The Aboriginal Youth Care (AYC) Certificate Program offers the skills and knowledge required to strengthen Aboriginal youth and families. The NEC Native Education College is in partnership with Douglas College in delivery of the AYC Program. This 10 month certificate program will provide the competencies and knowledge for serving the needs of Aboriginal children and youth, regardless of their family situation or dynamics. The workplace practicum will provide hands-on experience leading to employment opportunities.  All courses are offered in the evening. Students take 7 courses through the NEC Native Education College and 4 courses through Douglas College. The next offering of the AYC Program begins in September 2017.

The Aboriginal Youth Care (AYC) certificate program addresses issues of power and issues of discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class and culture. The educational objective of the certificate is to provide students with the knowledge, values and skills necessary for an initial level of professional practice focusing on the relationship between client problems and public issues. Critical thinking and structural analysis are central to the learning experience and to the promotion of social justice and human well-being.

Aboriginal youth require care that supports a sense of belonging to a community through understanding traditional culture and the history of Aboriginal people in Canada.  As a youth worker, you can help youth master common life skills, guide them towards independence and help them achieve a sense of gratitude for their gifts. Careers are available in schools, social service agencies and AYC certificate credits are transferable to the NEC’s FCC Diploma Program and Douglas College’s CYCC Diploma Program.


This course provides a broad overview of the field of human development, covering the entire range of the human life, from the moment of conception through death. The course provides a broad, comprehensive introduction to the field, covering basic theories and research findings, as well as highlighting current applications outside the laboratory. It covers the lifespan chronologically, encompassing the prenatal period, infancy and toddlerhood, the preschool years, middle childhood, adolescence, early and middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Within these periods, the course will also focus on the physical, cognitive, and social and personality development.
Through class discussions, guest speakers, chapter reviews and class assignments, students will start to evaluate and understand the Lifespan development process for humans. The course focuses on mainstream development; however, class discussions and assignments will incorporate Aboriginal perspectives.

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills fundamental to basic counselling. Students are encouraged to begin to develop their own model of practice through discussion and critically analyzing the helping model of Gerard Egan and other models of helping. A primary focus is on students learning and practicing basic communication skills: attending, listening, paraphrasing, summarizing, empathy, and probing.

This course is about a basic life skill. The course focuses on what to do about communicating rather than what to think about it. The philosophy is that the only way to learn a skill is experientially. You have to do it. Students have to perform the exercises, follow the suggestions both in the textbook and the exercise activities and make these skills their own through practice.

Psychology emphasizes the scientific method in the study of human behaviour. The course focuses on the history and methods of psychological enquiry, the phenomena of sensation and perception and the fundamentals of conditioning and learning. Other topics, including human development, physiology, and the properties of language, thinking and states of awareness, will be selected at the discretion of the instructor.

Students will examine holistic healing practices and spiritual traditions of indigenous people from different parts of the world, including their own cultural traditions on personal healing paths. They will be encouraged to define their own philosophies around healing and working with others in a helping profession, as Aboriginal beliefs and philosophies around relationships to the land, the earth’s healing energy, and the interconnectedness of all life will be explored. The importance of storytelling, myth, ritual and symbolism will be reviewed. The focus will be on self care techniques, as well as family and community wellness.

Semester I    

  • FCC 105     Basic Counselling Skills
  • ENG 110    Introduction to College Writing
  • PSY 120     Cultural Health Practices
  • CFCS 1142  Introduction to Aboriginal Child and Youth Care (Douglas College)
  • CFCS 2332  Strengthening Family Spirit (Douglas College)

Semester II

  • AYC 110      Lifespan Development
  • FCC 115      Interpersonal Communication
  • PSY 101      Introduction to Psychology
  • CFCS 2212  Transforming Legislation and Policies (Douglas College)
  • CFCS 1112  Working in Communities (Douglas College)

Semester III

  • AYC 150    AYC Practicum
  • Grade 12 Diploma or equivalent 
  • Minimum C+ average in Grade 12 English 
  • 2 reference letters 
  • 75 hours work/volunteer experience or reasonable alternative demonstrating suitability for program admission 
  • Minimum of 2 years sobriety 
  • 1 page essay explaining interest in AYC Program 
  • Criminal Record Check


  • 19 years of age or older
  • Did not complete grade 12 
  • 2 reference letters 
  • 75 hours work/volunteer experience or reasonable alternative demonstrating suitability for program admission 
  • Minimum of 2 years sobriety
  • 1 page essay explaining interest in AYC Program 
  • CAAT demonstrating grade 12 or higher in Reading Comprehension and Language 
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Tuition: $5,350.00*
  • Registration Fees: $75.00
  • Graduation Fees: $30.00
  • Student Association Fees: $30.00
  • Student Record and Archiving Fee: $15.00

*Full or partial funding may be available for this program. Contact NEC Admissions at 604-873-3761 x328 / for more information.

Need Help With Tuition?

Financial assistance is available to students in the form of scholarships and bursaries, loans and other funding options. Contact Admissions for more information.

Learn More About Financial Aid


For more NEC Program information visit the Admissions section or call

1 (604) 873-3772 ext. 328