Aboriginal communities have many opportunities and challenges in addressing the needs of a growing population, the legacy of colonization and the urgent need for improved health and education. The administration needs in First Nations communities and Aboriginal health organizations directly relate to the transfer of health programs and services from Health Canada to control by First Nations communities.
Developed in consultation with Aboriginal communities by the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and UBC Continuing Studies, the UBC Certificate in Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program (AHCAP) is designed for those interested in acquiring knowledge to assist with their communities’ health care administration needs in building capacity and strengthening leadership and administration.
The award-winning UBC Certificate in Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program (AHCAP) helps Aboriginal communities increase their capacity to deliver services, coordinate programs and promote the health of their people.
- Delivered both in-class and online
- Courses taught by Aboriginal healthcare professionals
- Requires completion of five residency weekends at UBC plus online assignments and discussions over 11 months
- Program cost is $5,350
- After this program you can expect to increase your capacity to deliver services, coordinate programs and promote the health of people in your community
- Next program scheduled to start in January 2017
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The certificate program provides skills and knowledge specifically focused on the needs of the 273 Bands, First Nations and Tribal councils, as well as over 140 health centres, friendship centres and Aboriginal health service organizations in the province. It addresses labour market needs by providing health and community administration training in health and social services, BC's second biggest service sector employer. AHCAP also provides skills and knowledge needed in urban Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health and other programs and organizations in a supportive learning environment. AHCAP will enhance your employability skills by providing the most current knowledge in the field.
Who It’s For
The certificate program is designed to help Aboriginal communities increase their capacity to deliver services, coordinate programs and promote the health of their people. The program also expands its focus beyond health delivery to include environmental and other community health concerns. Past participants have included community health managers and directors, social workers, substance abuse and addictions specialists, family counsellors, and family support workers.
Offered in partnership with the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, the program is interdisciplinary and focuses on the Aboriginal community. The curriculum is delivered via in-person instruction and in-class interaction (50%) and online content and discussion (50%). You require access to the Internet for the duration of the course.
In-class sessions for the first four residencies take place from Thursday to Saturday at UBC Point Grey campus approximately every second month (see the program schedule). The last residency takes place Friday to Sunday at the end of the program. Courses include approximately eight weeks of online and individual work including readings, discussions and assignments.
Courses in the program feature peer learning through online discussions to develop team-building skills, shared learning opportunities and a supportive environment. During the online sessions, respond to assigned questions by posting to an online discussion board. Students have access to all online postings, and responses form the basis of weekly discussions. Posting on time and engaging with other people’s work every week is key to success and to the richness of the course.
You can complete the certificate in one year as outlined in the program schedule in the program handbook. The flexible nature and mixed-mode delivery format facilitates the participation of Aboriginal community members by minimizing the length of time you need to be at UBC, away from your family and job. If, through unplanned circumstances, you cannot complete the entire program, you may apply the following year to complete the modules needed to qualify for the AHCAP certificate.
Program participants are assessed in individual courses according to University assessment guidelines to ensure successful acquisition of required skills and concepts. Assessment is based on classroom attendance and participation, online participation, and grading of assignments, exams, presentations and projects.
UBC Continuing Studies recommends that students have the following technology requirements to keep up with the program and complete projects and assignments online.
Note: On the first weekend of the program, you are shown how to access the online portion of this program. Lessons on software skills are not part of the program. You should be able to do word processing, send email messages and manage attachments to do the online portions of the course.
AHCAP focuses on health and community administration. The curriculum also includes:
- communication and leadership
- Aboriginal history related to health services
- Aboriginal community and human resource development models
- Information Technology (IT) applications and how technological change can be incorporated into the delivery of effective Aboriginal health and community administration.
Please download the program schedule to view key program dates.
The following courses comprise the AHCAP certificate. All course modules provide opportunities to practise critical thinking as well as to develop oral, written and electronic communication skills for organizational and interpersonal settings. The order in which courses are offered is subject to change.
Course 1: Communication and Leadership
To prepare current and future Aboriginal health and community administrators to be effective in their role and in their communities.
- Leadership module includes conflict resolution, change management, motivating staff, managing meetings and problem-solving techniques.
- Written Communications module includes proposal/grant writing, report writing, medical terminology, health care forms, promotion and public relations, and effective digital communications.
- Oral communications includes developing and delivering effective presentations.
Course 2: Fundamentals of Administration
To acquire the ability to effectively apply administration knowledge, skills and resources to manage programs and services in Aboriginal communities.
This course is composed of modules for acquiring knowledge of processes in traditional community administration and contemporary health administration.
- Financial Management Module includes information on how to apply knowledge of legislation, policy and funding structures in Aboriginal health to current accountability issues in Aboriginal communities and the student's own community.
- Human Resources module includes roles and responsibilities (organizational and accountability structure), stakeholder relations and negotiations (e.g., labour relations, health-related contracts), recruitment and retention.
- Community Development module includes program planning and needs assessments.
