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Professional Development

Training & Certification

The training courses that AAISA offers have been delivered for over a decade and have been designed specifically for the unique challenges that settlement practitioners face in their day-to-day work. Our training has been created to align with the Alberta Settlement Practitioner Competency Framework and to contribute to the ongoing professional development of settlement practitioners. As the settlement sector is changing, we are also changing and improving our courses.

Additionally, AAISA offers the only program in Canada that provides certification to qualified Settlement Practitioners. AAISA’s Settlement Practitioner Training Program was established in 1989 to recognize the professional accomplishments of Canadian Settlement Practitioners who meet a set of standard qualification.

To check out the full list of AAISA course offerings for October-March 2023 2022, click here.

Click on the form to express your interestAAISA Professional Development Course Registration Form (office.com)

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Upcoming Courses

November 24, 2022 | 10:00AM - 12:00 Noon | Free

What Lies Beneath- Psychosocial Needs of Refugees

Facilitated Webinar

AAISA is conducting a 2-hour introductory session on “What Lies Beneath: Psychosocial Health Needs of Refugees

Have you ever wondered why your client continues to complain of stomach pain and headaches even though their doctor says nothing is wrong? Or why small challenges seem to anger or overwhelm them? Join us for a two-hour introductory session to the psychosocial health needs of refugees to start finding the answers.  This workshop is intended to assist you in your practice when working with refugee clients. The course will provide an overview of refugee health in Alberta and Canada while explore what psychosocial health needs are and their importance. Additionally, it will assist your clients in meeting those needs and incorporate the new knowledge into your work.

Register- What Lies Beneath: The Psychosocial Health Needs of Refugees (office.com)

AAISA – Psychosocial Needs of Refugees-2hour session

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Starts October 27, 2022 | Ends October 28 2022 | Free for members

Leadership and Conflict Management in Settlement Practice

In-person, Facilitated (Calgary)

The course is designed for workers in the settlement sector, regardless of their role, interested in becoming more effective leader and settlement professional. This course is focused on personal and professional development in the four key domains of leadership in the settlement and integration sector: Personal Leadership Intelligence, Leading People, Navigating Systems and Leading Organizations. After the course, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of the context of leadership in the settlement sector, how to lead conflict towards transformation, your own identity as a leader, and an action plan for your continued development as a leader.

Audience: Anyone interested in becoming an effective leader

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

 

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Starts November 17, 2022 | Ends November 18, 2022 | Free for members

Leadership and Conflict Management in Settlement Practice

In-person, Facilitated (Edmonton)

The course is designed for workers in the settlement sector, regardless of their role, interested in becoming more effective leader and settlement professional. This course is focused on personal and professional development in the four key domains of leadership in the settlement and integration sector: Personal Leadership Intelligence, Leading People, Navigating Systems and Leading Organizations. After the course, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of the context of leadership in the settlement sector, how to lead conflict towards transformation, your own identity as a leader, and an action plan for your continued development as a leader.

Audience: Anyone interested in becoming an effective leader

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

 

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Starts October 25, 2022 | Ends November 08, 2022 | Free for members

Foundations of Case Management I

Online, Facilitated

This five (5) module course will offer participants insight into the key foundations of case management, with a specific focus on skills needed when engaging in case management within settlement practice. In each of the modules we will consider issues of power, oppression, and social justice as well as discuss key skills that service providers can use in order to challenge oppressive practices within the case management process.

Audience: Case Managers and /or workers who want to strengthen their case management skills

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addiction

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Starts November 02, 2022 | Ends November 04, 2022 | Free for members

Bridging the Gap and Exploring Mental Health Resources for Newcomer Youth

Online, Facilitated

This course will offer participants with education and resources on newcomer youth mental health. Participants will become familiar with social and cultural determinants of mental health and will be provided with an interactive learning experience with examples of evidence-based practices and realistic case studies will be shared to improve outcomes of newcomer youths’ mental well-being. Participants will learn to support the unique mental health needs of newcomer youths by promoting culturally sensitive mental health programs and forming partnerships with service providers.

