Frequently Asked Questions

Am I right for this program?

If this program makes you excited about the change you want to make in your community, if you are looking to build your tools and skills, if you want to build networks, then yes, you are the right person for this program. 

Typical Applicants

SFU Community Economic Development takes a very personal approach to recruitment and review of applications to the program. Our program attracts students from across a large swath of roles in community and economic development including:

  • First Nations’ government officials and community members;
  • Staff or volunteers in economic development organizations such as Community Futures or regional economic development entities;
  • Chambers of Commerce or Business Improvement Associations;
  • Employees in the corporate sector where there is interest in community participation and corporate social responsibility
  • Staff or volunteers in non-profit sector organizations with a CED focus such as credit union foundations, anti-poverty organizations, environmental organizations, and housing societies;
  • Government employees who have economic development in their portfolio, such as regional officers at the Ministry of Rural Development, etc.;
  • Social entrepreneurs & staff of social enterprises;
  • Elected and administrative officials from the local, provincial, and federal levels. Recent alumni have included a diverse array of officials from the Chief Administrator of the Village of Telkwa to the Member of Parliament for Courtenay—Alberni.

How much does the program cost?

Tuition is $4,995, plus a non-refundable $75 application fee. 

When do I have to pay?

Your place in the program is not secured until you have paid your tuition in full.

Are there any bursaries available?

At the moment we have no bursaries available. However, many of our students have found some help with the tuition from a variety of sources. These include employer contributions, band sponsorship, special educational funds, and approaching funding institutions directly.

Additionally, you may be eligible for one or more of the following:

  • The BC Employer Training Grant is a possibility for employers providing training to current and new employees. Under the Workforce Training Stream eligible employers can apply for 80% of tuition and textbook costs up to $300,000 per employer. Bring your entire team along for the learning journey and make a considerable impact in your community!
  • Scholarships of $3,000 for Indigenous students through the NIEEF program sponsored by Cando. 
  • Columbia Basin Trust’s Training Fee Support Program, up to $1,000 or $7,500, depending on eligibility.
  • Canada-Alberta Job Grant offers up to $15K per person.
  • Canada-Yukon Job Grant offers up to $10K per trainee.

Feel free to contact us if you would like some help brainstorming ways to find some financial help.

How much time will I spend on the program?

The Certificate Program for Community Economic Development is a part-time program built to give you maximum learning and hands-on experience, while still giving you the ability to balance your other life obligations.

Currently the program is composed of online courses that you can complete primarily on your own time. Each month you usually have two courses. For each course there is about six hours of video content you can watch on your own, one live "lunch and learn", and then associated discussion topics and a quiz. There are no required readings, though there are some optional readings if you are interested. If you keep a steady pace, you might spend five hours per week on the program; assignments have a set deadline to help you keep pace. 

Near the end of the program, you will work on a community project. This will add time to your schedule, but how much is mostly dependent on you. It could be as little as two or three hours per week if you are strategic with your work. 

When does the program start?

We now admit to the program continuously: you can start any time and join with the group that's in progress and welcome new students as you move along. 

Apply today!

Can I just take one or two courses?

Yes! We now offer individual registration in many of our courses. Start dates vary. See this page for up-to-date information.  

If you decide to take the full certificate, you'll be able to count any individual courses towards it. 

How do I earn the Certificate?

To earn the Certificate in Community Economic Development you must:

  • maintain a B+ average - earn a minimum of a C+ in each of the courses
  • attend 100% of online, live courses

(Certificate Programs are governed by the Senate and require a minimum of 120 instructional hours.)

We expect all students will be able to complete the certificate program within the 8-months of the program duration. 

How are the courses graded?

Each course has its own grading formula. The grading formula is included in the syllabus. Some of the courses are graded based solely on your participation. Read each course syllabus and know the grading scheme before the course begins.

What is the grading scale?

Excellent performance:

  • A+ 95 – 100%
  • A 90 – 94%  

Good performance:

  • A- 85 – 89% 
  • B+ 80 – 84% 
  • B 75 – 79% 

Satisfactory performance:

  • B- 70 – 74% 
  • C+ 65 – 69% 

Marginal/Unsatisfactory performance:

  • C 60 - 64% C- 55 – 59% 
  • D 50 – 54%

Fail or did not complete course requirements:

  • F < 50% 
  • W Withdraw: student officially withdrew from class

Can I transfer the SFU Community Economic Development courses to another university if I want to continue my studies in economic development?

Yes! At the moment, the only post secondary institution who officially accepts our courses as transferable is Cape Breton University. Click here for more information about this arrangement. However, if you are thinking of continuing in another institution, we recommend you talk to them directly about your plans.

Have more questions? Contact us at or 778-782-4425