Social Service Worker
2022/23 | Conestoga College
Program Code: 0009
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide
COVID-19 and Academic Program Delivery
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga academic plans and decisions will continue to evolve to reflect the advice of public health authorities. Please consult the COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date information on college protocols.
Expectations regarding course delivery, participation, and assessments will be communicated by your faculty member at the start of the semester and included in the instructional plan.
Program technology requirements are posted on the program web page. Students in hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality, and reliable Internet access.
Program Handbook Guidelines
The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly, and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.
This handbook must be read in conjunction with general information about Conestoga College found on the website and in the Student Guide. The information in the Student Guide and on the college website applies to all students, regardless of program.
To the School
of Community Services
The pursuit of post-secondary education is an important decision, and we are honoured that you have chosen a program at Conestoga in the School of Community Services.
Here at Conestoga, you will learn from program teams who are dedicated to your success. These teams have extensive community services, academic and research experience. They will work with you as you develop the practical knowledge and theoretical skills required to launch your future career.
As part of your learning experience, we are proud to provide you with state-of-the-art learning facilities that include college-operated child and youth development centres, an on-campus EMS station and a high fidelity live fire training site. Through these facilities, you will have multiple opportunities to engage in active learning experiences that will build your skills and develop the critical thinking required to solve problems and help shape your successful future.
I invite you to plan for success from day one - know what is expected of you and what resources are available for you. Today marks the first day of becoming the professional you aspire to be.
I wish you all the best,Goranka Vukelich, PhD
Executive Dean, School of Community Services
Steps to Your Success
1. Use MyConestoga to Connect To:
- Your Conestoga Email: Your official vehicle for all college communication.
- eConestoga: Your resource for all course-based information.
- Student Portal: Where you will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting.
- Practicum Health Requirements: Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).
2. Know Your Academic Schedule And Plan Around It
- Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
- The Academic Year Critical Dates: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Plan around these dates to ensure you are here when you need to be--including the potential need to be present for the two weeks after the semester ends if you might need to complete supplemental work to allow you to continue to the next semester.
3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become
Civility, respect and professional behaviours will be key in the quality of your learning experience—and a future employer's first and lasting impression. Pay special attention to the following:
Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out expectations of student conduct for our community at Conestoga
- Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents.
- Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.
4. Attend To Enhance Success
Attendance for class, labs and field placement supports student learning and your experience as a future professional.
- Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See attendance for evaluation section in the handbook.
5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status
Make yourself familiar with what is expected of you, and if you have questions, ask.
- Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.
Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Refer to the Credit Transfer & PLAR website.
Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures. Please read and understand the Rights and Responsibilities website.
It is the student's responsibility to be aware of various important academic dates throughout the year. These academic dates are posted on the college website.
Please note that Continuing Education courses and Apprenticeship programs may have different start dates and exam dates for courses.
Letter to Students
Dear Social Service Worker Student,
Welcome to the Social Service Worker (SSW) Program. You have worked hard to be accepted into the Social Service Worker Program at Conestoga College and we commend you on your success.
This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the Social Service Worker Program. Reading, understanding and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your continued success in this program and your chosen profession. The handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your two years at the College. If you do not understand any of the information in this handbook, please ask the Faculty, Program Coordinator, or Chair for an explanation.
Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program. The Social Service Worker Program learning team will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.
In addition to the Social Service Worker Program Handbook, the Conestoga Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow. The Social Service Program Handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga Student Guide.
We are here to help you have a successful two years. Should you experience difficulty or need assistance in any area of your studies, please come and speak with us, and we will work with you to help you reach your career goal of becoming a social service worker.
All the very best to you in your studies.
Goranka Vukelich, Executive Dean, School of Community Services
Social Service Worker Program Learning Team
Using a thoughtfully constructed program design that draws upon evidence-based research in the field of social work and adult education, Conestoga College's SSW Program has been designed to prepare students for an exciting career in the field of social service work. In addition to various classroom learning experiences, students enrolled in Conestoga's SSW Program have the benefit of being exposed to exciting field placement experiences in the community that will strengthen their knowledge and develop their capabilities.
Program Learning Outcomes
Successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:
- Develop respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to social service work.
- Record information accurately and communicate effectively in written, digital, verbal and non-verbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, in accordance with professional and workplace standards.
- Integrate a practice framework within a service delivery continuum, addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities at micro, mezzo, macro and global levels and work with them in achieving their goals.
- Plan and implement accessible and responsive programs and services, recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities, and meeting these needs.
- Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical and/or economic systems and their impacts for individuals and communities when delivering services to the user/ client.
- Develop strategies and approaches that support individual clients, groups, families and communities in building the capacity for self-advocacy, while affirming their dignity and self- worth.
- Work from an anti-oppressive, strengths-based practice, recognizing the capacity for resilience and growth of individuals and communities while responding to the diverse needs of marginalized or vulnerable populations to act as allies and advocates.
- Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human services profession.
- Work with individuals, groups, families and their communities to ensure that service provider strategies promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression, discrimination and harassment, and sexual violence with clients, coworkers and communities.
- Develop the capacity to work with the Indigenous individual, families, groups and communities while respecting their inherent rights to self-determine, and to identify and address systemic barriers that produce ill-effects, developing appropriate responses using approaches such as trauma informed care practice.
Social Service Worker Program Map
Program Map describes your learning journey with three important components:
- All courses focus on you demonstrating development towards the program outcomes and capabilities through your program journey.
- There are themes for your learning that will inform you on the courses you will take to develop program capabilities.
- Each semester has a theme that creates milestones for your learning within a semester and your journey from one semester to the next semester and ultimately to your readiness to graduate.