Audience: SWIS workers, frontline workers and people working directly with youth

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

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Starts November 22, 2022 | Ends December 08, 2022 | Free for members

Stress Management and Self Care for Instructors

Online, Facilitated

This course is designed to guide instructors with stress management and provide self-care education and interventions. It is aimed at teaching targeted tools and strategies for self-care, stress management and wellness to improve their performance, learning environment as well as maintain and enhance their mental and physical well-being Participants will become familiar with the sources of stress and how stress impacts their personal and professional lives.

Audience: Instructors, LINC/ESL Instructors, Teachers

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

 

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Starts December 1, 2022 | Ends December 9, 2022 | Free for members

ADVANCED TRAUMA INFORMED CARE

Online, Facilitated

This course assists settlement practitioners in moving beyond the basics of trauma informed care to developing and increasing their capacity with effective and actionable skills. Participants will become familiar with the impacts of trauma on the body and the brain, and its effects on the cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral function. They will better understand complex trauma and the protective and risk factors for newcomer populations navigating the settlement process. The course will equip settlement practitioners with trauma focused strategies for grounding, de-escalation and self-regulation tools. We will consider worker care practices to enhance opportunities for wellbeing and work efficacy and reduce symptoms of distress and burnout.

Audience: Workers in settlement practice

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

 

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Starts February 15, 2023 | Ends February 17, 2023 | Free for members

Psychosocial Needs of Refugees in Canada

Online, Facilitated

This course is aimed at providing a broad understanding of the psychosocial problems among refugees resettled in Canada. It is intended to equip practitioners with additional emotional resilience, and therapeutic sensitivity and knowledge to be able to design psychosocial activities/programs among refugees and explore treatment options and service utilization among resettled refugees in Canada. This will not only support the refugee’s learning outcomes and healing, but also help enhance practitioners’ effectiveness and their well-being. This course would explore modules such as understanding a trauma-informed approach to service delivery, understanding the psychosocial needs of refugees (children, women, men, families, LGBTQ2+), common mental health issues in refugees, crisis management, mental health and the law and the ABCs of vicarious trauma and burnout.

Audience: RAP Workers, Settlement Workers working with Refugees, Case Managers.

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

 

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Starts January 16, 2023 | Ends February 10, 2023 | Free for members

Leadership and Conflict Management in Settlement Practice

Online, Self-Paced

The course is designed for workers in the settlement sector, regardless of their role, interested in becoming more effective leader and settlement professional. This course is focused on personal and professional development in the four key domains of leadership in the settlement and integration sector: Personal Leadership Intelligence, Leading People, Navigating Systems and Leading Organizations. After the course, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of the context of leadership in the settlement sector, how to lead conflict towards transformation, your own identity as a leader, and an action plan for your continued development as a leader.

Audience: Anyone interested in becoming an effective leader

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

 

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Starts January 09, 2023 | Ends February 13, 2023 | Free for members

Foundations of Case Management I

Online, Self-Paced

This five (5) module course will offer participants insight into the key foundations of case management, with a specific focus on skills needed when engaging in case management within settlement practice. In each of the modules we will consider issues of power, oppression, and social justice as well as discuss key skills that service providers can use in order to challenge oppressive practices within the case management process.

Audience: Case Managers and /or workers who want to strengthen their case management skills

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

 

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Starts February 06, 2023 | Ends March 23, 2023 | Free for Members

Bridging the Gap and Exploring Mental Health Resources for Newcomer Youth

Online, Self-Paced

This course will offer participants with education and resources on newcomer youth mental health. Participants will become familiar with social and cultural determinants of mental health and will be provided with an interactive learning experience with examples of evidence-based practices and realistic case studies will be shared to improve outcomes of newcomer youths’ mental well-being. Participants will learn to support the unique mental health needs of newcomer youths by promoting culturally sensitive mental health programs and forming partnerships with service providers.

