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  • Social Service Worker

    Social Service Worker


Program Code:SSWA
Duration:3 Semesters (35 Weeks)
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

The Social Service Worker (Accelerated) (SSWA) program provides you with the knowledge and skills required to make a meaningful contribution in the human service field. You will be challenged to examine your own beliefs and values, develop interpersonal communication skills and promote social justice, human dignity and equity. Your success in this program will be measured by both your ability to grow and change and your academic performance.

This is the accelerated version of the Social Service Worker (SSW) program. The accelerated program is demanding and requires students with good academic, time management and interpersonal skills.

Accelerated Delivery Mode

This is an accelerated program for those who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences or other undergraduate degree. This program consists of a 7-week intensive summer semester (Semester 1) starting in early May each year, followed by a regular academic year commencing the day after Labour Day and concluding in mid-April (Semesters 2 and 3).

Field Work

As a student in SSWA, your field work will begin in semester two. Field work provides you with a valuable opportunity to apply your learnings to the workplace. In order to be eligible for field work, you will be required to meet the criteria as set out in the "Social Service Worker Program Student Code of Conduct". In the placement, you will benefit from supervision and have specified hours, duties and accountabilities to both the college and agency representative. Field work is a mutually agreed contract for which you will be evaluated by the field placement supervisor. The minimum commitment is the successful completion of specific periods as set out in the Field Placement Student Contract.

Please note that students may be required to return to school during the Academic Advisement Week in January in order to do a block placement. The Social Service Worker program subjects are lecture and tutorial based, utilizing texts; some are practice-oriented and stress interpersonal skills and group dynamics. Students can expect to spend 20 to 25 hours each week on assignments, as well as two days per week in field placement in semester two and two days per week in semester three.

Provincial Registration

In order to practice in Ontario as a "Social Service Worker" or a "Registered Social Service Worker", graduates must apply for registration in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Graduates of the SSW program will meet the education requirement for registration. For more information, please visit

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • A recognized Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from an accredited institution. Under special circumstances, graduates from other related program areas may be considered.
  • Academic equivalents for four social service or general education related credits and College English.
    • Students with credentials from a foreign institution must be evaluated course by course through WES or ICAS.
  • English proficiency at the post-secondary level.

Prior To Field Placement:

  • A current Police Vulnerable Sector screening:
    • Applicants living in the city of Toronto can expect to wait a minimum of 8-12 weeks to receive a Police Check.

Your Career

Earn your Social Service Worker diploma in three semesters with this accelerated program. As a SSWA student, you will learn important social service work skills and be prepared to apply them to the real world. Your studies may lead you to employment in youth, women’s and 'disabled' persons' programs, as well as in housing, community development, rehabilitation, mental health and many other settings. Upon graduation, you will be eligible for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).

Transfer Pathways

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Griffith University• Bachelor of Human Services
• Bachelor of Social Work

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Please select the curriculum from the Academic Year in which you started (or will be starting) your studies. An Academic Year begins in September and ends in August of the following year.

All subjects taken during May/June semester must be successfully completed before entrance into the Fall term.

Students who are granted transfer credit in the May/June semester may be required to substitute another first year course in exchange.

2014/2015 Academic Year
Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 * College English 3
SSW101 Interpersonal Communications 3
SSW102 Diversity: Awareness and Practice 3
SSW147 Field Work Seminar 3
SSW201 Group Dynamics for Social Service Professionals 3
SSW212 The Helping Interview and Principles of Practice 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
SLL307* Sociology: A Practical Approach 3
SSW311 Case Co-ordination and Advocacy Strategies 3
SSW312 Supportive Counselling 3
SSW347 Social Service Work Seminar 2
SSW357 Social Service Field Work 14
SWL136 * Introduction to Social Problems 3
XXXXXX * General Education Option 3
Students take one of the following subjects:
SSW371 Selected Issues: Intimate Partner Abuse and Violence 3
SSW372 Selected Issues: Addictions 3
SSW373 Selected Issues: Mental Health 3
SSW374 Selected Issues: Child Welfare 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
SSW402 Community Practice 3
SSW447 Social Service Work Seminar 2
SSW457 Social Service Field Work (2 days per week) 14
SWL206 * Human Development for Social Service Professionals 3
SWL227 * Community Studies: Families in Change 3
SWL247 * Field Word Seminar II 2
SWL257 * Field Work 14
SWL401 Social Policy 3
XXXXXX * General Education Option 3
XXXXXX * General Education Option 3

* See section on Advanced Standing and Prior Learning Experience.

2015/2016 Academic Year
Semester 1
College English
Interpersonal Communications
Field Work Seminar
Group Dynamics
The Helping Interview and Principles of Practice
Semester 2
Sociology: A Practical Approach *
Case Co-ordination and Advocacy Strategies
Supportive Counselling
Social Service Seminar
Integrative Field Work Seminar
Introduction to Social Problems *
General Education Option *
and one of the following
Abuse and Violence
Mental Health
Child Welfare
Semester 3
Community Practice
SSW Seminar
Integrative Field Work Seminar (2 days/week)
Social Policy
Human Development *
Community Studies *
Field Work Seminar II *
Integrative Field Work Seminar *
General Education Option *
General Education Option *

* Qualified applicants should have previous postsecondary credits (with a minimum grade of 60%) from Canada or abroad that will allow Seneca to grant transfer credit in these subjects.

Note: Students who are granted transfer credit in the May/June semester may be required to substitute another first-year course in exchange.

Contact Us

Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Cathy Dawson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55013
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Cathy Dawson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55026
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Kevin Kennedy
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55389
Program Chair: Biljana Bruce
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55002
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