Introduction to Professional Practice
Fundamentals of Professional Practice
Expansion of Professional Practice
Consolidation of Professional Practice
|Self-Awareness||Introduction to Professional Practice|| |
|Working with Individuals, groups, families and communities ||Group Process and Dynamics|
|Group Work: Assessment, Intervention and evaluation
Supportive Counselling with Families
|Violence, Trauma, & Abuse |
Group Work: Practical Applications
|Evidenced Based Practices ||Social Work and the Law||Techniques of Interviewing and Assessment |
|Simulation in Practice II|
|Collaborative and inter-professional practice ||Social Services Systems I |
|Field Seminar: Preparing for Professional Practice|
Safety in the Workplace
|Field Placement I||Field Placement II|
|Professional Capacity and Autonomy ||College Reading and Writing Skills|
Elective: General Education
| Elective: General Elective ||Professional Communication||Elective: General Education|
- Adaptability, Advocacy & Mentorship
- Research, analyze and influence policy
- Facilitation skills
- Reflective Practice
- Understanding of outcome-based interventions
- Professional decision making
- Ability to work with diverse populations
- Understanding of outcome-based interventions
- Enhanced professional communication
- Community and individual capacity building
- Ability to utilize and evaluate research
- Fund development
- Professional leadership
- Strong professional identity and autonomy
- Use technology in workplace
- Critical thinking
- Ability to manage case files
Program Design for Your Cohort
Students can find their program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:
- Log in to Student Portal
- Click on 'My Courses' tab
- Select 'View Progress Report' button
Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the Conestoga College website. To find these courses, students need to scroll down the page to the 'Program Courses'.
Credit Transfer, Pathways & PLAR
Conestoga recognizes you may have formal post-secondary education that may allow you to enter a program at an advanced level or provide for individual course exemptions. To ensure your credits are eligible for transfer, please contact our Credit Transfer Office at: email@example.com.
The Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure are available on the college website.
If you are currently a Conestoga student and want to continue studying at Conestoga, there are a number of different pathway opportunities available to you.
Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways, to help you meet your goals.
Conestoga College has articulation agreements with many domestic and international institutions. These agreements allow students to transfer into a specific program with advanced standing. Students must meet the academic requirements stated in the agreement.
For more information regarding pathways at Conestoga, contact the Credit Transfer Officer at 519-748-5220 ext. 2166.
Graduates find employment as direct service providers with a variety of social service agencies such as residential services for special populations, women's crisis services, programs for children and youth, homeless outreach and services concerning employment.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Your Program Team
Your program team includes faculty, staff and administrators who are committed to your success. If you have questions about your progress in the program, course work or field placement, please take the time to connect with them.
Communication and Contact Information
Lorri Sauvé, Chair,
Goranka Vukelich, Executive Dean,
Program Team Availability
Program Team workspaces are located in 3B. Students are welcome to see individual program team members to discuss course work, assignments or just to say hello. During the first several days during the start of the semester Faculty and Field Placement Associates/Officer will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. As our Program Team has diverse schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure they are available.
A telephone, along with a staff telephone directory is available outside the entry to the workspaces in 3B. If you have an appointment with a Program Team member, please call to confirm that you have arrived. If you do not have an appointment, please email the person you wish to meet with to confirm that they are present and can see you. If you do not reach them, please leave a message. In the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not enter into the Program Team workspaces without first contacting the person you wish to speak with.
Contacting Program Staff
When contacting program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use email. Your message should include the following information:
- First and last name
- Student number
- Course and level
- Brief description of reason for contact
All students are supplied with a college e-mail address. Please use this method when communicating with college faculty and staff ONLY as non-college e-mail addresses (e.g. hotmail) are problematic. Students are expected to check their college e-mail regularly as most official communication will be via this method.
Program Advisory Committees (PACs)
Program Advisory Committees (PACs) provide the necessary link between Conestoga and the community it serves. PACs operate in an advisory capacity to Conestoga administration with the objective to keep Conestoga responsive to current and future workforce needs, trends or opportunities in industry and the marketplace.
All post-secondary education programs of study at Conestoga, both full-time and part-time, which lead to an employment related credential, or are approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), will be associated with a PAC, with the exception of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. For any program not leading to an employment related credential, such as foundation programs, PACs are optional.
At the beginning of each year, the coordinator(s) of the program will ask for student volunteers. The coordinator(s) will select which student(s) will represent the program at PAC. Student attendees are important members of the PAC and are expected to be present at all meetings and are responsible for preparing and submitting a report based on guidelines provided by the program coordinator.
Students who participate in PACs will receive credit on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR) . Your CCR is an official document, complementary to your academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that you have achieved through approved Co-curricular experiences at Conestoga.
Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:
Key Performance Indicators
All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). This Student Experience Survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.
Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT)
The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT forms give teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.
The SAT process has two components: the Early Course Check-in and Full-SAT. The Early Course Check-in is 5 questions, occurs during week 10 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 43 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty member and their academic manager. Typically, about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term. All full-time faculty have a SAT review at least once every two years. Part-time faculty may be reviewed more frequently. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during their Continuing Education course.
Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence
All class cancellations due to Faculty absences will be posted in the Student Portal. These notices in the Student Portal will be the only general notifications of class cancellations due to Faculty absences.
Although the formal notification comes through the portal, faculty may also elect to post an absences on eConestoga.
Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations
Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to Faculty absences. To receive such personal notifications students must subscribe to this special service.
- Log in to the Student Portal
- Select Notifications under the Profile tab
- Select the method by which you would like to be notified
- Click Update
change the email address to which these notifications will be sent, select My
Addresses under the Profile Tab, and change the default email address.
Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice
The Social Service Worker (SSW) Program provides both academic study and practical training to prepare students for careers in working in the field of social work. Throughout the program, students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to apply themselves to academic achievement. Professionals function in an independent and interdependent environment. The fundamental responsibility of a student is to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be a competent social service worker upon graduation. As students preparing to become professionals, it is imperative that behaviours and attitudes reflect standards that are endorsed by Conestoga College and your chosen profession. As a Conestoga College Social Service Worker student, there are three areas of conduct you are expected to follow; Academic Conduct, Professional Conduct, and Social/Behavioural Conduct. Additionally, as a SSW student, you are expected to dress professionally both in class as well as on placement. The expected dress code is one that is typically associated with the dress code of the social services agencies.
As a student of Conestoga College you are a member of the College community and as such you have received a Conestoga Student Guide that includes Student Rights and Student Responsibilities. It is essential that you review this section and familiarize yourself with these responsibilities. It is expected that your conduct as a student will be reflective of the responsibilities listed. If you have any questions regarding any of them, please contact your Program Coordinator.
Each student in the Social Service Worker program is expected to aspire to exhibit behaviour consistent with the basic values and principles of social service work practice as described in the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. This includes behaviour in the classroom, behaviour and qualities reflected in written assignments and presentations, in online communication, email and social media, and during all activities and events related to the College and the community. Student behaviour that violates any of the ethical principles of social service work practice raises concerns about a student's readiness and perhaps suitability for the social service profession.
Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
As a Social Service Worker student you are preparing yourself to enter a profession that has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that guide behaviours for all professionals within this field. It is the expectation of all students and Faculty of Conestoga College's Social Service Worker program that we, as practitioners, will aspire to function within the guidelines of these professional standards of ethical practice.
The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Social Service Workers in Ontario can be accessed on the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers website.
Conestoga College, School of Community Services, has been given the mandate to prepare Social Service Workers. The Province of Ontario expects the College to graduate social service providers who meet the standards that have been established for this profession. The standards include competency in field placement.
In addition to all Student Responsibilities found in the Conestoga Student Guide, SSW students have the following obligations:
- Respect the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Social Service Workers in Ontario (see link above);
- Complete the learning objectives, tests, assignments and all other forms of student work, with honesty and professional integrity;
- Attend class, and field placement as scheduled;
- Actively engage in classroom learning processes;
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour while attending class, and field placement;
- Protect the integrity of the Program and the College;
- Maintain the confidentiality of all classroom and field placement experiences, including use of any form of social media, and;
- Seek clarification from faculty/administration when unsure of any of these standards.
As an SSW student, please note that all expectations referred to above and found in the Conestoga Student Guide apply equally to field placement experiences and to all work/activities related to field placement experiences as they relate to clients and staff, their person and/or property.
Social Service Work – A Regulated Profession
- The Social Work and Social Service Work Act (the "Act") was passed in 1998 and was fully proclaimed in the year 2000.
- Under this legislation social service workers are members of a regulated profession, just as teachers, nurses, dental hygienists, massage therapists and midwives are members of regulated professions.
- According to the Act, to use the title "social service worker" or to represent yourself as a social service worker, you must be a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), the regulatory body for the profession.
- Social service workers and other professionals are regulated to protect the public from incompetent, unqualified or unfit practitioners.
- Regulation defines the practice of the profession and determines the requirements and qualifications to practice the profession.
- Practitioners of a regulated profession are accountable to practice in accordance with a code of ethics and standards of practice.
- Regulated professionals must demonstrate their continuing competence to practice their professions.
- There are benefits of being a regulated professional in addition to the responsibilities.
- Benefits of membership in the OCSWSSW include the authority to use the title social service worker, being issued a certificate of registration, and receiving the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbook, the annual report and regular newsletters, which contain updates about pertinent issues and educational information. Members have the opportunity to: vote in College elections, stand for election to Council, and attend the Annual Meeting and Education Day. A member may also contact the College when the member is confronted with a practice dilemma.
- Increasingly, employers are requiring membership in a regulatory body such as the OCSWSSW. As clients and consumers become better informed, many now choose to see a regulated professional they know is accountable to a regulatory body.
What is Academic Integrity?
Having academic integrity means acting fairly and honestly when engaging in academic activities.
By having and applying an Academic Offences Policy and Procedure, Conestoga ensures graduates complete their studies fairly and honestly through hard work and dedication, and thus are well-prepared for their future careers.
Conestoga facilitates access to print, media, and electronic resources to support and enrich learning, teaching, and research in compliance with the following:
Plagiarism is submitting or presenting work of another person(s)/organization in whole or substantial part as one's own without proper citation and referencing.
Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who is or wants to be a professional.
There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training in your program that has been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These will be reviewed with you during your program.
following basic procedures are outlined for your attention and follow-through:
- Your personal safety begins with the use of professional attire and foot wear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.
- Help us have a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, by ensuring laptop cords do not snake across walking areas, and by reporting equipment or facility problems when you see them.
- Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioral conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.
- Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a field placement, your Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Preceptor will ensure that you are aware of safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the Responsible Faculty and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required. For example, should outside temperatures during the summer become unusually hot, very high temperatures may occur in some workplaces; this could require that specific steps be taken to ensure a safe working environment.
- All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. This is an opportunity to problem-solve how to avoid these areas of concern for the future.
Student Protection Acknowledgement
A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures".Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:
- Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
- Academic Offences Policy & Procedure
- Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
- Convocation Procedure
- Co-operative Education Policy
- Discontinuance Procedure
- Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
- Grading Procedure
- Program and Course Withdrawal and Refund Procedure/International Student Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
- Readmission Procedure
- Religious Holiday Policy & Procedure
- Student Expectations for Online Engagement
- Student Feedback Policy
- Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure
- Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure
Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfil and enforce these standards.
The Student Engagement Department is here to help you transition to the Conestoga College experience, connect with your community, and build your skills.