Audience: SWIS workers, frontline workers and people working directly with youth

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

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Starts February 01, 2023 | Ends March 08, 2023 | Free for Members

Stress Management and Self Care for Instructors

Online, Self-Paced

This course is designed to guide instructors with stress management and provide self-care education and interventions. It is aimed at teaching targeted tools and strategies for self-care, stress management and wellness to improve their performance, learning environment as well as maintain and enhance their mental and physical well-being Participants will become familiar with the sources of stress and how stress impacts their personal and professional lives.

Audience: Instructors, LINC/ESL Instructors, Teachers

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

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Starts October 24, 2022 | Ends November 25, 2022 | Free for Members

Trauma Informed Care

Online, Self-Paced

This 4-part course will help settlement practitioners understand what trauma is and how trauma manifests through behaviors, introduce a trauma-informed approach and strategies to their work, and help practitioners feel empowered and confident to support newcomers in crises. Participants will become familiar with trauma and its impacts on the settlement, adaptation and integration process. We will consider how supporting clients experiencing trauma can lead to distress for settlement practitioners and develop tools to support the wellbeing of practitioners.

Audience: Workers within settlement and integration sector

Funder: Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)

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Starts March 01, 2023 | Ends April 06, 2023 | Free for Members

Advanced Trauma Informed Care

Online, Self-Paced

This course assists settlement practitioners in moving beyond the basics of trauma informed care to developing and increasing their capacity with effective and actionable skills. Participants will become familiar with the impacts of trauma on the body and the brain, and its effects on the cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural function. They will better understand complex trauma and the protective and risk factors for newcomer populations navigating the settlement process. The course will equip settlement practitioners with trauma focused strategies for grounding, de-escalation and self-regulation tools. We will consider worker care practices to enhance opportunities for wellbeing and work efficacy and reduce symptoms of distress and burnout.

Audience: Workers in settlement practice

Funder: Government of Alberta – Mental Health and Addictions

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Starts October 12, 2022 | Ends November 30, 2022 | Free for Members

Managing Multiple Roles in Alberta's Small Centres

Online, Self-Paced

This professional development course offers frontline staff of settlement and integration agencies in Alberta’s small centers the knowledge and practical skills required to better manage their multiple roles when serving culturally diverse clients.

Audience: Settlement Workers and SWIS Workers

Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

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Launch Date - October 17, 2022 | Launch Date - October 17, 2022 | Free for members

Digital Literacy and Equity in Hybrid Learning with Low Literacy Learners

Online, Self-Paced

This is a two-part series aims to showcase the key pedagogical and classroom findings regarding hybrid language learning that were refined throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-service instructors, emerging practitioners, and instructors in other contexts may not be aware of all that was gained during the transition to virtual service delivery. This Government of Alberta funded project captures high yield techniques and practices and transforms this information into a learning tool for emerging and existing language practitioners.

Audience: Instructors, LINC/ESL Instructors, Teachers

Funder: Government of Alberta – Capacity Building Project

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Course Offerings

Anti-Discrimination & COVID-19 (Webinars)

Webinars

Offered by AAISA in collaboration with ARDN, ActionDignity, and AMSSA, these webinars focused on different topics related to anti-discrimination during the COVID-19. The webinar recordings can be found by following the links below:

  • Racism & COVID-19 (April 15, 2020): Link
  • Responding to Online Hate During COVID-19 (May 1, 2020): Link
  • Intersectionality & COVID-19 (May 15, 2020): Link

Please note: This webinar series is eligible for credit hours towards AAISA certification, however a quiz must be completed to prove proficiency. You can find the quiz on our learning platform here. It will require an AAISA Learns account. If you don’t have an account, please email pd@aaisa.ca for more information.

This series was funded by the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund.

