Youth Counselling Group

Applied Counselling Skills


Assiniboine Community College is proud to partner with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples to deliver this tuition-free Applied Counselling Skills certificate program. This program is open to Indigenous people (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), both status and non-status, living off reserve.

The certificate program is designed to develop proficiency in basic counselling in areas that include general counselling, cross-cultural communication, and family and youth issues. It is designed and aligned to provide culturally relevant recognized training for para-professional counsellors working in areas which may include health, education, private social services, government counselling agencies, corrections and/or First Nations.


  • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) living off reserve
  • A complete grade 12 or equivalent
  • Attend online program information session

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See for more information.

To be considered for this program, you must do the following:


Anyone interested in this program must attend an online information session as part of their application.

Please email for upcoming opportunities.


After attending the online information session, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  • Completed Assiniboine Online Application
  • Official transcript 
  • Proof of Indigeneity
  • Proof of living off-reserve

Applications are now open and will close on August 22, 2022.

Courses & Costs

The application fee, tuition, and books for the program are free to students accepted into the program. The program consists of 425 academic hours and a 100-hour paid practicum.

Counselling and Interviewing (PSSY – 0070) | 40 Hours

This course provides an introduction to basic counselling skills of attending, listening and empathy. Students learn to apply a functional model to counselling situations and integrate the basic skills. The course involves classroom and videotaped role-plays, observation and interactive learning.

Counselling (PSSY – 0014) | 80 Hours)

Counselling and Interviewing Students build on the skills learned in Counselling and Interviewing. Practical experience is gained through role playing, videotapes and observation.

Counselling Skills Theory (PSSY-0101) | 50 Hours

Students learn to ground counselling skills within a personal framework of counselling theories (Adlerian, Person-Centered, Feminist, Gestalt and Cognitive) with an emphasis on connecting theory and practice. Students continue to practice and deepen counselling skills while building a theoretical foundation that includes Indigenous knowledge.

Legal and Ethical Issues (LAWG-0092) | 25 Hours

Acquire knowledge of the various laws, procedures and legal issues involved in social, educational and cultural agencies. Develop an awareness of the moral and legal responsibilities of the counsellor.

Cultural Adaptation and Counselling (PSSY-0033) | 40 hours

Explore the concept of understanding ethical, knowledgeable and skilled counselling practice. By participating in role-play, simulation exercises, sharing and reflection, students learn about self and other for their counselling practice.

Family Counselling Skills (PSSY-0102) | 50 Hours

Examine the nature of family goals and function through developmental, systems and Indigenous relational models of family counselling. Students will develop a response system framework by applying family treatment planning tools.

Counselling Children and Youth (PSSY-0032) | 40 Hours

Familiarize yourself with child counselling and its process with this overview of the biological, sexual and cognitive transitions of children and adolescents. Study communication, maintenance and enhancement of self-esteem, identity acquisition, sexuality and independence. Explore current techniques, strategies and skills for counselling children and youth.

Indigenous Counselling (PSSY-0053) | 40 Hours

This course provides students with an analysis of how social determinants of health of Indigenous peoples are affected by colonialism and oppression. Students will then better understand how to address contemporary issues by integrating resilience and empowerment practices, respect for traditional Indigenous knowledge and trauma-informed care.

Trauma and Crisis (PSSY-0103) | 40 Hours

Students learn how individuals, families and communities respond biologically, socially and culturally to trauma and crisis. Students learn effective trauma and crisis intervention, planning and counselling skills.

Counselling Practicum Preparation (PEDV-0321) | 20 Hours

Students review legal and ethical responsibilities for counsellors practicing in the field, refresh their knowledge about client confidentiality, and complete interactive scenarios to prepare for maintaining professionalism in a variety of workplace environments. Students review College policies and responsibilities in preparation for being off-site for their upcoming practicum.

Counselling Practicum (PRAC-0273) | 100 Hours

During this guided and supervised learning experience, students develop, apply and demonstrate integrated counselling knowledge and skills. Practicum placements are comprised of 100 hours and may include social services, schools, corrections, youth groups or other similar settings.


Fast Facts

5 months
Program Start
Sept 12, 2022
Course Load
Program Details
Continuing Studies
Centre of Continuing Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Applied Counselling Skills program tuition-free?

The college is able to offer the Applied Counselling Skills program through a partnership with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

What does tuition-free mean for the Applied Counselling Skills program?

Tuition-free means that the program’s application fee, tuition, books and supplies are free to students accepted to the program. Students will still need to consider the remainder of the costs associated with taking a full-time daytime program such as housing, transportation, etc.

Do I require a criminal record and vulnerable sector check for acceptance into the Applied Counselling Skills program?

Student practicum placement will almost always require criminal and vulnerable sector record checks prior to being permitted to work in their organizations. Students with a positive record will not necessarily be excluded but will need to understand they may not be able to find a practicum placement or graduate from the program if their records are positive. It will help if students discuss this at the time of admission to help make a decision about their future success and possible employability barriers in the field of Applied Counseling

Will the Applied Counselling Skills program always be free?

No, this is a special funding opportunity currently available for only the September 2022 intake.

What time of day does the Applied Counselling Skills program run?

The Applied Counselling Skills program runs full-time during the day.

Is the practicum for the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program paid?

Yes, students receive a wage of $15/hour for up to 100 hours for their practicum.

How much is the application fee for the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program?

There is no application fee for this program. However, you must attend an information session before applying. It is a mandatory part of the application process.

Can I apply to this program as an international student on a study visa?

No, the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program is not open to international students. Please see for more information on studying as an international student.

How will applicants be chosen for the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program?

Acceptance to this program is based on a combination of attendance at an online program information session, your high school and/or post-secondary transcripts, and your ability to meet program admission requirements.

Who should take the Applied Counselling, tuition-free program?

The Applied Counselling Skills Certificate program is designed to develop proficiency in basic counselling skills as well as knowledge to aid others in their search for personal growth and healthy relationships. It is open to Indigenous people (status and non-status)

I can’t make either of the information session dates; can I still apply?

No, attendance at an information session is a mandatory part of the application process for the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program.

What does the Applied Counselling Skills, tuition-free program give me when I graduate?

Successful completion of the program will result in a certificate and will prepare you for employment as a para-professional helper with a variety of organizations..

Where do I get my transcripts if I’ve been out of high school for a long time?

Contact your high school or the student records area of the education department in the province where you completed high school. In Manitoba, visit the Student Records website.