Community Worker Program


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Leadership Claims

Preparing Community Workers for more than 40 years.

Program Overview

Community Worker (Fast-Track) is a dynamic social justice program designed to prepare you to work with individuals, organizations and communities across a range of issues (i.e. poverty, housing, violence, food security, immigration and settlement, etc.) in ways that are responsive to their multiple and changing needs.

Full Description

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.

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.

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 full-time Community Worker program has been graduating community workers for more than 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.

Your Field Education Options

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 more than 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).

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Establish constructive relationships with individuals concerned with community work.
  2. Describe their personal values and motivation as a community worker.
  3. Serve in a variety of grassroots community organizations especially in the areas of co-operatives, seniors and community legal services.
  4. Be comfortable in community work roles ranging from direct service to classical advocacy and organizing.
  5. Understand and articulate the special needs of multicultural groups.
  6. Analyze social inequalities and demonstrate creativity in the organization of new services and institutions to meet community needs.
  7. Work with groups to identify their own needs.
  8. Access existing services and community resources.


Required Courses

SEMESTER 2: May - June

semester courses
Code Course Name
CWRK 1310 Community Work Theory
CWRK 1311 Group Dynamics and Communication
CWRK 1312 Socio-Political Analysis and Human Rights
CWRK 1313 Community Work in Practice

SEMESTER 3: September - December

semester courses
Code Course Name
COUN 2003 Counselling
CWRK 1003 Community Based Project Design
CWRK 2019 Canadian Social Policy
CWRK 2009 Fieldwork Seminar II
CWRK 2002 Fieldwork II
OPTION Program Option

SEMESTER 4: January - April

semester courses
Code Course Name
CWRK 2012 Proposal Development and Funding
CWRK 2032 Global Politics
CWRK 2016 Group Leadership
CWRK 2018 Fieldwork Seminar III
CWRK 2017 Fieldwork III
OPTION Program Option

Detailed course outlines

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Your Career

Attain Additional Designation of RSSW

Graduates of the Community Worker program will be awarded the professional designation of Community Worker (CW).

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) recognizes the CW program as equivalent to any Social Service Worker program offered in Ontario at a College of Applied Arts and Technology. See List of Social Service Work Programs web page for details. As such, CW graduates are eligible to apply for a certificate of registration with the OCSWSSW and can also apply to receive the designation of RSSW (Registered Social Service Worker). Additional fees for registration apply. Visit the OCSWSSW Fee Chart web page for more information.

Career Options

What does a Community Worker do?

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 building inclusive societies that value equality, diversity and human dignity. For us, the pursuit of social justice is about rights, not charity; working in solidarity with communities, not for them.

Community Workers find work in a range of fields and settings, including:

  • community agencies and neighbourhood hubs (including culturally specific agencies)
  • governmental agencies (e.g. City of Toronto)
  • international development agencies
  • food banks and shelters
  • immigration and settlement services
  • community/drop-in centres
  • healthcare centres
  • rights and advocacy groups (e.g. poverty, settlement services, housing, violence, education, HIV/AIDS, etc.)
  • campaign/political offices
  • community education and arts organizations

Future Study Options

Students who successfully complete this program may qualify for advanced standing in Community Economic and Social Development at Algoma University, as well as programs in Social Work at Algoma University, Ryerson University and York University.

For further information, see

Tuition and Fees


$3,886.00* ‡

Additional Costs

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2018. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2019 and at later dates.

‡May semester fees are paid separately.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College fee requirements.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements

  • Diploma or Bachelor's Degree

** Please note that successful completion of the 5-week program in May is required prior to entrance to the Fall semester.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants with international transcripts who do not provide English Language proficiency test results must test at the College level in the George Brown College English assessment to be considered for admission.

Please visit for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Special Requirements

Note: Some of our student placement partners require students in this program to have a police reference check completed before 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 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).” Students without a clear police reference check may find that their choice of placements is limited.

How to Apply

Apply To

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Student Success

Student Name
Melissa Baldwin

"The Community Worker (Fast-Track) program was a really great choice for me. Coming out of university I had a lot of theoretical knowledge about the career I was interested in, but the fast-track program really put my skills into practice and helped me focus my passion for community work. Through my placement, I was able to explore community issues that I never knew I was interested in and was able to network with so many inspiring people in my field! Now I'm applying for my masters with a much better idea about who I am and where I want to be."

Student Name
Nicholas Obasi

"George Brown College's Community Worker (Fast-Track) program is both an exciting and exhilarating one to pursue. It is an embodiment of the rudiments of our community life in action, equipping the student at completion with the basic tools of community organizing, community development, advocacy, social justice and equity within the framework of anti-oppression.

What's more, the comprehensive hands-on placement program gave me my first practical experience in the field. This program is a complete package and an invaluable one for anyone interested in giving back to society."

Contact Us

School of Social & Community Services

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Community Worker Program Co-ordinator:

Reshma Budhu
Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 6276

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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