Social work is a profession concerned with enhancing collective and individual well-being. The Social Work program prepares graduates to assist clients to meet the demands of daily life, improve problem-solving and coping skills, and to link them with systems that offer resources, services, and opportunities.
Selena Sliger is an alumni of the Social Work Diploma program. “Accessibility and opportunity were the reasons why I chose to enter into the Social Work Diploma program in Peace River,” she explains. “I was able to continue working and maintain a family life while going to school.”
The two-year program includes a blend of core social work theory and practice courses, along with various other university level courses such as psychology, sociology, and political science. In a supportive atmosphere, students are encouraged to develop personal insights and approaches to social work practice. “The challenge for me is that there were never enough hours in a day. I really learned how important time-management was, as well as self-care. In my view, this is a success, because I learned about my limitations. You’re not going to be able to do everything so you learn to prioritize,” Sliger reflects.
After graduation, Sliger opted to transfer into the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at the University of Calgary (UofC). “If the diploma program had not been offered in Peace River, pursuing a university degree would not have been a possibility for me,” Sliger said. “I have a family, am settled in my community, and moving away from the community would never be an option for me.”
A block transfer agreement between NLC and the UofC allows students to transfer up to two years of coursework and enter as third year BSW students. Sliger was a participant in the community-based program, which allowed her to attend weekend, face-to-face classes at the Peace River Campus. The transfer agreement provides the opportunity for students to pursue a BSW degree while remaining in their home communities.
“NLC has established a great presence in our region by providing access to programs like the Social Work Diploma. I thank NLC and the UofC for working together to provide quality education to Northern students. Having more people pursue education and socially engage will help our northern communities to create change and thrive,” she comments. Sliger completed her BSW degree in July of 2017 and is now a Child Intervention Assessor in High Prairie.