Stephenville, NL, Canada - College of the North Atlantic – Community Studies

The Community Studies Program is a two-year diploma program which prepares students for diverse roles in human service/community-based organizations. More specifically, the program focuses on leadership and other career-related skills required to work in a wide variety of human services. These services may range from one-on-one support to positions which involve coordination and facilitation of groups or communities. The courses are fast-paced and dynamic, and are founded on the tenets of experiential learning and direct involvement with individuals, families and communities. Students are challenged to think critically and to become self-directed, lifelong learners.

Throughout the program, students receive career counseling and academic advising to assist them in making course selections best suited to their particular career choices. To this end, students may choose courses available at the campuses from a number of the following areas: Addictions, Community Corrections, Community Development, Developmental Disabilities, Family Services, and Women’s Studies. Not all courses are available at all campus locations.


Examples of types of organizations, agencies, and departments where Community Studies graduates have been hired include the following:

Aboriginal Communities, e.g. health and social programs

College of the North Atlantic, e.g. resource facilitators

Community-based Correction Services, e.g. Youth Assessment Centres, John Howard Society and Residential Centres for ex-offenders

Department of Health and Community Services/Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, e.g. mental health services, addiction services, family services

Economic and Social Development Agencies, e.g. Family Resource Centres and Community Youth Networks

Services and Advocacy Groups for Persons with Disabilities, e.g. Residential Support Boards, Associations for Community Living and School Boards

Services for Women, e.g. Women’s Centres, Violence Prevention Programs and Transition Houses

Social Programs for Older Adults, e.g. Long Term Care Centres and Congregate Housing


Graduates who wish to further their education after graduation may choose to transfer credits to the Bachelor of Arts - Community Studies degree at the Cape Breton University or to the Bachelor of Professional Arts Communication Studies or Criminal Justice degrees at Athabasca University. This program has provided many students with a foundation for advancement within the human services field or to pursue further education in areas such as Social Work or Education.


To expose students to the knowledge, skills, and values needed to work in the human services field.

To develop students’ understanding of human relations and of the importance of interpersonal skills as a tool for positive growth and change.

To introduce students to the theories and practice of leadership.

To develop students’ abilities to perform the role of change agents with individuals, groups, and communities.

To develop students’ abilities to organize and facilitate specific target groups.

To increase students’ skills in effective oral and written communication.

To provide students with introductory knowledge of psychology and sociology.

To develop students’ knowledge and abilities in areas such as public relations, research, crisis intervention, interviewing, and project management.

To provide students with direct work experience related to the human services field.