Developmental Services Worker

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Program Code: 1207

School: School of Community and Health Studies

Credential: Diploma

Program Type: Post-secondary program

Program Length: 2 years/ 4 semesters

Start Date: Fall

Location: Ashtonbee Campus


Telephone: 416-289-5303

Centennial College's Developmental Services Worker program is highly regarded by established professionals, graduates, families, service agencies and people who have intellectual disabilities.

The two-year offering falls under the School of Community and Health Studies umbrella and offers a strong foundation in the field of intellectual disabilities. As such, Developmental Services Worker courses ensure you are equipped with the critical skills and knowledge to start your career directly upon graduation.

The program curriculum reflects best practices, current and relevant knowledge, and addresses up-to-date issues. It emphasizes a deep understanding of:

  • The life experiences of people who have intellectual disabilities
  • The nature of intellectual disabilities
  • Values clarification
  • Analysis
  • Critical and reflective thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Affecting positive change
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Personal support requirements and techniques
  • Team skills
  • Time management
  • Accessing resources

Helping people to fill valued social roles as a part of society, teaching and the provision of personal support are among some of the skills you develop. These skills are applied through in-class, hands-on practice as well as field placement opportunities.

Once you complete the Developmental Services Worker program, you will support individuals of all ages who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Support can be provided to individuals in their homes, at work, in schools and to their families. Your goal as a Developmental Services Worker will be to enhance the capacity of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to function in all aspects of community living and to support their full inclusion in all aspects of society.

Semester 1
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-160/COMM-161 College Communications 1 Ashtonbee Campus
CS-102 Interpersonal Skills Development Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-110 Introduction to the Field Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-112 Valued Social Roles Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-115 The Nature of Intellectual Disability Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-121 Health Promotion And Personal Well-Being Ashtonbee Campus
GNED-135 Social Psychology Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 2
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-170/171 College Communication 2 Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-107 Pharmacology Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-113 Supports for Personal Health Care Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-119 Community, Family and Role Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-120 Introduction to Teaching Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-125 Preparation For Practice Ashtonbee Campus
GNED-500 Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 3
Course Code Course Title Location
DSWP-124 Working Effectively in a Small Group Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-206 Professional Writing Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-213 Universal Design Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-217 Field Seminar 1 Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-218 Field Placement 1 Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-220 Teaching Skills Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 4
Course Code Course Title Location
DSWP-223 Career Preparation Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-224 Research Skills Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-227 Field Seminar 2 Ashtonbee Campus
DSWP-228 Field Placement 2 Ashtonbee Campus
GNED General Education Elective Ashtonbee Campus

Companies Offering Jobs

Bloorview School, Common Ground Co-operative Inc., Community Living Toronto, Deohaeko Support Network, Durham Association for Family Respite Services, Nabors, Frontier College, Kerry's Place, L'Arche Toronto, L'Arche Daybreak, Richmond Hill, New Visions, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto District School Board , York Region School Board, Durham District School Board

Program Highlights

  • School of Community and Health Studies faculty is guided by years of study and work in the field of intellectual disabilities and by personal relationships with people who have intellectual disabilities.
  • Coursework includes projects, seminars, community observations, Internet searches, teamwork and electronic communication.
  • The supervised field placements are offered in semester 3 (two days per week) and semester 4 (three days per week).
  • The location of Centennial College's Ashtonbee Campus enables you to access a large number of field placement opportunities and employment opportunities upon graduation.

As a Developmental Services Worker program grad, you will have the ability to:

  • Conduct yourself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships
  • Provide person-directed supports and services that respect and promote self-determination for people with developmental disabilities
  • Provide for the safety of people with developmental disabilities, self and others in compliance with all applicable legislation, regulations and standards of practice
  • Support the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities
  • Employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities
  • Provide leadership in the development of inclusive communities
  • Develop strategies and plans that lead to improved personal job performance and the maintenance of you own well-being

Educational Partners

Qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in an articulated program with select universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow you to apply academic credit towards further study.