Course 3: Policy and Research
Students learn to analyze current policies, legislation and programs with a view to the government and traditional and legal environment of health and community administration. Students also learn how to assess and apply research to improve health and community administration.
This course is composed of modules for acquiring knowledge of processes in traditional community protocols and contemporary health and research policies.
- Canada Health Act module includes review and analysis of existing health policies and programs specifically relating to Aboriginal health and community administration.
- Navigating the Aboriginal health system: federal, provincial, regional, urban and First Nations Health authorities
- Research Opportunities in Aboriginal Communities module addresses issues around utilization of research and intellectual property rights.
- Health Data module includes confidentiality issues, the usefulness of precise data ethics in information sharing and legal issues.
Course 4: Information Management
Students learn to assess appropriate use of information technology systems for the effective administration of health care in Aboriginal communities.
This course is composed of modules for acquiring knowledge of the dynamic environment of electronic health records management. Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Management module includes the Freedom of Information Act.
- Applied Information Management Technology module includes health information systems and liability.
- Introduction to IT (Information Technology) Applications Module (note: training in IT software programs is not part of the AHCAP curriculum).
- Information Literacy module offers development in the ability to locate, evaluate and use information to become independent life-long learners.
Course 5: Indigenous Health and Wellness
Students learn the relationship of Aboriginal history to the health of individuals and their communities. Students learn strategies for effective administration of appropriate health care in Aboriginal communities with regard to models of traditional health systems and current medical approaches.
This course is composed of modules for acquiring knowledge of traditional and contemporary health systems.
- Traditional Health Systems module includes processes for defining community-specific traditional health systems.
- Current Traditional and Contemporary Health Systems module includes application of models and health care systems for effective delivery of health care in Aboriginal communities.
- Aboriginal History and Health module includes an overview of issues in Aboriginal Health Administration.
This program also includes a practicum component, which may entail:
- on-site visits to identified Aboriginal health and community administration offices at an Aboriginal facility or organization
- mentoring by Aboriginal organizations and/or communities with trained administrators
- speakers and assignments that reflect actual administrative duties and requirements for record keeping of a health administrator.
Total program cost is $5,350. Save $100 if you pay the entire program fee by the beginning of the program.
All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change. Fees may be paid by Visa®, MasterCard®, cash, money order or certified cheque.
Cancellation and Withdrawal Policies
Learners who withdraw from the AHCAP program 30 days before the program start date receive a full refund, less a $150 cancellation fee. If you withdraw with less than 30 days’ notice, you should notify UBC Continuing Studies in writing of the reasons for the withdrawal. After this date, tuition fees are non-refundable, except for serious reasons such as bereavement or a documented medical condition (supported by a doctor’s letter from a practising medical physician of the British Columbia Medical Association), in which case the refund is processed on a pro-rated basis for the unfinished portion of the program. The refund is pro-rated from the time the doctor’s letter is received by the administrative staff and the $150 cancellation fee will apply. A student who withdraws from the AHCAP certificate may not register again until being re-admitted to the program.
The UBC Certificate in Aboriginal Health and Community Administration program has a formal admissions procedure that ensures quality education and student support services. The admissions process also helps to ensure that the needs, intentions and expectations of participants are adequately matched to the program's objectives and capabilities. Admission to the program may be limited by the availability of courses, facilities and instructors.
To accommodate learners from a variety of backgrounds, the admission requirements for the UBC Certificate in Aboriginal Health and Community Administration program are fairly broad. However, all applicants should have the following:
- graduation from Grade 12 (or equivalent)
- Internet access (including an email address) and the ability to do basic word processing
- experience in an Aboriginal health care program or facility or experience working in an Aboriginal community.
Applicants should also have the ability to work as part of a team.
Evaluation of Applications
The admissions committee evaluates applications based on the following criteria:
- compatibility of applicant's intent with current program goals and objectives
- suitability of previous education and work experience
- probability of benefit to an Aboriginal community.
Once applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified by email regarding acceptance in the program.
Before applying to this program, please read and understand the terms and conditions in the program handbook. Download and read the handbook carefully as it contains important information about the program and its policies.
If you would prefer to receive the handbook in the mail, contact us with your complete name and full mailing address.
Complete the online application form or use the form located at the end of the program handbook. In addition to completing the application form thoroughly, you should also provide a resumé documenting educational achievements and relevant work or volunteer experience to support your application.
Send your competed application:
UBC Certificate in Aboriginal Health and Community Administration
UBC Continuing Studies
University of British Columbia
410-5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
604.822.0388 (Attention: Cynthia Tam)
Applicants who send their application by regular mail or fax should include their resumé.
To discuss eligibility, prior experience and program relevance, please contact us.
Applications accepted up to four weeks in advance of the program start date, if there is space. Apply early to secure your place in the program. Please download the program schedule for key program dates.
Most AHCAP applicants are successful in securing funding through their Band or other sources. The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health also offers limited bursary funds for those unable to obtain funding through these means. Click here for more information about applying to the AHCAP Bursary Fund.