Start your college experience by completing Conestoga 101 (CON0101) on eConestoga, a mandatory course for all new full-time students that will take you approximately one hour to complete. CON0101 provides an overview of the supports, services, and opportunities available to you throughout your time at Conestoga. Make sure you complete it early on in the term, as it contains valuable information that will help you transition to Conestoga.
Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones
To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, outside of children's play areas (indoors/outdoors) and during formal break time in field placement.
As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including Social Media.
Ensure that your posts reflect you as the professional you are and wish to become – if a potential employer were to see your posts.
- Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
- Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
- Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
- Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
- Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
- Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
- Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
- Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
- Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others.
- Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities
- Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.
Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites
Attendance and Student Success Strategies
Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or do alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.
Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council.
It is the responsibility of the student to:
a. Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
b. Advise the Faculty member that they will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.
Use of Time between Classes
Students are encouraged to use breaks between classes for personal needs (food, washroom, phone calls, emails etc.) but also for group work, studying, connecting with faculty, Field Placement Associates, etc.
Test and Evaluation Procedures
Importance of Test and Presentation Dates
Test and assignment dates are scheduled at the beginning of each semester. Unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program, or the faculty may require changes to the course schedule. If this occurs, students will be notified.
Students are required to write all tests during the scheduled in-class test times. Students who make personal commitments that conflict with meeting test and assignment deadlines do so at their own risk. There will be no special arrangements made for students with personal conflicts (e.g. work, family commitments or vacation plans). Students who wish to reschedule a test or presentation because of a religious holiday are required to discuss the situation with faculty at the beginning of the semester.
Academic accommodations are provided to students with documentation through the Accessibility Services Office.
- Students are encouraged to arrive early for tests. Late arrivals must enter quietly. Late arrivals must abide by the test end time assigned by faculty and will not receive any extra test writing time.
- Once an in-person test begins, students may not leave the test room for 30 minutes. If they finish a test before that time, they may review their answers but are expected to sit QUIETLY and not disturb others. Once students leave the room they may only re-enter when invited back by faculty.
- Any student found cheating during the course of an examination/test will be addressed according to procedures found in Conestoga Student Guide.
- The faculty is responsible for advising students of any materials permitted for access during the test period. For in-person tests/exams, personal items and learning materials will be left in an area identified by the faculty.
- Faculty will advise of seating arrangements for students during an in-person test/exam period.
- During open book tests/exams, students must bring their own approved course materials (books, notes, Learning Packages, etc.)for individual use only. Students may not share any of these materials. Electronic devices, such as, but not limited to; iPod, text messaging, cell phones, translators, etc. will not be permitted. Faculty will advise of specific expectations for online tests/exams including access to approved course materials and resources and approved use of electronic devices during the test period.
- All tests/examinations are to be completed independently. Collaboration during online and in-person testing/exams is not permitted unless otherwise advised by faculty.
- You are expected to behave as a professional during the writing of tests. Please refrain from talking and ensure that you are not late for the test. If these behaviours occur, students may be asked to leave the test situation.
It is expected that students will submit all assignments on time, on the date they are due at the beginning of the class. Late marks will be deducted from assignments not submitted when requested by faculty.
Students with extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from submitting assignments on time must discuss their circumstance prior to the due date. They must discuss with the course faculty a mutually agreed upon new due date that is no more than one week past the original due date. Students must request, in writing, a Request for Variance from Course Schedule and Evaluation Methods. A record of this request will be kept on file. Please allow for time to process the request for an extension as well as for a reply from your faculty to negotiate the terms of the variance Students who initiate this process will not experience the loss of late marks. Students who engage in this practice more than two times during a semester will be required to meet the Coordinator to discuss academic and personal supports.
It is expected that students will submit all assignments on time, on the date they are due, as per instructions of the course faculty.
Assignments that are received past the due date will be subject to the following deductions:
- 1 to 3 days late - 10%
- 4 to 6 days late - 20%
- 7 to 10 days late - 30%
- 11 to 15 days late - 40%
- 16 to 20 days late - 50%
Students experiencing extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from meeting assigned due dates may have the opportunity to negotiate a different due date providing they meet the following conditions:
- They discuss their circumstance with the course faculty at least 3 business days prior to the due date
- They negotiate a new due date that is mutually agreed upon
No assignments will be accepted after the last day of the semester.
Steps to Follow to Submit Assignment Outside of Class Time
Assignments are to be submitted electronically to the appropriate eConestoga course drop box on the day they are due. If circumstances require that an assignment be submitted outside a scheduled due date, please alert your faculty member by email and follow through on the submission of your assignment as per faculty instructions.
Working Together on Group Assignments
Students will often work with their fellow peers on various assignments/projects throughout the program. Assignments can include any number of things: Small group work, debates, class discussions, experiential exercises, presentations, field trips. Some assignments will count for marks; others are intended to enhance learning or to make a concept clearer and more applicable. Students are strongly encouraged to participate and take advantage of the learning because working in groups is a reality in the workplace.
Assignments are often done in a collaborative capacity, that is, students will likely be working as part of a small group. This can be fun and interesting and sometimes frustrating for some. Tensions can arise if any one member does not perform adequately. Students are therefore encouraged to develop a clear group contract for use in their group work.
Each group member is responsible for ensuring that they have an equal role in the group. All students in the group should review the completed work before it is submitted/presented. When issues/concerns arise during the group process, it is the responsibility of group members to contact the course professor for assistance prior to due date.
Faculty Returning Tests and Assignments
To support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Individual faculty will inform students how/when tests and assignments will be reviewed and/or when marks will be shared. Students who have questions about tests/assignments/grades should follow the process outlined below:
- At least 24 hours after receiving the mark and within seven days, write an e-mail to the faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required,
- Initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss,
- Have pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) available for your appointment.
