tiwsemawtx campus Powell River

WEST - Workplace Essential Skills and Training Program

Adult Special Education Program

  • Program Length – 38 weeks
  • Credential – Certificate (Non-credit)
  • Start Date – September 14, 2022
  • End Date – June 16, 2023

The Workplace Essential Skills and Training Certificate Program

The WEST program is specifically targeted for students with developmental and cognitive disabilities, and is designed to assist students' development with the personal, interpersonal, and employment skills required to obtain and maintain employment. The overarching program goal is for students to gain the skills necessary to foster personal growth and independence.

The non-credit certificate program is comprised of 3 modules of WEST starting with an additional one-week Student Orientation and finishing with two weeks of Job Search Skills, and will be delivered over 38 weeks; however, students will obtain a statement of completion for completing specific modules.

Student learning will be evaluated in each course. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate, at the very least, an acceptable level of competence (50% or greater), for identified course objectives. Competencies will be measured and graded through the use of a variety of evaluation tools (i.e. assignments, group work, tests, role-plays and demonstrations, etc). Grades (both letter and numerical), will identify levels of competency as per VIU's grading scale.

Program Outline

Student Orientation – Essential and Study Skills – September 14 – 15, 2022

Module 1 – Workplace Foundations - September 19 – December 2, 2022

  • WPFD 001 – Personal Development Skills
  • WPFD 002 – Attitudes on the Job
  • WPFD 003 – Workplace Safety
  • WPFD 004 – Introduction to Computers: Internet, Email & Social Networking
  • WPFD 005 – Student Success
  • WPFD 006 – Workplace Foundations Practicum

Module 2 – Customer Service - January 3 – March 17, 2023

Module 3 – Retail and Food Services – April 3 – June 16, 2023

Job Search Supports – June 19 – June 30, 2023

Admission Requirements

The program is designed for adults with special needs who are ready to commit to learning and enhancing their skills. Admission to the program requires the following requirements:

  • High school graduation or completion of certificate; or
  • Minimum 17 years of age and out of high school for at least one year.

In addition, students must also meet the following criteria:

  • Diagnosis or history that identifies a difficulty with learning or a documented disability.
  • Ability to attend classroom and practicum independently.
  • Demonstrate the skills to perform program related tasks with strength and endurance.

Career opportunities

Graduates from the program obtain the skills to lead successful, independent lives. Our students find employment in various setting such as: Customer Service, Retail, Hospitality, Food Service, Child Care and Senior Care.


Tuition is fully funded for eligible applicants.

How to Apply

Applications for admission - Deadline has been extended to August 15

  • Complete the application form.
  • Submit completed application form to PR.StudentAffairs@viu.ca or deliver to the front desk c/o: WEST Program, Vancouver Island University, #100 - 7085 Nootka Street, Powell River, BC V8A 3C6
  • Applicants will be invited to an interview to ensure suitability for entrance into the program.
  • Acceptance to the program is based on a successful application and interview.
  • A criminal record check may be required for some modules.

Contact Information

For more information or to book an appointment with an advisor call 1.604.485.2878 or email PR.StudentAffairs@viu.ca

Canada BC logo - funding provided by Government of Canada and Province of BC