemporary family contexts: violence and addictions. Understand the cycle of violence and its impact on families and communities. Identify addictive substances and behaviours, issues associated with power and control, and impact they have on diverse communities.
Written CommunicationOnline
This course focuses on the development and practice of writing skills and forms of written communication required for success in educational and human services settings. Topics include an overview of the writing process, using correct grammar, developing writing strategies, writing essays, writing for business, and proofreading.