- How are decisions made regarding admission to the program?
- How do I provide evidence of 100 hours work experience (paid and/or volunteer) in a community and/or clinical setting?
- Will my previous learning in terms of relevant work, life and non-credit educational experiences be considered in lieu of program course(s)?
- How will I know which of my previously completed courses will be accepted by Vancouver Island University and the BSW Program?
- Where can I complete Social Work 200A (Introduction to Social Work Practice) and Social Work 200B (Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada) online?
- Which of the two options for entry into the BSW program is best – completing a Social Services Diploma first, or simply meeting the admission with the required credit amounts?
- How much is the tuition?
- In addition to the tuition fees, what other costs are connected to the program?
- How will the BSW program be delivered?
- Is it possible to take any of the courses required in the program at other post-secondary institutions?
- What should I expect in my Field Education (practicum) placement?
- Am I able to enroll in social work courses without formal admission into the program?
- Is the BSW program accredited?
- How do I become a registered Social Worker upon graduation from the BSW program?
Admission into the BSW program is competitive and assessed through a number of criteria. These include: fulfillment of admission requirements, past academic performance, suitability for the profession as evidenced within your personal profile and volunteer or work experience in the field. To check your academic qualifications for admission, complete a Self-Assessment Form for Admission. Students will be notified of their application status in April.
2. How do I provide evidence of 100 hours work experience (paid and/or volunteer) in a community and/or clinical setting?
Evidence of 100 hours work experience (paid and/or volunteer) in a community and/or clinical setting can best be demonstrated by submitting a resume. (Applications for the September 2019 intake and thereafter must include a resume.) Your resume will outline your work and/or volunteer history that would include a description of the functions you performed, the time period over which they were performed and where this work and/or volunteer experience took place. It is also helpful to draw upon and integrate what it was you have learned from this experience as you develop your responses to the questions posed in the personal profile. Examples of human service organizations in which previous applicants have volunteered and/or worked included family service, addictions, mental health, women serving, intercultural, Aboriginal as well as child and youth serving agencies.
3. Will my previous learning in terms of relevant work, life and non-credit educational experiences be considered in lieu of program course(s)?
Students who have completed coursework deemed by faculty in the program to be equivalent to the learning outcomes in other courses can receive credit for courses. Non-credit life experience will benefit students in their coursework in the program but not for credit equivalency for courses in the program.
Prior Learning Assessments are not available for Field Education Placements.
4. How will I know which of my previously completed courses will be accepted by Vancouver Island University and the BSW Program?
Upon application to the BSW program students will receive a course credit completion form. The completed form is sent to the VIU Registration Centre at which time this document and your official transcripts will be evaluated. Subsequent to this evaluation, students will be advised regarding the status of their course transfer to VIU and the BSW program. To obtain an idea of course transferability between educational institutions in British Columbia, check the British Columbia Transfer Guide.
For advising questions related to prerequisites and courses in the program contact Louise Stern, Chair, Social Work Louise.Stern@VIU.ca or 250.740.6268
5. Where can I complete Social Work 200A (Introduction to Social Work Practice) and Social Work 200B (Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada) online?
These courses can be taken online or through in class delivery at any accredited post-secondary educational institution that offers these courses or their equivalencies. Thompson Rivers University offers these courses online, see the links below. (Please note that Thompson Rivers University uses a different course numbering system. The links provided do correspond to the correct courses.)
Post-secondary institutions in British Columbia offering Vancouver Island equivalencies to SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B can also be located in the British Columbia Transfer Guide.
Applications to the program will be accepted without having fully completed all course admission requirements as long as these requirements are completed by July 31st.
6. Which of the two options for entry into the BSW program is best – completing a Social Services Diploma first, or simply meeting the admission with the required credit amounts?
In the final analysis, whether or not you enter the BSW through the Social Services Diploma route or the non-social Service Diploma route, you must meet the admission requirements to the BSW program. If you take the Social Service Diploma route by completing the Diploma first, it will qualify you for work in various agencies requiring this credential. However, in addition to completion of the 60 credits of courses needed to graduate from the Diploma program you will need to complete an additional 5 Liberal Arts and/or Social Science courses (assuming you have no prior courses completed) to meet the 24 credits of Arts and/or Social Science and 24 credits of courses other than social work/social services courses (as listed on the VIU BSW Program Calendar website).
Please see our official Calendar for a full breakdown of tuition costs.
As this program is delivered on a cost-recovery basis, tuition will be significantly higher than most courses delivered on campus.
Students should expect to pay a fee of approximately 200.00 per course for course texts and reading materials. Cost is taken into consideration when texts are selected. Where possible, we use E-books that are accessible through the VIU library and/or we provide readings directly in the course site. Travel costs to Field Education (practica) sites are the responsibility of the student. In addition students will be responsible for other fees such as those associated with Student Union and participation in the completion of criminal record check process.
The BSW is a distance education program in which all social work courses will be delivered fully online using a teaching format called Desire2Learn. Students will need access to high speed internet in order to make best use of course materials.
2. Is it possible to take any of the courses required in the program at other post-secondary institutions?
Please consult the Program Chair for course availability. Louise.Stern@VIU.ca
Although we will work closely with students in accessing Field Education placements that match their geographical preferences, we cannot guarantee your placement will be in or near your preferred community.
Field Education placements consist of 350 hours in both third and fourth year of the BSW program.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours per week in their Field Education placements. Based on 16 hours per week a typical placement is approximately 21 weeks in duration and normally occur between January and May.
In order to meet the needs of both parties, hours and dates of the Field Education placement are negotiable between the student and the agency providing the placement (see hours required above).
Students should be prepared to organize their work and family life in such a way as to accommodate the demands of their Field Education placement. This may include reducing paid employment hours, or increasing the numbers of hours needed for child care during the placement period.
Students complete a Field Education Placement Request Form where they may indicate their preferred placement location. Every effort is made to fulfill these preferences; however it is not always possible to have first or preferred geographic or practice area of interest placements so it is important to remain flexible.
Each student participating in Field Education will complete a Field Education Learning Contract and will meet with a Faculty Field Education Liaison.
Please note that Prior Learning Assessments are not available for Field Education Placements.
No. Seats are reserved for students who have been formally admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work program.
Social workers obtain employment in social, educational and health organizations as well as private practice. Social workers assist individuals, families, groups and communities through their work in hospitals, community-based organizations, child welfare agencies, school districts, agencies serving Aboriginal people and human rights agencies that promote the interests of those experiencing inequality in our communities. See the Career-Profile page for additional potential job opportunities for social workers.
Yes. Consistent with the program's interest in promoting excellence in contemporary professional social work practice through peer oversight that ensures high academic and practice standards, the Bachelor of Social Work program at Vancouver Island University is accredited through the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.
Students should consult with their local jurisdiction for provincial or territorial Colleges of Social Work that register Social Workers. For example, the BC College of Social Workers BCCSW , the Alberta College of Social Workers ACSW, the Ontario College of Social Workers OCSWSSW .