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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.

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Upcoming Courses

Starts May 14, 2021 | Ends June 15, 2021 | Free for members

Developing Cultural Competence

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: 5 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: May 1, 2021

 

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Starts June 15, 2021 | Ends August 13, 2021 | Free for members

MANAGING MULTIPLE ROLES IN SETTLEMENT PRACTICE

Online, Self-paced

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

Course duration: 7 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: May 1, 2021

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Starts August 15, 2021 | Ends October 12, 2021 | Free for members

BASIC COUNSELLING IN A CROSS-CULTURAL CONTEXT

Online, Self-Paced

The course is a six-module course that will enable Settlement Practitioners to learn knowledge and practical skills required to effectively conduct needs assessments and assist people from diverse backgrounds to develop individualized goals and action plans appropriate to their culture and life experience that will meet their settlement needs.

Course duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 15
Registration deadline: June 1, 2021

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Starts August 15, 2021 | Ends December 10, 2021 | Free for members

NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND ACTION PLAN

Online, Self-Paced

The course is a six-module course that will enable Settlement Practitioners to learn knowledge and practical skills required to effectively conduct needs assessments and assist people from diverse backgrounds to develop individualized goals and action plans appropriate to their culture and life experience that will meet their settlement needs.  

Course duration: 7 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: June 1, 2021

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Starts February 23, 2022 | Ends April 1, 2022 | Free for Members

Supporting Multi-barriered Clients

Online, Self-paced

This self-paced course, developed in partnership with Action Dignity and Rural Development Network (RDN), will allow front-line settlement workers to gain an understanding of challenges that multi-barriered clients face, learn to apply an intersectional lens when identifying multiple barriers that clients may experience, enhance their skills in evaluating multi-barriered clients’ needs, become aware of best practices in working with multi-barrier clients, and become familiar with methods and tools to be used when working with multi-barriered clients.

Course duration: 5 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: December 15, 2021

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Starts August 16, 2021 | Ends October 14, 2021 | Free for members

SETTLEMENT TRANSITION PROCESSES

Online, Self-paced

Participants will become familiar with various concepts related to acculturation, settlement, acculturative stress (culture shock), post-traumatic stress, and the role of settlement agencies related to settlement and transition processes. They will also become familiar with challenges that occur during settlement and learn strategies to address these challenges.

Course duration: 7 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: July 1, 2021

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Starts December 4, 2021 | Ends January 15, 2022 | Free for members

PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND ETHICS

Online, Self-paced

In this course, participants will learn 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. Participants will examine a framework of guiding principles and its implications to the Career Practitioner role.

Course duration: 6 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: November 1, 2021

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Starts January 14, 2022 | Ends February 18, 2022 | Free for members

Welcoming Diversity

Online, Self-Paced

Welcoming Diversity is a course that explore topics around serving newcomers with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and sex characteristics. 

Course duration: 5 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: December 15, 2021

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Starts September 20, 2021 | Ends October 14, 2021 | Free for members

SETTLEMENT TRANSITION PROCESSES

Online, Facilitated

Participants will become familiar with various concepts related to acculturation, settlement, acculturative stress (culture shock), post-traumatic stress, and the role of settlement agencies related to settlement and transition processes. They will also become familiar with challenges that occur during settlement and learn strategies to address these challenges. 

Course duration: 4 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: July 1, 2021

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Starts October 1, 2021 | Ends November 1, 2021 | Free for members

PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND ETHICS

Online, Facilitated

In this course, participants will learn 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. Participants will examine a framework of guiding principles and its implications to the Career Practitioner role.

Course duration: 4 weeks
Credit hours: 15
Registration deadline: September 1, 2021

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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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