The Settlement Worker Seneca College Certificate program prepares graduates to assist immigrant and refugee newcomers to settle into their communities and schools. They provide direct, front-line services of support, information, referral, advocacy, and orientation for families through the process of Settlement. Students will learn the skills required to support newcomers and facilitate their successful integration into their new communities. Students obtain critical client interviewing and advocacy skills and learn how to navigate the services and supports available to their clients. Students learn about case management and settlement counselling, and review the cultural laws and norms that govern Canadian society. Life skills are another area of program focus, with topics ranging from internet safety to public transportation systems.

Career Opportunities

The Settlement Worker program prepares graduates for careers in social and community service areas. This program administers a variety of social assistance programs including those that assist clients in resolving personal and social problems. Graduates may find employment in government, and agencies such as those dealing with mental health, group housing and shelters, substance abuse centres, schools and correctional facilities among others.

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4 (C) or ENG4 (U)


  • Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the prerequisite course, its equivalent or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credit (see Academic Upgrading).

The following Seneca College course will be accepted in lieu of a high school credit for admission purposes:

  • ESL934. To determine placement in this course, you must complete the ELL100.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   

Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


Foundations of Settlement Workers

In this course, the participants are introduced to the role of the Settlement Worker and their scope of practice. Through class discussion, lectures, & case scenarios, the learner will explore confidentiality & privacy, Settlement philosophies of best practices, legalities and role boundaries, case management, conflict resolution, cultural competency, cultural sensitivity, relationship building and the expectations of the Settlement Worker.

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Advocacy and Professionalism

Settlement Workers need to advocate for the newcomers/immigrants to ensure their integration into their communities is successful. In this course the learner will participate in learning activities that demonstrate effective methods of advocating, ways to improve independence in their clients, how to mobilize/network for a resolution, protecting their clients from the media/exploitation and community building.

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Family/Individual Support Services

This course will focus on the services and supports that the Community & Settlement Worker has available to newcomers/immigrants and will provide you with the skills and assertiveness to effectively navigate them. Topics include; youth in Settlement, role of family dynamics/gender in immigrants, family Settlement planning, adaptations in becoming a Canadian family, and preparing a needs assessment for your clients.

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Case Management and Settlement Counselling

In this course the learner will discuss case management in relation to a family centered approach for the Newcomer. Settlement counselling will be discussed, in relation to effective counselling skills, individual and family counselling and employment counselling.

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Family/Individual Finances for Newcomers

This course examines the following finances; everyday banking, loans, insurance, housing expenses, budgeting, long term planning, taxes, investments and contracts and leases. Through discussion and case studies the learner will participate in creating household budgets, the rights and responsibilities associated with finances, consumer protection, and available sources of funding.

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Interviewing for Settlement Worker

This course will focus on interview skills, including the first intake meeting and establishing a professional relationship with your client. Other topics, that will be covered include, rapport and trust building, open ended versus closed ended interview questions, non-verbal communication, and managing client expectations.

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Safety and Life Skills for Newcomers

This course focuses on the integration of Newcomers into the Canadian way of life. Through discussions and group work the following topics will be addressed; driving, safety in the home, weather and seasons, neighbourhood safety, internet safety, emergency services, food safety, and transportation systems.

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Canadian Law, Culture and Integration

The course will focus on Canadian Law; including rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, social and political participation and elections. Canadian culture will also be addressed and how a newcomer would integrate into the Canadian culture and still maintain some of their own cultural heritage. Religion will also be discussed in this course.

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Health and Well-Being

In this course, the learner will study the following topics; health and well being, including healthy eating, and lifestyle, dental health, public health issues, addictions and prevention, and mental health.

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Program Outcomes

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Discuss the role of the settlement worker in establishing a community network for newcomers.
  2. Explain the importance of advocacy and professionalism in the Settlement sector.
  3. Prepare and plan an individual/family centered approach in the settlement of the newcomer.
  4. Discuss and explain Canadian Law, Culture and Integration.
  5. Demonstrate and apply the different interviewing and counseling techniques.


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Minimum Performance for Graduation

A student will be eligible to graduate from a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or graduate certificate program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.0.

A student will be eligible to graduate from a degree program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.5, which includes a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the courses in their main field of study and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in breadth courses.

Program Contacts

Maria Graziosi
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22512

Melanie Rubens
Program Coordinator
416-491-5050 ext.22589

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.