The Family and Community Counselling program offers specialized training for delivering social services within the cultural values and beliefs of the Aboriginal community. Students are encouraged to understand their history, and to integrate traditional knowledge and skills into their professional practice. The program has two levels leading to a certificate and a diploma.

The Family and Community Counselling (FCC) 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.

The FCC diploma program is designed to further increase the skills and knowledge of certificate graduates working in Aboriginal community agencies or other social service agencies. The FCC diploma program offers a transfer option for students interested in furthering their education. Special areas of interest are child welfare, recovery from substance abuse, and intervening in traumatic situations that affect Aboriginal families.

The intention of this course is to introduce you to the conventions of academic writing. We write to communicate to others- whether they are colleagues, professionals in their fields, or friends. In this class, you will learn to identify the elements of sound writing in written passages, and to compare and contrast oral, written and culturally specific forms of communication. The student is invited to explore, step-by-step, each element of good writing by reviewing and practicing prewriting techniques including developing strong thesis statements, proceeding to paragraphs, and complete essays, and reports using APA citation style.

Learning to write requires writing. It takes practice, and you will be provided with opportunities to write both in the classroom as well as outside. The goal is to give you as students enough practice writing that you will see a strong improvement in the effectiveness of your written communication skills by the end of the course. In addition, you will develop a greater understanding of what you need to focus on in order to continue your development as a writer.

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 an in depth study of child development from pre-birth through to age 12 years. Aboriginal child development is studied in depth. Historical perspectives, theories and methods give students an understanding about early childhood studies, ethical issues and approaches to child study. Influences upon the developing child are studied and students are able to establish guidelines for the role of the counsellor.

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.

The focus for this course is on adolescence and the adult years. Understanding human development is basic to therapeutic practice and is essential for all work with clients. Topics include puberty, independence, coupling, aging and death and dying. Prerequisite: FCC 110

This course will focus on the role of the worker engaged in making change at the community level. The student will learn the theory and practice of building sustainable communities. Beginning with an understanding of community and social change, students will develop a theoretical and practical perspective on immersing the community into the process of collective problem-solving. Students will discover what community development is, why it is needed and how it can be carried out effectively. Students will gain understanding of the connection between human relationships, personal, political, economic, social and cultural ways of working together to promote influence and community action. Prerequisite: FCC 115

The 12 week block (350 hour) practicum placement offers students a supervised opportunity to begin using skills that they have acquired in the areas of individual counselling. These include listening, assessing, planning, evaluating and recording skills. Student can build further upon their skills in community planning and development. Students are expected to assume greater responsibility in their duties while working under regular supervision.

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.

This course will provide an overview of trauma and trauma theory, people’s responses to trauma and an introduction to a variety of therapeutic strategies including dialogical, experiential, and cultural. Discussions will include a historical overview of the impact of genocide on First Nations people and generational trauma.

There are three major themes in this course: the family as a system, family strategies and the parent-child relationship. In addition, the needs of children and youth in the family system and family interaction from a multigenerational developmental perspective will be explored. Students will examine the multi-generational effects of the Residential School System on the family system. In addition, two major themes, Aboriginal values and parenting models, will be explored as a way of assisting parents and teachers of youth at risk. Students will research and discuss attachment, trauma, FASD and ADHD.

Total Credits – 39.0

Semester I    

  • ENG 110  Introduction to College Writing
  • FCC 105    Basic Counselling Skills
  • FCC 110    Human Development I
  • FCC 115    Interpersonal Communication
  • PSY 120    Cultural Health Practices

Semester II

  • FCC 120    Human Development II
  • FCC 135    Capacity Building and Program Planning
  • SOC 110    Family Dynamics
  • PSY 101    Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 140    Introduction to Trauma Counselling

Semester III

  • FCC 150    FCC Practicum I
  • Completion of Grade 12
  • C+ or higher English 12; 2 reference letters
  • CAAT demonstrating grade 12 or higher in Reading Comprehension and Language
  • Writing Assessment Test
  • One page essay explaining interest in FCC program
  • Criminal Record Check through BC Criminal Record Review Program
  • Mature applicant requirements include 1 year or more related work experience.
  • Tuition: $5,950.00*
  • Registration Fees: $75.00
  • Graduation Fees: $30.00
  • Student Association Fees: $30.00
  • Student Record and Archiving Fee: $15.00
  • Book Fees will be provided upon acceptance

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

This course takes students through the steps involved in writing a research paper. Students do a literature review using academic writing and journal articles and compile an annotated bibliography. The student will also write a proposal for a research project and use a draft process to build the final research report. Particular attention will be paid to the student using and enhancing skills they have learned in ENG 110, and acquiring reading and critical thinking skills.

