Course Descriptions

Practitioner Training 

Professional Roles and Ethics for Settlement Workers

Module Code 2A
Format Classroom

Participants will become familiar with:

  • the functions of Immigrant Settlement Agencies (ISA’s)
  • the relationship between functions of ISA’s and the functions of general community service providers.
  • the roles and responsibilities of Settlement Practitioners. A professional Settlement Practitioner will provide information about the training and qualifications required for social workers in Alberta.
  • Guiding Principles for Social Work Practice and consider their applicability to settlement work.
  • several relevant Codes of Ethics, and look in depth at three ethical / practice issues: Personal / professional boundaries; Confidentiality and consent, Conflict of Interest.


Building Understanding of Cultural Communities

Module Code 2B
Format Classroom

Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the concepts of ‘ethnic group’, ‘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


Immigration Processes

Module Code 2C
Format Classroom

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 on-line and links appear within each of the tasks.

Settlement and Transition Processes (Migration, transition, and adaptation)

Module Code 2D
Format Classroom

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 adjustment.

Working with Interpreters 

Module Code 2E
Format Classroom

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

Basic Counseling Skills In A Cross Cultural Context 

Module Code 2F
Format Classroom

This module supports participants in defining their counseling role as settlement workers and helps them to recognize and develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge to be effective in that role. Participants explore roles and relationships in settlement counseling through various discussion activities. They are introduced to basic communication theory, learn and practice active listening and questioning skills, then integrate their learning by role playing an interview situation. Participants complete a self-assessment questionnaire before beginning the module. They review the self-assessment at the end of the course and identify goals and strategies for continued growth.

Referral Processes and Community Resources

Module Code 2G
Format Classroom

Coming soon. Module overview in development.


 Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Anti-Racism

Module Code 2H
Format Classroom

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 whether negatively or positively.  Participants will become aware of the psychology of anti-racism and methods of advocating for clients.

Client Needs Assessment and Action Plans

Module Code 2I
Format Classroom

This module will enable settlement practitioners to conduct needs assessment and assist clients in developing individualized goals and action plans appropriate to the client’s culture and life experience.  The participants will learn:

  • The theory behind needs assessment and explore their role in identifying gaps and developing action plans.
  • Processes used to support physical, social and emotional wellbeing of clients from diverse cultures and assist them to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles.

Strategies used to analyze and clarify client expectations and work with them to develop action plans appropriate to the client’s culture and life experience.


Facilitating Small Groups:  An Introduction

Module Code 2J
Format Classroom

The primary objective of this module is to enable participants to gain introductory-level knowledge and hands-on experiences, regarding 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 3-hour session, focusing on 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.

Facilitating Career Success in Canada

Module Code 2K (adapted)
Format Classroom

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 an 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.


Working with Individuals and Families with Special and Complex Needs

Module Code 2L
Format Classroom

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 and 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.

Working with Refugees with Complex Needs

Module Code 2L (adapted)
Format Classroom

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.


Collaborating to Provide Community Programs

Module Code 3A
Format Classroom

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.


Advocacy and Outreach

Module Code 3B
Format Classroom

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 the use of 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.

Community Development Processes

Module Code 3C
Format Classroom

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, namely locality development, social planning and social action.  Through the use of 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 practical application of the learning from this module.


Crisis Intervention / Conflict Resolution

Module Code 3D
Format Online

Module Overview: 

The course will equip settlement practitioners with best practices and resources and effective strategies in advocating for clients around crisis intervention and conflict resolution. Participants will enhance the interpersonal, communications and assessment skills and strategies required to deal with crises and conflicts in their workplace situations and will develop strong support system 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 workers, 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

Organizational Behaviour and Change

Module Code 3E
Format Classroom

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.


Volunteer Management

Module Code 3F
Format Classroom

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


Management Training 

Evaluative Thinking/Evaluating Programs

Module Code N/A
Format Blended, Webinar

AAISA has partnered with Earth Educators to develop and host our first online webinar series focused on evaluative thinking and evaluating programs. Managers who complete all 4 sessions will be credited for 15 hours of coursework. Webinars in the series will include:

  1. Overview Evaluation and Planning
  2. Implementation and Data Gathering
  3. Data Analysis and Interpretation
  4. Communicating the Evaluation of Results


Creating a Culture of Respect for LGBT People

Module Code N/A
Format Classroom

In response to the barriers newcomers face when accessing prevention and sexual health information, AAISA and 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 LGBT issues and needs within their work context, and will help to build understanding of how to become allies in creating safe spaces for LGBT colleagues and clients.