Community Worker (Fast-Track) is a dynamic social justice program grounded in the principles of human rights and anti-oppression that prepares students to work with largely urban-centred and diverse communities across a range of issues (i.e. poverty, housing, food security, immigration and settlement, etc.) in ways that are responsive to their multiple and changing needs.
What can you expect?
The three-semester Fast-Track program combines classroom instruction with supervised field placements. Theory, analysis and practice are presented through a variety of innovative instructional tools developed from popular education and learner-centred approaches to teaching and learning.
Highly participatory classes of dialogue, debate, interactive lectures, guest speakers and panels, and group activities provide students with a program of study that is current, exciting and critically engaging.
What key skills will you learn?
Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to develop a variety of important and high-demand skills, including:
- anti-oppressive and intercultural practice in working with diverse populations (including youth, immigrant communities, Indigenous populations)
- critical analysis, research and writing
- group facilitation and leadership
- individual and group counselling
- conflict mediation and restorative justice
- community organizing, activism and development
- proposal writing and program evaluation
- policy analysis and rights-based advocacy
Features of the Community Worker program include:
- Strong ties with over 200 agencies across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- Founder and lead organizer of the annual Tommy Douglas Institute that brings communities, students, educators and activists together to explore higher education and social justice in the 21st century.
- The larger Community Worker program has been graduating community workers for over 40 years.
Program courses are organized into four core areas:
- Community work theory and practice
- Social and political analysis
- Group skills and counselling
- Field placement and seminar
We take our students to the field and bring the field to our students. Not only will students develop relationships with our community partners through field placements, they will also meet with professionals in their classrooms at networking events, guest panels and program electives taught by agencies and practitioners currently working in the field (i.e. Community Legal Issues, Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Perspectives in Community Development, Housing and Homelessness).
Who are the faculty?
The experienced educators that make up our faculty bring their passion for education and change to create a highly engaging and dynamic learning environment. Coming from backgrounds in local, national and global activism, they remain active on social issues and maintain close ties to communities, activists and organizations.
Who are our students?
From graduates, mature students and newcomers to those already working in the field or hoping for a career change, our diverse student body is a core strength of our program.
If you are passionate about human rights and social justice, committed to working with diverse communities, bring a mature and professional approach to your education and field work, and are prepared to take on a course load of 20+ hours per week, this program is for you.
Students have the opportunity to develop practical skills and gain valuable work experience by completing a 400-hour placement in the last two semesters of the program.
Through our strong ties to over 200 field agencies across the GTA, students can find placements suited to their interests in a variety of settings, from immigration and settlement services to food banks, and from cultural community services to governmental agencies.
Students also have the option to apply for one of our exciting international placements (i.e. India, Jamaica).