Note: Students are encouraged to keep all assignments, texts, and course-related resources and materials throughout the duration of the program.
General Guidelines for Quality of Written WorkIn the SSW program, both in courses and field placement, there are continuous requirements for written work in a variety of formats (papers, assignments, forms and plans, handouts, etc.). It is expected that all students will meet the standard of English required within our profession. Faculty and Field Placement Associates will identify students who are having difficulty in this area and will approach students to discuss the need for improvement. Students may be referred to the Library Services to help them improve the quality of their written work.
General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work
For specific course requirements, refer to the Course Schedule and Evaluation Methods information provided. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss with individual faculty. Unless otherwise
specified, all tests, exams and assignments are to be completed independently. Students are required to use spell-check and grammar-check to assist with the editing of written work. The Library Services will be an invaluable resource to students who require assistance in organizing and writing an assignment with correct spelling and grammar.
- Word processed;
- Double spaced;
- Submitted using a font size of 12, if word processed and proper margins;
- Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check);
- Submitted with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, student number, section and date submitted;
- Electronically uploaded to the appropriate eConestoga course drop box on the designated due date, unless otherwise indicated by professor;
- Handed in using the APA@Conestoga (https://apa.conestogac.on.ca/) formatting, citing, and referencing.
NOTE: Faculty does not assume responsibility for assignments improperly uploaded or not submitted directly to the relevant course assignment drop box. . Students should avoid handing in assignments outside the assigned due date and should make every effort to hand assignments in as instructed by your professor.
Academic Progress Through the Program
Each program has very clear guidelines about how students successfully progress through their course of study. These guidelines are found in this program handbook. They include information about what may happen should you fail courses or field placement, how you could recover these courses, and what your options may be if recovery is not possible. We encourage you to review these guidelines in order to understand them. If you have any questions about them, please connect with a member of your program team. Remember, we are all here to help.
In order to resolve any concerns which may arise during a course, field placement or relating to the program overall, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level prior to proceeding to a formal appeal.
If attempts have been made, and a successful resolution has not been reached, students are encouraged to refer to their Conestoga Student Guide, and to follow the procedures outlined under the "Academic Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure."
Academic Standing and Promotion
The Conestoga Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. The Conestoga Student Guide is available on the College website and by visiting the "Student Guide" tab in your Student Portal.
Post-secondary education (especially at the College level) is oriented toward two general goals. One is to give students the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to achieve success in the workplace. The other is to stimulate a work ethic that promotes responsibility, respect and routine. Both of these purposes are directed at helping students to become competent Professionals in their respective fields. In this regard, students are required to meet many expectations.
Although each Professor will have guidelines for tests, assignments and papers, the following provides some general guidelines. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with individual Professors for any variation from these overall guidelines.
In addition to the Academic Regulations found in the Conestoga Student Guide, the following apply to the Social Service Worker Program:
- Students must attain a minimum "C" or 60% passing grade in all SSW courses.
- General Education courses are under the Academic Support Division. Please refer to course outlines associated with General Education courses grading system.
- Students who have successfully met all course requirements (each term) will be promoted to the following level or graduation.
You can add, change and drop courses from your portal depending on the dates and which program you are in:
- Log in to the Student Portal.
- Click on the "My Courses" tab.
- Scroll over the icons to the right of individual course listings. It is strongly recommended that students consult their Program Coordinator prior to dropping a course.
- Please consult with Program Coordinator before dropping any courses.
Special Timetables/Adding Dropped or Failed Courses
Please note that when students are not taking the program in the prescribed sequence, they will be on "special timetables". Prior to the beginning of the semester, students should attempt to add missed courses from a previous semester by logging in to the Student Portal and following the instructions to register for courses. If students are not able to add courses on their own (because of a timetable conflict or full course section) they must seek assistance from their Program Coordinator during the "Special Timetable Registration" initiated by the College. Dates, times and locations of Special Timetable Registration periods are posted in the student portal in advance of the beginning of each semester. Students must attend this meeting where they will receive further guidance regarding this academic status from their Program Coordinator.
Students 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.
Clearance of Academic Deficiency/Supplemental Opportunities
Students who have failed a course and who are eligible may receive an opportunity for a supplemental evaluation. Following the end of semester, eligible students will be invited for a supplemental opportunity. If a student does not respond to this invitation or is unavailable at the specified date and time, the student forfeits the supplemental opportunity for the course. For more information please visit the College Policies, Procedures, Practices and Guidelines webpage then click on the Academic Administration side tab and search for the document entitled Clearance of Academic Deficiency.
To be eligible for a supplemental opportunity, a student must meet the following criteria:
- A final course grade within 10% of the passing mark of the course and no lower than 50%.
- No academic offences in the course.
- Evidence of passing at least one evaluation in the course.
- Eligible student will be contacted by the program and will be provided details of the supplemental process.
- Student will receive a Supplemental Authorization and Terms Form (RO479) which they will submit to and pay an additional fee to the Registrar's office. Receipt of this payment is required prior to the release of the supplemental test/assignment.
- Student completes supplemental work (test or assignment) in accordance with the times and dates communicated.
- Supplemental work is assessed, and the final grade is posted.
- If successful in completing the supplemental work for the course, the failing course grade will be upgraded to the minimum passing grade for the course.
Community Service Students in one-year certificate, one-year graduate certificate and two-year diploma programs may receive up to a maximum of two (2) supplemental evaluations while in the program. Students in the Social Service Worker program may be eligible for up to two supplemental opportunities throughout the program.
Students who have been unsuccessful in field placement or two or more academic courses, and/or have required considerable testing/assignment variances may be recommended for Academic Probation. Academic probation allows students to be promoted to the next level with a special timetable or with academic conditions. Special timetables and academic conditions are designed as part of a written Learning Contract that the student and Program Coordinator create together. The goal of these measures is to allow students to continue in the program accompanied by a supportive plan for success.