Course duration: 4 weeks
Credit hours: 15

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PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND ETHICS FOR CAREER PRACTITIONERS

Participants will become aware of the types and functions of career services being offered by Settlement Agencies, as well as the roles, knowledge, skills and competencies of Career Practitioners working in the settlement sector. They will explore and discuss the importance of ethical behavior, as well as how to share this topic with newcomers when seeking employment in the Canadian workplace. Participants will examine a framework of guiding principles and then how it applies to the Career Practitioner role. They will examine a variety of different ethical considerations, as well as, decision-making models that will inform their professional practice as a Career Practitioner. They will also learn the role and importance professional certification has in relationship to maintaining a high standard of qualifications and competencies as a Career Practitioner.

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Managing Multiple Roles in Alberta's Small Centre Settlement and Integration Sector

Online Self-Paced

This professional development course offers frontline staff of settlement and integration agencies in Alberta’s small centres the knowledge and practical skills required to better manage their multiple roles when serving culturally diverse clients.

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Soutien aux conseillers en établissement de l'Alberta à l’accompagnement des nouveaux arrivants en santé mentale

Online Self-Paced

Les participants vont se familiariser avec les connaissances, les compétences et les outils nécessaires afin de mieux servir les nouveaux arrivants francophones ayant des besoins en santé mentale. 

Nous examinerons les diverses définitions et termes liés à la santé mentale, les nombreux facteurs ayant une incidence sur la santé mentale des nouveaux arrivants francophones, ainsi que les défis et les obstacles qui entravent l’accès aux services de santé mentale des nouveaux arrivants francophones et de leurs familles. 

Le cours explorera plus en détails les responsabilités et les limites des conseillers d’établissement de première ligne, les ressources essentielles et les possibilités de soins disponibles afin de mieux diriger les clients, ainsi que les méthodes de communication efficaces pour évaluer, comprendre et aider les familles de nouveaux arrivants. Nous examinerons également les stratégies afin d’empêcher les travailleurs de l’établissement de souffrir de fatigue, de compassion et d’épuisement émotionnel et professionnel.

Durée du cours: 5 semaines
Heures de crédit: 15

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Developing Intercultural Competency

Online Self-Paced

This professional development course offers frontline staff of settlement and integration agencies in Alberta’s small centres the knowledge and practical skills required to develop cultural competencies and foster intercultural understanding to better serve culturally diverse newcomers. It provides vital strategies for developing trusting relationships between and among frontline staff and newcomer clients as well as means to reduce communication gaps that can adversely affect newcomers’ settlement and integration prospects.

Course duration: 4 weeks
Credit hours: 15

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Facilitating Career Success in Canada

The intended outcomes of the module are: to enable Settlement Practitioners to facilitate the entry of immigrants and refugees into the Canadian workforce, to assist the client to develop and implement a vocational/career plan and to advocate for individual hiring with employers. Participants will identify the role that Settlement Practitioners would play in facilitating workforce entry for their clients and understand the importance of taking a holistic view of career development. They will also learn to identify the steps of the career development process, distinguish between the roles of Settlement Practitioners and career practitioners and be able to provide effective feedback on clients’ resumes.

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MANAGING PRACTITIONER STRESS AND BURNOUT

This Learning Module is intended to help Settlement Practitioners learn how to recognize and managing workplacestress. The module will provide participants with a practical knowledge to be able to recognize and identify symptoms of stress and use this foundational knowledge to explore, develop and practice strategies to be able to effectively manage workplace stress.

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Working with Individuals and Families with Special and Complex Needs

This module will use a case-based approach. Using a series of case studies based on profiles of immigrant families, participants will identify complex factors that present challenges to integration. They will create a resource map of current community supports, examine action-planning, case management strategies, and identify gaps in community resources. For the final task, participants will develop an action plan (a combination of key supports, community resources and strategies) for their case study client(s). They will identify gaps in community resources and make suggestions for possible advocacy actions. Participants will present their case study with suggestions and actions plans to the whole group.