The Developmental Services Worker program's educational partners are:

  • Davenport University (Bachelor of Science - Health Services Administration)
  • Guelph-Humber (Bachelor of Applied Science in Family and Community Social Services)
  • Lakehead University (Bachelor of Social Work)
  • Nipissing University (various Bachelor of Arts degrees)
  • Ryerson University (Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies. Graduates with a B grade average or better can also apply to Ryerson's two-year post-diploma degree completion program, Bachelor of Applied Arts in Disability Studies)
  • University of Windsor (Bachelor of Arts)
  • University of Windsor (Bachelor of Arts Honours Disability Studies)

Placement Partners

Bloorview School, Common Ground Co-operative Inc., Community Living Toronto, Deohaeko Support Network, Durham Association for Family Respite Services, Nabors, Frontier College, L'Arche Toronto, L'Arche Daybreak, Richmond Hill, New Visions, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto District School Board

Career Outlook

  • Educational assistant
  • Support worker
  • Residential support worker
  • Family support worker
  • Employment supporter
  • Job coach
  • Community disability worker
  • Integration facilitator

Academic Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older)
  • English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission

Note: You will receive an invitation to attend an Developmental Service Worker admission session shortly after you apply to the program. It is important that you attend the session to make sure that this program is the right fit for you.

1. Apply Online

Are you an International Student? Apply directly to Centennial College here.

If you are applying through the Second Career Strategy, please apply at the Employment Training Centre for Second Career (Progress Campus). Second Career Strategy is a funding initiative for those who have been laid-off and are in need of training. For more information go to Second Career Strategy.

If you have previously attended a full time program at Centennial College, you may be eligible for a Program Transfer. Visit Enrolment Services at any Campus for information.

All other applicants must apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $95 must accompany applications. The fee is payable online, by telephone, online banking, by mail, or in person to For more information go to Application Fees.

2. Submit Documents

Current Ontario high school students and graduates from Ontario high schools: Notify your guidance counsellor that you have applied to college and your school will forward transcripts to Centennial College via

Graduates of college/university, or high school outside Ontario but within Canada: You are responsible for requesting that your educational institute sends any required documents and transcripts to

Applicants who attended school outside of Canada: If you are submitting transcripts to meet admission requirements, you must have the transcripts assessed by an independent credential assessment agency such as World Education Services (WES) or International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS).

For more information go to Submitting your Transcripts.

3. Confirm Your Offer of Admission

Offers of Admission are sent by mail to eligible applicants. When you receive your offer, you must login to your account at and confirm before the Deadline to Confirm noted in your offer letter.

You may confirm only one college and one program offer at a time.

You must confirm your offer by the Deadline to Confirm noted in your Offer of Admission letter or your seat may be given to another applicant.

When you confirm your Offer of Admission at Centennial College you are given access to your personal myCentennial account where you can check your email, grades, register for courses, pay tuition fees, and see your class timetable.

4. Pay Fees

Centennial fees statements are sent by email to your personal email account and to your myCentennial email account. Fees statements are not mailed.

You must make a minimum payment by the Fees Deadline noted in your Fees Statement or your seat may be given to another applicant.

5. Build Your Timetable (Register for Courses)

Build your timetable (web-register for courses) at

Fall registration begins mid-July
January registration begins mid-December
May registration begins mid-April

Your web-registration will not open if:

You have not submitted your minimum fee payment by the deadline
You received a Conditional Offer of Admission and you have not met the conditions of your offer.

Once you have paid your fees or have made appropriate arrangements, register for your courses online through myCentennial.

Fees noted below are estimates only. Tuition is based on two semesters, beginning Fall 2015.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Incidental Fees Total
Canadian $2,767.00 $914.00 $3,681.00
International $12,400.00 $2,109.00 $14,509.00