Movement into Field Placement
First year students are required to successfully complete all SSW core courses before moving into first year placement. For those students who may be eligible for supplemental opportunities, please note that field placement will not be finalized until the successful completion of the supplemental process.
Promotion through the Program
Promotion is the advancement from one portion of the program to another (i.e., semester to semester or year to year) after a process of evaluation has been completed to assure that minimum standards have been met or surpassed. Promotion is based on academic achievement as well as meeting personal and professional performance standards. In addition, a passing grade for field placement performance is required.
Promotion reviews occur at the end of each of semester 1, 2, 3 and 4 and decisions are made by the full program team including Faculty members, Program Coordinator, and Department Chair.
Students who have not successfully participated in the requirements of their academic probation, probation, who have failed to meet the standards set out in the Conestoga Student Guide and/or the SSW Program Handbook involving academic dishonesty, student responsibilities, or unacceptable behaviour, attitude or conduct or have failed 60% or more of their academic courses /field experiences may be discontinued from the Program.
Students who have been discontinued from the program will not be considered for re-entry to the program for a minimum of one semester and/or until they have worked with the Program Coordinator to develop a written learning contract to support their academic and non-academic success.
Students have the right to appeal any academic decisions as set out in the Conestoga Student Guide. It is recommended that students begin this appeal process by first meeting with the Faculty and/or Program Coordinator.
Students not planning to return to the Social Service Worker program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available at the Registrar's Office, or on the College website.
Prior to transferring to another program, it is recommended that the student meet with the Program Coordinator .Students who decide to change programs may do so by completing and submitting a program application form to the Registrar's Office. If considering transferring to a program outside the school in which they are currently enrolled in, students may want to discuss options with a career advisor. When a student moves from one Conestoga program to another and where courses numbers/codes are identical or equivalent, automatic credit is given if passing grades are met.
Readmission to a Program
Students are required to apply for readmission when they have been absent from their program for one semester or longer unless an Intention Form has been completed (returning students only), or when the student has withdrawn or been discontinued. Upon readmission, students are placed into the current program of study which determines graduation requirements. Students are subject to the college and program policies and procedures in place at the time of readmission.
Students applying for readmission to Level/Semester one must do so through Ontario Colleges. Students who voluntarily withdraw should not assume automatic re-admission to the program. Students applying for readmission to a level beyond Level/Semester one must do so using a Conestoga College Program Application Form. Applicable fees will be charged.
The application for readmission will be reviewed based on the student's academic eligibility, program readmission requirements, and space availability. The student will be informed in writing of the decision.
For additional information, refer to the Academic Administration page for more information on the readmission procedure.
Students must pass all program courses and be a student in good standing with the college in order to be eligible to graduate. If you do not make up failed courses, you will not be able to graduate. Please seek support of your program coordinator if you are concerned about your eligibility to graduate.
General Education ElectivesStudents are required to complete General Education elective courses as part of their program requirements. General Education elective course requirements are listed at the bottom of the progress report, which is found on the Student Portal under My Courses. The progress report indicates the level/semester in which the course must be taken. Students are responsible for adding General Education electives into their schedule for the designated semester. Eligible courses are posted each semester by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies on the College's elective website. For more information and to view the current elective course offerings, visit https://www.conestogac.on.ca/electives/diploma. Questions regarding General Education electives can be directed to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Work-Integrated Learning Experiences
Student Consent Forms
Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students need to visit the WIL Document Services Community in myConestoga and click on the Consent Forms tab.
Work Integrated Learning/Field Placement Experiences
Work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment. These placements have been organized by your Program in partnership with the organization where you have been placed.
The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during the placement in a way that supports both a solid learning experience and a constructive partnership with the Placement site.
Pre-WIL Health Requirements
Mandatory work-integrated learning (WIL) health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student WIL experiences. Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for WIL experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
- A Police Check including Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in WIL experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
- Immunizations for COVID-19 are strongly encouraged as this may be a requirement of your WIL site
Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)
All students who participate in unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences during their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on WIL. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to WIL experience sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.
Prior to your first WIL experience, you must electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) while you are on training WIL experiences. This Declaration will be placed in your student file.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your WIL experience.
Concerns regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for ClientsA. Communication of General Concerns Regarding Your Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients
- Students will be provided with an Orientation to their WIL site on the first day of their WIL placement. The Orientation may include details of the WIL site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and/or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.
- If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:
- The student must immediately report these concerns to the College individual associated with the WIL placement (Clinical Instructor, Faculty responsible for your WIL placement, WIL placement Supervisor).
- The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Supervisor will discuss this concern with Site Management.
- For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Supervisor will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Chair. The Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact WIL site management to determine next steps.
Should facility policies require that WIL students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to WIL site management, the student should report to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Officer immediately afterward.B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during a WIL Experience
- Should students experience personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the WIL Placement Employer and Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Supervisor. The WIL Placement Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required. The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Supervisor will notify the Program Coordinator and Chair and complete an Unpaid Work/Education Placement-Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the College's Occupational Health & Safety Office. Where necessary, the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.
In Situations of Possible Injury to Clients during a WIL Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property
- Should students be involved in care/service situations where there the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of the WIL placement site, this concern must be immediately reported to the WIL Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Supervisor. The faculty member will discuss this immediately with the WIL placement site and ensure that an incident report is completed. The faculty member must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform College officials accordingly.
- Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources/physical property at the WIL site, this concern must be reported immediately to the WIL Site and to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Officer. The faculty member will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Placement Officer to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.