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PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND ETHICS FOR SETTLEMENT PRACTITIONERS

Participants will become familiar with the functions of Service Provider Organizations (SPOs). They will consider the relationship between functions of SPOs and the functions of general community service providers. They will explore the roles and responsibilities of settlement practitioners. Participants will examine Guiding Principles for Settlement Practitioner Practice and consider their applicability to settlement work. Participants will also consider several relevant Codes of Ethics documents and analyze three ethical/practice issues: Personal/professionalboundaries; Confidentiality and consent, and Conflict of Interest.

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BASIC COUNSELLING IN CROSS-CULTURAL CONTEXT

The Basic Counselling Skills in a Cross-Cultural Context Course is intended to help Settlement Practitioners define their counselling role with clients they serve and help them to recognize to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge to be effective in that role.

Course Objective:The course will provide participants with a both the theoretical and practical knowledge to provide basic counselling skills to their clientele.

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WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS

This module is intended as a practical introduction to concepts and strategies that are useful when working with interpreters. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of interpreting theory, modes of delivery (simultaneous and consecutive), ethical practices, codes of conduct, and strategies for assessing the qualifications of interpreters. The workshop is highly interactive and provides participants the opportunity to apply the concepts and theories presented in the workshop.

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NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND ACTION PLAN

The Needs Assessment and Action Plans (NAAP) online e-Learning course is intended to enable settlement practitioners to conduct needs assessments and to assist people in developing individualized goals and action plans appropriate to culture and life experience.

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SETTLEMENT AND TRANSITION PROCESSES

by the end of this online course Participants will become familiar with various concepts related to acculturation, settlement,

acculturative stress (culture shock), post-traumatic stress, and the role of settlement agencies in

Alberta related to settlement and transition processes. They will also become familiar with challenges that occur during settlement and learn strategies to address these challenges.

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Creating a Culture of Respect for LGBTQ+ People

In response to the barriers newcomers face when accessing prevention and sexual health information, AAISA and the Calgary Sexual Health Centre have been working together to develop a robust partnership that leverages the strengths of each to advance improved outcomes for newcomers in the area of sexual health and diversity. This Management Training session is co-developed and co-facilitated by AAISA and Calgary Sexual Health Centre to introduce participants to LGBTQ+ issues and needs within their work context, and will help to build understanding of how to become allies in creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ colleagues and clients.

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Volunteer Management

At the end of this course, the learners will have an understanding of: • The volunteer involvement cycle and the value of a comprehensive approach to the volunteer management process • Volunteer motivation and the implications for position design, recruitment and volunteer management • The need for pre-recruitment planning and of the required planning tasks • The types of risks incurred by engaging volunteers, and the importance of being proactive by establishing policies and procedures to minimize these risks • Best practices in volunteer recruitment, placement and management • The range of mechanisms that can be used to publicize recruitment needs • The benefits of thoroughly orienting and training volunteers • How to effectively support and empower volunteers • How to evaluate volunteer performance, and provide correction when needed • The necessity of developing policies and procedures on a wide range of volunteer management topics

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Organizational Behaviour and Change

Participants in this module will develop a deeper understanding of management and organizational change in multicultural organizations. They will critique the organization of their agencies and review the organization structure of other agencies in Alberta

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CRISIS INTERVENTION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

The course will equip Settlement Practitioners with best practices, resources, and effective strategies when advocating for clients around crisis intervention and conflict resolution. Participants will enhance interpersonal, communications, assessment skills and strategies required to deal with crises and conflict. Learners will also develop skills to create strong support systems for clients that are managing significant change, cultural shock, and crisis. The course will increase participant’s knowledge in the basic principles of intervention for Settlement Practitioners, will enhance their critical thinking skills, and will deepen knowledge of appropriate resources and approaches to increase effective practice. Using a facilitative and collaborative approach, the course will provide an opportunity to share the participants’ practice experience, co-learn as a group, and strengthen skills of crisis intervention and conflict management

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Community Development Processes

This module is intended as an introduction to community development practice. Through pre-session visits to community development sites, reading, and classroom activities, participants will gain knowledge about major concepts, principles and values, specialized skills and knowledge, and various processes in community development. They will learn about three community development models: locality development, social planning, and social action. Through case studies and participation in experiential learning activities, participants will be able to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in various contexts of practice to address community issues. The final assignment will be a short paper based on the practical application of the learning from this module.

