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 $100 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, special educational funds, and approaching funding institutions directly.

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 60% of tuition and textbook costs. If students live and work in a remote or rural community of less than 25,000 people, the employer may also be reimbursed for 60% of the employee's travel costs. 

There are also potential scholarships for Indigenous students through the NIEEF program.

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. 

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 hours per week if you are strategic with your work. 

What are the exact dates of the Spring 2022 program?

In the Spring 2022 certificate year:

  • Online courses from January 17, 2022 to October 31, 2022.

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 in-person courses

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

We expect all students to complete the certificate program within the 8-months of the program duration. However, if there is a necessary interruption to your participation because of personal or work issues, you may have up to two years to complete the requirements. This allows us to have some flexibility in the case of an emergency. See the refund policy for details. 

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 the University of Cape Breton. 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.

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