This course provides a critical analysis of social work techniques and client needs. Students will examine the role of the professional in the service delivery system and methods for supporting individuals, families and communities in transition.

This course will focus on the social welfare state in Canada by examining the programs, theories and approaches within it. Students will learn about Canadian social policy development and the policies and laws that affect Aboriginal children and families. Case studies and simulation exercises will develop professional skills in family intervention, child protection and the appropriate disclosure of information.

This course introduces students to resources, career opportunities and the different agencies in the Vancouver area. Guest speakers from various agencies present their experience and perspectives to the students. The students are introduced to topics including specialized techniques, codes of ethics, counsellor self-care, and professional fulfillment of the human services field.

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic knowledge base in areas of law relevant to social services. Specific areas of law that affect Aboriginal people will cover primarily family law, civil liberties, the accountability and liability of social services staff and legal issues. The family life cycle is used as an organizing principle which connects legal procedures to the life of the family as it moves through marriage, parenthood, normal events and specific crises along the continuum from birth to old age.

This course is an introduction to substance abuse counselling. There is an emphasis on comparing and critically evaluating diverse counselling approaches. The psychological, physiological, and sociological effects of substance abuse are examined as they pertain to First Nations people. Students will learn culturally appropriate assessment, diagnosis, treatment (individual and group), and intervention and prevention methods. Research projects will examine contemporary issues in recovery and rehabilitation.

This course explores the changing context of child and family policies. Students examine federal and provincial jurisdictional issues concerning Aboriginal child and family services, child poverty in Canada, single parenthood and Aboriginal self-government. The students participate in simulated child welfare scenarios. These case studies will assist the student in understanding the Child, Family and Community Service Act, rights of children in care, child protection measures, confidentiality and the disclosure of information.

This course will introduce students to the empowerment model of assisting clients and communities to lessen the impact of trauma. The student will be introduced to the after-effects of trauma and restorative techniques in working with clients and communities. Knowledge of mental health issues will assist students in identifying and assessing the impact of the trauma on the individual. Student will learn to manage clients’ symptoms of traumatic stress in a creative life-affirming way.

The 12 week block practicum placement (350 hour) is to give students a supervised opportunity to enhance the skills learned in the areas of individual and group counselling. The students might, for example, work individually with clients under supervision, or as a co-counsellor orco-facilitator. Students develop an increased level of competence in the areas of workshop presentations, support and intervention or recovery and rehabilitation. Students are expected to assume greater responsibility in their duties while working under regular supervision.

This course will combine theory, policy and practice issues related to disability. Overall it will have an empowerment/advocacy/rights orientation underlying the specific issues addressed. It will be “pan-disability” in that it will not specifically focus on one type of disability but will draw from the complex of disability related impairments. The aim of the course is to give students a broad understanding of how disability is constructed, the past and current responses to disability and how social workers can work to support the empowerment of people with disabilities. Format for the course will be primarily lecture based. Seminars, guest speakers, site visits and videos will supplement this.

This course is designed to provide students with a background in the theory, policy, practice and issues central to mental health issues. Students will learn about factors, situations and conditions that cause mental disorders and discuss and learn how the disorders may be best treated. Specific attention will be paid to the role of understanding behaviours that cause suffering to the individual and others around him or her, and that interfere with functioning. Different approaches to treatment and current research on psychological disorders will also be reviewed.

Total Credits – 36

  • Graduate from FCC or equivalent
  • ENG 110 with C or higher
  • FCC 150 with B or higher
  • ‘minimum C average in FCC 1
  • Criminal Record Check through BC Criminal Record Check Program
  • Tuition: $5,950.00
  • Registration Fees: $50.00
  • Graduation Fees: $10.00
  • Student Association Fees: $10.00
  • Student Record and Archiving Fee: $5.00
  • Book Fees will be provided upon acceptance

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