Caregiving & Counselling Program Receives New Title

Categories: News, Uncategorized

Columbia Bible College is pleased to announce that two of our closely-related programs are receiving new titles. Starting in September 2017, the Diploma in Caregiving will be known as the Diploma in Human Services, and the BA in Caregiving & Counselling will be rechristened the BA in Counselling & Human Services.

We asked Darrin Derksen, Program Director for Counselling & Human Services, to unpack these changes for the College and the community.

Explain what’s happening to the BA in Caregiving & Counselling and the Diploma in Caregiving.

I am very excited to announce that we are “re-branding” the Caregiving and Counselling program. It is important to be sure that the title of a program reflects the goals of the program, and is also recognizable in the marketplace.  Our program has evolved significantly from when it was originally created, so I want to ensure students’ diploma/degree best represents their field of study. In researching other programs in colleges and universities across Canada and the US, none use the term “caregiving.”

Our program emphasizes both the theory of counselling, as well as the heart of Christian service. Therefore, the diploma program will be titled as a Diploma in Human Services, and the degree will be titled a BA in Counselling and Human Services. We surveyed students to get some feedback on a new program title, and they overwhelmingly concurred. I should also note, that the title change does not change the courses already in place, but the diploma/degree titles represent a better description of what we are offering to today’s marketplace.

Why did you choose the term ‘Human Services’? Can you tell us about ‘Human Services’ as an occupation and as an area of study? Why is “Human Services” a good fit for our existing programs?

Human Services is a title that reflects a multi-disciplinary knowledge base with practical support for people coping with numerous struggles such as economic disadvantage, mental health issues, challenges with addiction, familial issues, or criminal justice. In other words, a student will learn from a variety of disciplines how to serve those that struggle to manage themselves.

This reflects what the Counselling & Human Services program offers. At Columbia, students in either the diploma or degree program will be learning how to serve people through the lens of psychology, theology, anthropology, philosophy, communications, and practical service learning. Students are not just serving the church, but also the community at large. In all walks of life, people need support, and we are preparing students to be able to provide that support.

 What kind of career and education outcomes have you seen from grads of the Diploma and BA programs? Will the new names change those outcomes at all?

Diploma students are exposed to the many topics involved in caring for people in a variety of settings. Potential opportunities would be roles of direct service to individuals with physical or intellectual impairment or developmental issues, or to work with agencies that support similar populations. Ultimately, diploma students will most likely use this knowledge to pursue further training in an area of speciality.

Degree students gain a deeper knowledge base that prepares them for a career in residential care, in supporting at-risk children and youth, or in serving as a support worker in the community. Degree students are also fully prepared to enter into graduate programs in the field of Counselling Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy.

The outcomes of the diploma and degree programs are no different than they have been in the last number of years. The new titles more accurately represents their true potential, and how the workplace will recognize the graduates’ credentials.

Darrin Derksen, teaching Social Psychology

The Caregiving & Counselling programs consistently draw a high number of new students. Why do you think that is?

Over and over, what our grads say they are most thankful for is the integration of both psychology and theology. Serving people with a Christian worldview helps students value people as God’s creation, regardless of their struggle or disability. Students have a hope that God will use them in any situation He calls them to; that no act of kindness is a waste. A smile, a laugh, a conversation, a cup of coffee can all be used to bring hope to humanity.

Students want to make a difference. Whether a student graduates and enters the workforce,  or pursues a graduate degree in counselling – students value both the education, and the practical experiences they have had at CBC.

What are your goals for continuing to develop the Caregiving & Counselling programs going forward?

With the new program titles in place, I hope to continue to grow the program’s transferability and recognition in both the Christian and mainstream college/university education system.

Our degree is already recognized by Counselling Psychology MA programs from institutions such as TWU, Adler School of Psychology, Yorkville University, and Providence Theological Seminary, as well as the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy at ACTS Seminary. Other schools consider our students on a case by case basis, and I would like to build more relationships for both course transferability and MA program entry.

I also hope to build more relationships with community organizations who will benefit from graduates of our program. We already have several organizations in the community who employ our graduates, and I would like to broaden our program’s recognition.

Learn more about the Counselling & Human Services program.

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