Attendance for WIL Experiences
Students are expected to be at their respective WIL during the scheduled placement hours unless the agency where you will be attending is closed or if you are in danger to attend. Failure to meet these standards may result in either students being asked to complete their placement hours at a different time or actual failure of the placement itself. Failure to comply with safety standards, the WIL organizations policies/procedures, and professional conduct will be dealt with seriously and may result in removal from the placement, failure of the course or discontinuance from the program.
Recommended: Students experiencing absences from placement due to exceptional circumstances (i.e. admittance to hospital, injury, passing of a family member) must notify their Field Placement Associate immediately. The WIL associate will review the situation and create a plan for placement completion that may involve waiving up to 2 days of placement if a student's placement is progressing well. Students would be required to provide documentation verifying the absence(s). Decisions on waiving days will be made after the mid-term evaluation has been received.
Field Placement courses are designed with both pre and co-requisite requirements:
SOCS1375: Field Placement: Preparing for Professional Practice
FPLT2460: Field Placement I
FPLT2470: Field Placement II
Throughout the term attendance to Field Seminar class is necessary to explore various field placement opportunities for Year 2.
The course includes 100 hours of on-campus, Work-Integrated Learning experience, including workshops and opportunities to connect with field placement partners.
FPLT2460 & 2470 Requirements:
- All students are required to complete a field placement in their second year.
- All students are required to attend the selection process (in class) at the end of Year 1.
- A resume and cover letter must be submitted to each supervisor prior to an informational interview occurring.
- Faculty will complete matches for placement based on student, faculty, and agency preferences.
Participation in WIL:
- It is the student's responsibility to be familiar with all aspects of the WIL process, including course outlines, policies, WIL requirements, and particularly the evaluation package.
- Students may not begin placement until they have completed all pre-WIL requirements and have obtained clearance from Conestoga College's WIL Document Services Department (Placement Services).
- Students surpassing the due date set by WIL Document Services may not be able to participate in placement for the semester.
- Students are expected to work their full day as assigned by their WIL supervisor. It is the student's responsibility to complete the placement attendance log throughout the term and submit with their final evaluation. If a student is going to be absent from placement, on any given day, they are required to call their supervisor directly, prior to the start of the workday.
- Each placement day may vary in terms of start/end times. The schedule will be developed in consultation with your supervisor in order to support agency needs.
- Students are required to make up any time missed from placement in full or half-day blocks. Students incurring two or more absences (full or partial days) must meet with their supervisor to review the situation and develop a plan for completion of missed days. Students may be required to produce written documentation, such as a doctor's note, to validate reasons for absences.
- In conjunction with the "Submitting Assignments" information in the Social Service Worker Program Standards Handbook, no field placement assignments/documentation will be accepted after the last day of the semester unless the student has made prior arrangements with their faculty. Failure to meet all placement requirements including completing and submitting all required documents may result in having to repeat the field placement course.
- Students who have not completed all required hours or WIL requirements by the end of the semester may be eligible for an Incomplete. This would be negotiated with faculty and in consultation with both the supervisor and the Program Coordinator before the end of the semester. If the Incomplete is approved the student may be granted an extension to return to the placement and complete the outstanding placement requirement. Specifics about the terms will be outlined using the college's incomplete form.
- When a student is having difficulty in their placement, it is imperative that the student initiate a discussion with their Placement Supervisor and or their program coordinator. If there is no resolution, the student should approach their Field Placement faculty/associate for a meeting to discuss further steps toward resolution. In extraordinary circumstances such as health concerns, a change in placement may be considered after all avenues to resolve the issue have been explored. All new placement opportunities must be organized through SSW Faculty.
If a students' placement is discontinued at the request of the agency during the semester, the faculty will review the events leading to the discontinuance. A consultation with the Program Coordinator and the Chair will occur. Based on the evidence gathered a decision will be made that may include one of the following: a) a student may be required to drop the placement course, b) accept a Fail for the course, c) be relocated to a new placement site, or d) advised to leave the Program. The time of the semester in which the placement was discontinued, and the factors involving the discontinuation will be contributing factors in determining next steps.
To use one or more Faculty for the purpose of academic references, a student must make a written request of that particular person. If a student requests a reference from a Faculty member, it is understood that the request implies that faculty can share both academic and behavioural information as part of the reference.
Reference letters will not be provided to students but will be completed at the request of prospective employers. Faculty will also provide a verbal reference, on request.
Frequently Asked Questions About OCSWSSW
The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) is responsible for regulating the practice of social workers and social service workers under provincial legislation called the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 (the Act). The Act was fully proclaimed in August 2000.
The College was established to regulate the two professions, protect the public interest and promote excellence in social work and social service work practice.
Why do the professions of social work and social service work need to be regulated?
Regulation of a profession defines the practice of the profession and describes the boundaries within which it operates, including the requirements and qualifications to practice the profession. The primary mandate of any regulatory college is to protect the public interest from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners.
Regulation brings credibility to the profession. Practitioners of a regulated profession are subject to a code of ethics and standards of practice.
Self-regulation allows a profession to act with delegated authority from the government in regulating its members because the government acknowledges that the profession has the special knowledge required to set standards and judge the conduct of its members.
Only members of the OCSWSSW may call themselves a social worker/registered social worker or a social service worker/registered social service worker. The College maintains a public register of its members. Any member of the public may request verification that a social worker or social service worker is a member of the OCSWSSW.
Who is required to join the College?
College membership is required for any person in Ontario who wishes to use any of the restricted titles: "social worker", "registered social worker", "social service worker" and "registered social service worker". College membership is required if a person represents or holds out expressly or by implication that he or she is a social worker or a social service worker or a registered social worker or a registered social service worker.
Can I call myself a social worker or social service worker without registering with the College?
You must be a member of the College if you wish to call yourself a social worker or social service worker. Only College members registered in the social work category can use the "social worker" or "registered social worker" title. Only College members registered in the social service work category can use the "social service worker" or "registered social service worker" title.
