Community Worker Program (C101)

Program Description

Leadership Claims

Preparing students to work with individuals and communities toward progressive social change for more than 40 years.

The Community Worker program is one of the few programs of its kind in Canada.

Program Overview

George Brown College's Community Worker (C101) program prepares students to work for progressive social change with organizations, communities and individuals across a range of issues such as poverty, housing, legal rights, discrimination, food justice, immigration and refugee settlement.

Full Description

George Brown College's Community Worker (C101) is a two-year, four-semester Ontario College Diploma program that integrates local and global perspectives within a multi-level understanding of the historical, social, political, economic and systemic ways in which social issues have developed, and are experienced by communities.

Grounded within social justice and human rights, we provide students with the critical analyses, knowledge, skills and attitude required to work with diverse and historically marginalized individuals and communities on a range of concerns.

This is an approved education program by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Graduates of this program may apply to receive the additional designation of RSSW (Registered Social Service Worker). Extra fees may apply.

Community Worker Program Features: 

  • Strong ties with more than 350 agencies across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
  • Twenty-plus-year relationship with Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT).
  • Graduates of AHT’s Community Health Worker Training Program can gain direct entry into the second year of the Community Worker program.
  • Founder and lead organizer of the annual Tommy Douglas Institute, which brings participants together to explore community, education and social justice in the twenty-first century.

The Role of a Community Worker

Emerging from a proud history of community-based organizing, advocacy and activism, community workers work with individuals and communities at all levels (local, national, natural and global) toward positive social change.

Community workers are committed to the full and equal inclusion of all peoples within societies that value equality, diversity and human dignity. The pursuit of social justice is about rights—not charity; working in solidarity with communities—not for them.

Key Skills Taught in the Community Worker Program

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
  • critical analysis, research and writing
  • group facilitation, counselling and leadership development
  • community organizing, activism and advocacy
  • community development, project design and proposal-writing
  • policy analysis and rights-based advocacy

Community Worker Program Structure

The program combines classroom instruction with two 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 participative classes of dialogue, debate, interactive lectures, guest panels and group activities provide students with a program of study that is current, exciting and critically engaging.

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

Community Worker Faculty

Faculty are experienced educators who 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.

Community Worker Students

From mature students to high school graduates, from newcomers to those hoping for a career change, our diverse and committed 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, and bring a mature and professional approach to your education and fieldwork, this is the program for you.

In preparation for the field placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups within classes and community settings.

Already have a diploma or a degree? Visit the Community Worker (Accelerated) program page to see if you are eligible.

Your Field Education Options

Students will develop relationships with our community partners through field placements, and in their classrooms through networking events, guest panels. Program option courses are often taught by practitioners currently working in the field (e.g., Community Legal Issues, Urban Aboriginal Peoples: Perspectives in Community Development, etc.).

Types of Community Worker Field Placements

Students will have the opportunity to develop practical skills and gain valuable professional experience by completing field placements in semesters 2, 3 and 4.

Through our strong ties to community partners and advocacy organizations, students can find placements suited to their specific interests and on a wide range of issues such as poverty, settlement services, housing, food justice, education, HIV/AIDS, Indigenous services, arts-based agencies and anti-violence.


In compliance with the requirements of our field partners, all students in this program are encouraged to complete a Police Vulnerable Sector Check before commencing their field placement. These reference checks, which can take up to four months, are done to protect the clientele of these agencies who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law. The fees for the reference checks vary by region and must be paid by the student. Students are responsible for ensuring that the check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).” The program will assist students in applying for the police check once they begin the program.

Students without a clear police reference check may find that their choice of placement is limited. Students in this situation are encouraged to work with the field education co-ordinator to identify placement opportunities that do not require the vulnerable sector check. Students are also encouraged to inquire and apply for Suppression and Destruction of Record or Record Suspension (formerly known Pardon) at their specific regional police services, in order to prepare for their future career or employment. For more information, please visit the Clinical Pre-placement website.

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Career Options

Our Graduates

This is an approved education program by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Graduates of this program may apply to receive the additional designation of RSSW (Registered Social Service Worker). Extra fees may apply.

The Community Worker program is proud to continue a long tradition of graduating Community Workers into a range of professions such as:

  • shelter supervisors
  • international development workers
  • immigration and refugee settlement, and community development
  • health and community advocacy in food justice, Indigenous rights and climate justice 

Educational Pathways

Graduates may apply for advanced entry into other programs in the School of Social and Community Services and the School of Early Childhood. Graduates are eligible to apply for the Child and Youth Care (Accelerated) (C153) program, the Social Service Worker (Accelerated) (C135) program, the Assaulted Women and Children's Counsellor Advocate (C137) program and the Early Childhood Education (Fast-Track) (C130) program.

Graduates who successfully complete this program with a high academic standing may qualify for pathways to the following programs:

For further information, see Transfer Guide.


We are immensely proud of the contributions of our alumni in Toronto and around the globe.
From Michelin-starred restaurants to major construction, entertainment, community and financial organizations, our graduates are truly making an impact across a range of industries.

Latest Alumni Stories

Watch what this current student in the Community Worker program had to say about her recent online learning experience.

Gigi Chiamoh, Community Worker (C101) Student
Ontario College Diploma

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