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Advocacy and Outreach

This module is intended as an introduction to advocacy and outreach. Through pre-session reading, research, critical reflection, and classroom activities, participants will gain knowledge about key concepts, principles and values, skills, models, and processes related to advocacy and outreach. With respect to advocacy, participants will critically examine the prominent models of advocacy, namely: best interest advocacy, enabling advocacy, client-centered advocacy, and participant-controlled advocacy. They will also explore and apply advocacy processes to address community issues. With respect to outreach, participants will examine key elements of effective community-based outreach. They will further explore and apply outreach processes and strategies in working with immigrants and refugees. Through concrete case studies and participation in experiential learning activities, participants will be able to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in various contexts of practice to address community issues.

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Collaborating to Provide Community Programs

This module is intended as a practical introduction to processes used in identifying community needs as a basis for planning programs. Participants will work with a case study of a current community need/issue and identify background information needed to develop a response. Participants will research and collect information and work in teams to develop a project initiative. The teams will identify project partners and an approach to collaboration. They will then develop project outcomes, indicators, and data collection methods. As a final task, project teams will develop and present a proposal outline for their initiative.

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Working with Refugees with Complex Needs

Working with Refugees with Complex Needs 2L (adapted) This module, previously delivered under the title Working with Individuals and Families with Special and Complex Needs, has been adapted to address the current context of Settlement Practitioners and sector professionals as they welcome increased numbers of refugees with complex needs in the settlement process. Using a series of case studies based on the current demographics of clients, participants will identify complex factors that present challenges to integration. Participants will create a resource map of current community supports, examine action-planning, and case management strategies and identify gaps in community resources. In the final activity, participants will develop an action plan (a combination of key supports, community resources and strategies) for their client(s). They will identify gaps in community resources and make suggestions for possible advocacy actions.

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Facilitating Small Groups: An Introduction

The primary objective of this module is to enable participants to gain introductory-level knowledge and hands-on experiences, around the processes of helping people learn in small groups. Participants will explore various adult learning styles and approaches to teaching adults. The influence of a facilitator’s values in small groups will be discussed. Basic respectful communication skills for facilitators will be considered and practiced. Participants will address aspects of group dynamics and “on-your-feet” challenges. There will be optional opportunities for participants to facilitate short segments of class time. An introductory-level model for planning sessions will be used for the evaluated learning activity: writing a brief plan for a three-hour session, focussing on the facilitation processes and not on content. Time in class will be provided for participants to review and revise their plans before they are submitted. Overall, the module will demonstrate a participatory approach to adult education.

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Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Anti-Racism

This module helps participants get a clearer idea of the issues of anti-racism and to develop the knowledge and skill set required to identify sources of racism and respond effectively to it. Participants will review Canadian history and government policies that have effected minority groups both negatively or positively. Participants will become aware of the psychology of anti-racism and methods of advocating for clients.

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Immigration Processes

This module provides an introduction to the Canadian immigration system for Settlement Practitioners. Participants will learn about Canadian immigration history, immigration policies and trends, and discuss current issues related to immigration. The module will assist practitioners to provide accurate information to clients, and engage in informed discussion of current policies and issues. Resource materials for the module are available online and links appear within each of the tasks.

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Building Understanding of Cultural Communities

Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the concepts of ‘ethnic group’ and ‘cultural group’. They will: • Examine information regarding the definition and categories of ethnic groups currently in Canada • Explore ways of gathering and presenting authentic, respectful information about cultural/ethnic groups in the community • Reflect on issues related to stereotyping • Practice presentation skills

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