The NVIT Bachelor of Social Work program will be offered in the BC Lower Mainland beginning in September 2008 at our Burnaby campus.
About the NVIT BSW program
Mission Statement: The NVIT Social Work Program emphasizes the knowledge and skills relevant to both First Nations and mainstream individuals, families and communities. The school is committed to the principles of social justice and community healing and change. NVIT works to increase students' knowledge and skills based on First Nations culture, values, and philosophy. Elders are a valued part of our program. Through classroom experience and critical analysis, students are encouraged to design an ethical social work framework valuing diversity, equality, respect, and the dignity and worth of all peoples.
Our Aboriginal-centred curriculum privileges indigenous knowledge- values, beliefs and practices- that create effective and respectful helping relationships and integrates relevant contemporary social work theory and practice. Some of our required courses are: Aboriginal Life Cycles, Decolonizing Social Work Practice, Aboriginal Perspectives on Social Policy, Ethical Practice in Aboriginal Communities, and Cultural Immersion.
Our courses are taught primarily by Aboriginal social work educators from the Nlakapamux, Sto:lo, Okanagan, Heiltsuk, Anishnabe and Metis peoples.
All students begin the program with the Cultural Immersion course. It is held each Fall in the Nicola Valley on the traditional territories of the Nlakapamux and Okanagan peoples. Traditional teachers and elders facilitate traditional ceremonies, share teachings, stories and songs, and help students establish strong relationships and a safe, respectful learning environment.
Our BSW program is offered in affiliation with Thompson Rivers University and is nationally accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education. This affiliation agreement is a mutual collaboration between NVIT and TRU to provide an opportunity for students to complete a BSW degree at the NVIT, and to enhance the programs of both institutions by building on the strengths and expertise that each contributes.
The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology is BC'S ABORIGINAL PUBLIC POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTE.
NVIT was formed as a private institute in 1983 by the founding bands of Coldwater, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola Bands. Working from a basement in the downtown core of Merritt, three instructors taught thirteen students the basics of what is now our Natural Resource Technology program. The program was taught in an environment that promoted traditional ways and fostered student success, a vision that sticks with NVIT today. Gradually building its program offerings to address Aboriginal community needs such as socio-economic marginalization, environmental concerns and political issues with programs like Social Work, Natural Resource Technology and Aboriginal Community Economic Development, NVIT became and still remains a unique and important public post-secondary institute in Canada.
In 1995, NVIT was designated as a Provincial Institute under the British Columbia College and Institute Act making our programs and courses accredited within the province. After spending years in the downtown core of Merritt, the long awaited Eagles Perch campus opened in 2002. Five years later, another campus was added in Vancouver alongside the opening of much needed student housing in Merritt. Plans are now underway to build a meeting and conference center in the near future at our Merritt location.
Growth has also come in our enrolment as communities outside of the Nicola Valley, like Bella Coola, Kingcome Inlet and Chase, took advantages of our renowned Community Education Department last year, taking programs important to the unique needs of their community and community members.
Education is now more accessible than ever here at NVIT where students can earn credits toward a university degree on campus in Merritt or Vancouver, online or in your own community.
Through partnerships with Thompson University and Royal Roads University, students can start and finish their Social Work degree or Bachelors of Commerce degree respectively, on campus.
Looking back, growth has come from all facets but the commitment and vision of NVIT and the Nicola Valley's five local bands remains the same. Exploring knowledge from an Aboriginal perspective is giving our people the Education, Strength and Leadership we need to enhance our communities.
For an Application Package contact: Stephanie Williams 604.602.3422
For Admissions and program information: Gord Bruyere, MSW
BSW Program Coordinator
604-602-3408 (Burnaby campus)
250-378-3379 (Merritt campus)