A social worker and older adult smiling - promoting university of Calgary faculty of social work graduate Certificate with Edmonton residencies at our downtown Edmonton campus

Community-Informed Practice for Health & Well-being

On Campus & Online

This certificate is offered mostly online. You'll be required to attend two on campus residencies at our Edmonton campus.

Online courses consist of a mix of real time classes at set times and learning that can be done on your own schedule.

Internet access

You'll require regular access to an internet connection, and you'll need a camera and microphone.

A high speed internet connection is recommended, but not required.

Test your Internet Connection

8 months

You'll begin your Certificate studies in the fall semester (September), and the total completion time is eight months.

You'll follow the UCalgary academic calendar and be given specific assignment deadlines.

A holistic approach to supporting mental health

Are you questioning the dominant, medicalized, diagnostic approach to mental health?

This certificate invites you to take a step back and question the dominant framework, by considering more holistic and community informed approaches to supporting mental health.

Coursework emphasizes conceptual and clinical skills to prevent illness and promote health and well-being. The courses emphasize micro, mezzo and macro-level interventions that are informed by feminist, critical, structural and postcolonial theories.  You'll learn advanced clinical practice skills in a variety of community settings that are defined by geography, membership or experience. Some community settings you'll study could include Indigenous, refugee, LGBTQ2+, disability and racialized communities, as well as post-disaster, and occupational and workplace communities. 

How we can, in some way, disentangle ourselves, or liberate ourselves from fully subscribing to the current, medically dominated view of mental health? it's incumbent upon social workers to critically analyze the way we engage with or challenge the dominant models of practice.

Dr. Richard Enns a researcher and professor with University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work's Edmonton campus

Dr. Rick Enns, PhD

Researcher, Professor and Instructor for Community-Informed Practice

Community-Informed Practice for Health and Well-being: Courses

Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives for Community-based Health and Wellness

An examination and critique of current and diagnostically-driven models of practice for health and well-being and consideration of alternative and community-based approaches informed by feminist, critical structural and postcolonial theories, as well transcultural and critical health and psychiatry perspectives.

Community-based Practice Models and Clinical Assessment for Community-based Health and Wellness

An examination of community-based health and wellness approaches including peer-support and recovery approaches, community-development approaches, social determinants of health and well-being, and social policy frameworks.

Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches I

Along with Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches II, this course will focus on requisite understandings and skills for community-based health and wellness in at least two diverse contexts including, but not limited to immigrant and refugee, post-disaster, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, disability, and racialized communities or contexts.

Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches II

Along with Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches I, this course will focus on requisite understandings and skills for community-based health and wellness practice in at least two diverse contexts not covered in SOWK 614 and including but not limited to immigrant and refugee, post-disaster, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, disability, and racialized communities or contexts. 

What will I learn? Dr. Rick Enns has over 30 years experience in psychiatric setting as a social worker. In this interview he explains why he believes this specialization is so important for clinical social workers. Read the interview

Admission Requirements

  1. A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited/recognized institution.
  2. A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
  3. The equivalent of two years of full-time paid work or a minimum of 3,000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field by the application deadline.
    What is relevant social work and human service experience? 
  4. English Language Proficiency

    Offers of admission are valid for the term to which you apply.



An important part of your graduate certificate experience are the skill-building residencies, where you apply the knowledge and theory you've learned.

Two on campus Edmonton residencies 

On Campus Scheduled Dates

  • Sept. 6 - 7, 2024 (On campus)
  • Nov. 22 - 23, 2024 (Virtual)
  • Jan. 24 - 25, 2025 (On campus)
  • March 21 - 22, 2025 (Virtual)

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
there are regularly scheduled online lectures weekday evenings in addition to residencies
Note: residency dates are tentative and subject to change

Degree Award

Your degree must be awarded prior to the start of the program. We cannot accept a letter of completion as a replacement for degree award. Your final transcript noting your degree must be received by June 30.

How to apply?

Applications open: Jan. 15, 2024
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Test scores, if applicable

Follow our step-by-step instructions

Information Session

Missed our previously scheduled information sessions? 

Watch the recording

Earned your BSW abroad?

If you completed an undergraduate degree in Social Work or equivalent in another country (outside Canada/USA), you must have your degree assessed by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) as equivalent to a Canadian BSW, prior to applying to the MSW program.

Learn more