SDS 496R - Applied Apprenticeship - Everything you need to know to apply


Course description

This course provides third and fourth-year Social Development Studies students with an opportunity for an unpaid apprenticeship in an applied setting. The course consists of two components:

1) The apprenticeship component normally requires a commitment of 6-8 hours per week for 10 weeks. Past placements have included organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Strong Start, The Centre for Community Based Research, Kids Ability, The Working Centre, The Volunteer Action Centre, and Carizon Family & Community Services.

2) The seminar component requires students to meet bi-weekly, as a group, with a course coordinator to set learning goals, to discuss issues arising from their apprenticeship, and to present their apprenticeship experiences and outcomes.

SDS 496R student and mentor

Seminars focus on conceptual learning while developing practical skills, and discussions frequently explore content from various courses both within Social Development Studies and other programs. Learning takes place on several different levels: the community and how an organization relates to other organizations; the organization itself and its work culture; and the personal and interpersonal areas as students carry out their activities.

Students submit "reflection papers" as part of the course requirements, in which they reflect on an experience in the placement that may have presented a challenge or unexpected situation. Often they examine the situation and how they responded to it while thinking how they might deal with it differently next time. Students are also required to develop learning goals which they work on during the term and discuss with their mentors in placement. Frequently the goals represent skills that students wish to develop and they are encouraged to "try new things they may not have thought of."

Note: This course is offered on a credit/non-credit basis only. 


  • Level at least 3A
  • Typically reserved for SDS Major students
  • Department consent required

More information about SDS 496R

SDS 496R Important forms and dates:

Application forms - due in September

Application package and reference form available here - only available in September - to apply for the following winter term.

Application, résumé, and reference form due - September 2021 deadline TBD. All application materials must be submitted to

Interviews - dates will be provided in the application package

Course runs - winter term

All application materials must be submitted to

Deadline for applications for Winter 2021: TBD

Late or incomplete applications will be not be accepted.

Placement forms - due in January

The supervisor placement forms must be submitted by the placement supervisor to before the placement begins and the original signed hard-copies are given to the student. The student will deliver them to the SDS Admin Assistant or instructor before the end of January.

Supervisor's placement forms -

1. Social Development Studies Letter of Understanding

2. Letter to placement employers

3. Pre-placement due-diligence checklist

Student's placement forms -

Specialization approval form  - submitted by the student by the first class in January.

Pre-placement safety and orientation checklist  - is to be completed on the 1st day of placement by the student with the supervisor's guidance (signed by both). The original signed hard-copy is submitted by the student to the SDS Admin Assistant or instructor in January.

Late placement forms may distrupt placement.


SDS 496R Submission checklist:  I have...

1. Completed and submitted the SDS 496R application package.

2. Provided the name of my academic or professional reference. And have I also provided my academic or professional referee with the reference form and asked them to submit it before the deadline.

3. Provided my availability for all of the interview dates listed in the white sections on the application form. (Greyed-out secetions are unavailable).

4. Provided a copy of my résumé.

5. Enrolled in my regular, full, course load for the Winter term (Note: Do not enroll in SDS 496R, you do not have department consent until you have successfully completed the interview process and been notified. If you have questions, contact your academic advisor).

6. Arranged to have reliable transportation to get to my placement location.

Late or incomplete applications will be not be accepted.