Experience, knowledge, passion and family will be the fuel that drives a new Aboriginal Community Support Worker program being offered by Okanagan College.
Tina-Marie Christian and her daughter Holly Dalgleish, both of the Syilx Nation (Okanagan) and members of the Splatsin First Nation (Enderby) will be collaborating to teach a new certificate program being offered at Okanagan College this fall.
“The courses in this program will provide students with a holistic approach to Aboriginal community support, helping to prepare them for entry-level positions in a variety of fields,” said Dalgleish.
“It is designed to become part of the pathway to further studies such as the Human Service Work diploma, or a degree in Social Work while providing a foundation for community service work.”
“We are excited to be a part of this College initiative that will help to strengthen our Indigenous communities. Programs such as the ACSW program empower individuals to create a new future and an opportunity to contribute to the needs of their community,” said Christian.
“The certificate is ideal for students who have a strong compassion for helping individuals and families and will give them the core training required by community support workers.”
The Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate (ACSW) is a full-time program that will be taught at the College’s Salmon Arm campus beginning in late November. This program will see students immerse themselves in a five-month course that includes 375 hours of course work and a 70-hour practicum component that focuses on indigenous help.
With a Master’s degree in organizational management and a Bachelor’s degree in adult education, Christian brings a strong blend of experiences in community and personal development from her more than 35 years working in education, staff development, health and wellness within Aboriginal organizations.
Dalgleish, who holds a Master’s in clinical social work and has worked as a child protection social worker as well as youth counsellor and family support worker, also has strong ties to the Aboriginal community in the Okanagan.
The women have been instrumental in bringing this new certificate program to fruition. They have been active members of the program’s curriculum development team, ensuring that the focus is targeted and has pervasive Indigenous content.
Students will finish the program with a practicum at a local community-based organization that works with Aboriginal individuals and families.
Students interested in finding out more about this program (which is eligible for student loans) are encouraged to contact: www.okanagan.bc.ca/acsw