Community Advocacy (Part-time)
- Certificate of Achievement
- Program Code:
- Continuing Education
About the ProgramThis program is designed to enhance the learner's skills and knowledge with practical, how-to instruction on how to best navigate the many social programs and other regularly-encountered issues of everyday life that often impact those who are marginalized and/or live in poverty in our community. The program provides training in advocacy techniques, and reviews of current legislation, relevant procedures, bureaucratic systems, appeal tribunals, and other topics necessary to a hands-on understanding of the course subject matter. You will need to complete one core course and seven electives. Each course is one month in length. This program is offered in conjunction with Lambton College and Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. (CLS).
Note: Students should refer to http://www.conestogac.on.ca/distance-learning/ontariolearn for an up-to-date listing of courses.
Program InformationAll courses must be completed within 7 years of acceptance into the program.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, OR 19 years of age or older
Note re: Admission Requirements
- Students must be able to receive instruction, respond and research in the English language.
- Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.
- Attach proof of admission requirements.
- Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements.
How to ApplyStudents may obtain a Conestoga College Program Application Form from any Conestoga College campus, OR by writing directly to the Registrar's Office, OR by using the college website at www.conestogac.on.ca/admissions/forms
Send completed applications to:
299 Doon Valley Dr
Canada N2G 4M4
How to Register for CoursesGo to How to Register for detailed registration information.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
Learn more about PLAR.
Graduate OpportunitiesFor more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Program Related Resources
- Describe specific legislation that governs various social programs currently available in the community
- Apply advocacy techniques in resolving social welfare issues through the use of cases and scenarios
- Describe the ways community advocates can provide assistance to members of the community
Click on the course code or title below for a full description of the course. If available for registration, clicking on "Details" in the status column will open a new browser tab or window in the Student Portal.
|Course Code||Course Title||Status|
|SOCS1110||Community Advocacy Techniques
Description: You will be provided with tools to make their advocacy efforts more effective. The focus will be on advocating for people dealing with social welfare laws. Informal networking, establishing contacts in the community and the power of persistence are some of the topics covered. This is the only mandatory course for those working towards a Certificate in Community Advocacy.
|Electives: Program Option|
Student must pass 7 Course(s)
Select from the list below
Canada Pension Plan
Description: This course focuses on benefits under the federal Canada Pension Plan Act. It provides an overview of the plan and the requirements for eligibility for retirement, survivors', children's, and disability benefits. Also included is a look at the applications for benefits. There is a special focus on the types of evidence and information that must be submitted with the application for disability benefits in order to meet the qualification standards. The course also includes an overview of avenues for appealing adverse decisions on eligibility. Practical tips to assist community advocates in their work on Canada Pension Plan benefits matters are also included.
Ontario Works Act
Description: This course provides a comprehensive review of the Ontario Works Act, including the application process, income and asset assessments and employment supports programs. Participants will examine the types of benefits available to successful OW applicants and review the right to appeal decisions made by the Ontario Works staff. The course will look at the role of the community advocate in these cases and tips to assist community advocates in their work on OW matters.
Residential Tenancies Act, Part I
Description: Learners will be introduced to the law and procedures that govern residential tenancies in Ontario. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) defines and regulates the relationship between a residential tenant and his or her landlord. In this course participants are introduced to the RTA, and to its enforcing body, the Landlord and Tenant Board. Included is an overview of what constitutes a residential lease, ending a lease before the termination date, and rules relating to rent. Those who wish to learn about the RTA's treatment of privacy and harassment issues, evictions, and repair and maintenance issues will be interested in Residential Tenancies Act, Part II, which takes a closer look at those issues.
Consumer Protection Laws - Part I
Description: This course focuses on consumer protection laws aimed at collection agencies, credit reporting agencies, itinerant salespersons, and businesses. Knowing the protections afforded by the Collection Agencies Act, Credit Reporting Act, Consumer Reporting Act and Consumer Protection Act can greatly enhance the power of lay advocates to support overwhelmed consumers. We feature case studies based upon recent cases investigated by the provincial Ministry of Government Services.
Employment Standards Act
Description: For most employees who work in non-unionized settings legal protections are largely found in the provincial Employment Standards Act. This law sets minimum protections regarding wages, overtime pay / hours and vacation time amongst others. The enforcement of this law is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour. In this module, we will review the coverage of the Act, the areas of protection and how to file a claim with the Ministry as a lay advocate.
Residential Tenancies Act Part II
Description: This course introduces learners to the law and procedures that govern residential tenancies in Ontario. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) defines and regulates the relationship between a residential tenant and his or her landlord. Included is an introduction to the RTA, and to its enforcing body, the Landlord and Tenant Board as well as privacy and harassment issues, evictions, and repair and maintenance issues.
Human Rights in Ontario
Description: This course will provide a comprehensive review of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We review their coverage, areas of protection and grounds of discrimination. Finally, a critical look at the role of the lay advocate in these cases will be taken and tips shared.
Ontario Disability Support Programs Act
Description: This module takes a look at the Ontario Disability Program Act (ODSPA), an income tested maintenance program available to persons deemed disabled by the Province of Ontario. Topics will include the application process, determining financial and medical eligibility and the benefits provided to successful applicants. The rights to appeal adverse decisions will be reviewed. After some case studies, the role of the lay advocate in assisting persons with ODSP problems will be discussed.
Employment Insurance Act
Description: This federal law provides sickness, regular, parental, maternity and compassionate care benefits to those who have adequately contributed to the program and otherwise meet the qualifications for each type of benefit. Given these qualifications can be complex, many applicants need guidance as they apply for and maintain their benefits. Community advocates can therefore assist these clients in many ways from the application to appeal stages.
Victims' Rights Laws
Description: Persons who are victims of crime have rights within the justice system and this course provides an overview of the major laws in Ontario dealing with these rights. The primary focus of the course is the Criminal Injuries Compensation program, where victims of crime have a right to apply for financial compensation and have their claim assessed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In this module we look at the application process, the types of evidence required and proceedings before the Board. In addition, we look at the Victims' Bill of Rights and enforcement of restitution orders obtained by victims in criminal courts. Through a review of case studies, we discuss the ways community advocates can assist victims of crime.
Consumer Protection Laws - Part II
Description: This course focuses on consumer protection laws aimed at energy rebillers, cell phone contracts, consumer fraud (internet, telephone, and mail), and payday loans. Knowing the protections afforded by the Ontario Energy Board Act, Consumer Protection Act, the Payday Loans Act, and other consumer protection laws can greatly enhance the power of lay advocates to support consumers confronted with an ever-increasing onslaught of fraudulent schemes and practices. We feature case studies based upon recent cases investigated by the provincial Ministry of Government Services.
Small Claims Court - Part I
Description: This course walks consumers and advocates through a Small Claims Court action. We learn where to find extensive online resources that explain and assist with the Small Claims Court process. We look at every step, from issuing a demand letter before filing a complaint to obtaining a Small Claims Court judgment. With the filing limit increased to $25,000, more and more people will be turning to Small Claims Court to resolve disputes. This course is a primer for anyone who is or may become involved in such proceedings.
Small Claims Court - Part II
Description: Part II focuses on preparing a case for trial, dealing with default judgments, the trial process, and enforcing a judgment. With the filing limit increased to $25,000 as of January, 2010, more and more people will be turning to Small Claims Court to resolve disputes. These courses are a primer for anyone who is or may become involved in such proceedings.
The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College.
Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.