Preparing Community Workers for more than 40 years.

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 including poverty, housing, violence, food-justice, immigration and settlement in ways that are responsive to their multiple and changing needs.

Turning Point representative demonstrates to a female Child and Youth Care student at Career Fair.


Program name
Community Worker
Experiential learning
Field Education
5 weeks, 8 months (3 semesters) full-time
Starting month
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 N/A
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 Open
International students
Sept. 2020 N/A
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 Opens Aug 3, 2020

Full Description

Community Worker student working

Community Worker (Fast-Track) is a dynamic social justice program grounded in the principles of and respect for human rights and anti-oppression practice. Students are prepared to work with largely urban-centred, diverse communities across a range of issues (i.e. poverty, housing, food-justice, 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 from the Community Worker (Fast-Track) program?

The three-semester Community Worker (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, activities, interactive lectures, guest speakers and panels, and group work 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 advocacy
  • community development, project design and proposal writing
  • policy analysis and rights-based advocacy

Features of the Community Worker program include:

  • Strong ties with over 350 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 (C101) 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

Not only will you develop relationships with our community partners through field placements, you will also meet with sector professionals in your 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 Community Worker (Fast-Track) 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.

What kind of students enrol in the Community Worker (Fast-Track) program?

Graduates from other degrees and diploma programs interested in learning more about social justice and community development enrol in this program. Our students are a diverse group of students with broad social and community experiences.

Part Time Study Options

This program does not currently offer a part-time study option.

Experiential Learning

Field Education

Your Field Study options

Students have the opportunity to develop practical skills and gain valuable work experience by completing a 400-hour placement in the final two semesters of the program.

Through our strong ties to more than 350 field agencies across the GTA, students can find placements suited to their interests in a variety of settings, from immigration and settlement services to community food centres, and from cultural community services to governmental agencies.

Students also have the option to apply for one of our exciting international field experiences, in India or Jamaica.

Program Standards and 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
CodeCourse Name
CWRK 1310Community Work Theory
CWRK 1311Group Dynamics and Communication
CWRK 1312Socio-Political Analysis and Human Rights
CWRK 1313Community Work in Practice

SEMESTER 3: September - December

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
COUN 2003Counselling
CWRK 1003Community Based Project Design
CWRK 2019Canadian Social Policy
CWRK 2039Fieldwork Seminar II
CWRK 2038Fieldwork II
Program Related Elective
CWRK2004Community Legal Issues
CWRK2026Housing and Homelessness
CWRK2034Restorative Justice
CWRK2036Urban Aboriginal Peoples: Perspectives in Community Development

SEMESTER 4: January - April

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CWRK 2012Proposal Development and Funding
CWRK 2032Global Politics
CWRK 2016Group Leadership
CWRK 2039Fieldwork Seminar II
CWRK 2038Fieldwork II
Program Related Electives
CWRK2031Program Evaluation
CWRK2033Food Justice
CWRK2035Immigration and Settlement Working with Immigrant and Refugee Populations
CWRK2040Environmental Justice

Detailed course outlines

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
  • shelters and community food centres
  • 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

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.

Future Study Options

Students who successfully complete this program may qualify for advanced standing in Community Development at Humber College, 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


$3,594.00* ‡

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 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.

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.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

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.

Success Stories

"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."

Melissa Baldwin [Graduate 2018, Community Worker (Fast-Track)]

"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."

Nicholas Obasi [Graduate 2018, Community Worker (Fast-Track)]

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-ordinators:

Rusa Jeremic


Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 6786

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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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar 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 admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.