What are the consequences if I do not register with the College and continue to call myself a social worker or social service worker?
It is a provincial offence to use the title social worker or social service worker without being registered with the College. Upon conviction, a person who uses the title without being registered is liable to a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offence, and up to $10,000 for a subsequent offence. In addition, there is provision in the Act for the College to obtain a compliance order from the court.
I am currently enrolled in a social work or social service work program. Can I join the College as a student member?
The College does not have a student member category. In accordance with Ontario Regulation 383/00 and the registration policies, an applicant must produce documentation satisfactory to the Registrar that shows that the applicant has obtained a degree in social work or a diploma in social service work. However, in the months prior to graduation, you may wish to begin the application process. Application packages are available from your educational institution. Alternatively, you may complete a "Request for Application Form" available on the OCSWSSW website or by phone at 416-972-9882 or toll free, 1-877-828-9380.
Some individuals may need to become registered after completing their degree or diploma requirements but prior to convocation. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the Registration Department of the College.
Will I have to take an exam to join the College?
There is at present no examination. However, the College Council has decided that there will be an entry to practice examination. College Council staff are in the process of developing a work plan to develop and implement an examination.
How does the College benefit the professions?
The establishment of the College gives social workers and social service workers recognition comparable to other regulated professions in Ontario, such as accountants, lawyers, teachers, physicians, nurses, dental hygienists and massage therapists.
The existence of a College to ensure competence strengthens the credibility for the social work and social service work professions. The establishment of the College may also build public confidence in the value of the professions.
The College provides its members with a code of ethics and standards of practice, which guide members in making practice decisions. The code of ethics and standards of practice can assist members if a complaint is made against them.
I maintain high standards of practice. Why should I be interested in the College?
As a professional, you are concerned about the well-being of your clients. Until the College was established, anyone, regardless of academic credentials or experience, could call themselves a social worker or social service worker and practice the professions of social work and social service work. The legislation helps ensure that your clients receive the same standard of professional service from others who hold themselves out as social workers or social service workers as they have come to expect from you.
What is my responsibility as a member of the College?
As a member of the College, you are accountable to practice in accordance with the professional and ethical standards established by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbook is provided when an applicant is registered. It may also be downloaded from the College website.
Will there be continuing competence requirements? What will they be?
All regulatory Colleges in Ontario under the Regulated Health Professions Act, and most social work regulatory bodies in Canada and the United States, do have quality assurance/ continuing competence requirements.
The Standards of Practice Committee is developing a continuing competence program which will be approved by the Council of the College before it is launched with members. The College is committed to ensuring that any activity required by the program is accessible to members, and that members are given sufficient information and notice in order to meet the requirements of the program. It is unlikely that there will be an examination to demonstrate competence; however, a member will be required to engage in the program as a condition of maintaining his or her certificate of registration.
Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available to our students through the partnerships we have established with local business and industry leaders. To be considered for an award, complete the General Application available through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts in the fall semester (Deadline: First Friday in October) and winter semester (Deadline: First Friday in February). Visit the Student Financial Services on Conestoga's website.
Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours
Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2022
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga has developed an academic delivery plan for the Fall 2022 semester. The safety and well-being of our college community remains our highest priority. Our academic plans and decisions continue to be based on the advice of public health authorities.
Back on campus
We look forward to continuing to welcome students back in person and on campus for the fall term. There are three ways in which programs will be delivered:
Hybrid: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. Most class hours will be delivered in person, with a few hours delivered remote/online.
On campus: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. All class hours will be delivered in person.
Remote: Remote programs will be delivered fully online. There will be no in-person classes.
Details regarding classes and delivery formats will be provided in your program schedule (timetable).
Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. *
Program courses may use web-based services with data centres outside of Canada. Students may be expected to complete assessments where information is transmitted outside of Canada. Students who do not wish to submit their information to other countries have the right to opt-out. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit an alternate assignment.
Course examinations may be administered through a remote proctoring service to assure academic integrity. Ensure that you meet the system requirements that will allow the recording of your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.
Attendance at Evaluations
Working Together to Plan Your Success
Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.
Attendance for Evaluations
Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend. If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.
Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.
While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.
In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:
- To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
- To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
- To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
- To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
- To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.
- To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
- To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
- If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.
How to Report Absences on the Student Portal
- Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
- Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
- Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
- Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
- You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.
Important! Please note the following:
- The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
- The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
- If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
- When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.
Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%
Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.
Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More
Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.
Alternative Evaluation Arrangements
- Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate. During the pandemic, on-campus Test Centres will be closed.
- Students will complete any necessary forms.
- Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
Program Handbook Revision Log
| Last Revised||By Whom|
|June 8, 2015||Patrice Butts|
|July 2nd, 2015||Jillian Grant|
|July 20th, 2015||Goranka Vukelich|
|May 20, 2016||Goranka Vukelich|
|May 25, 2016||Jillian Grant|
|June 9, 2017||Dom Parisi|
|June 5, 2018||Jaymie Wilson-Neil|
|July 9, 2019||Julia Rodricks|
|August 18, 2020||Ashitha Jacob|
|July 14, 2021||Liz Oliveira|
|June 20, 2022||Jess Balzer|
Conestoga's Accessible Learning services provide support for students with permanent and temporary disabilities who feel they are encountering barriers to learning. They work with students to understand the impact of a disability in the college environment and will help develop a success plan that considers student goals and required academic accommodations. Accessible Learning will also communicate necessary accommodations to professors on behalf of the student.
To consult with an Accessibility Advisor about accommodations please make an appointment by emailing email@example.com or calling 519-748-5220 ext. 3232.
Exceptions for non-accessibility focused issues need to be consulted on with your professor. Final approval for exceptions unrelated to academic accommodations rests with the program chair.