Child, Youth and Family Studies
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it possible to take the ECE or HSW or EA program completely online?
A. You can take all of these programs completely online. Practicums can be completed in your local community, assuming a suitable site can be secured. If you are working, caring for children, or have other commitments, you will need to ensure you can make arrangements to accommodate personal responsibilities so that you are able to complete your practicums.

Q. If I don’t want to take courses online can I take them in the classroom?
A. Most HSW and ECE specialty courses are all available in the classroom providing student numbers are high enough.   EA  specialty courses specialty courses are available online only. Please note that in all specialties, some coursework may be available online only.

Q. How do I complete practicums if I do not live in Cranbrook where the college is located?
A. We will strive to secure a practicum for you in your home community. Your local agencies or schools must meet the supervision expectations for the program you are registered in. If a suitable site cannot be secured, the student is responsible for all costs of transportation, accommodation, meals, etc., that are incurred during practicum. 

Q. When can I start taking classes?
A. Classes (face-to-face and online) run on a semesterized system:  Fall (September to end December); Winter (January to mid April) and Spring (mid April to end June).  We have one intake per year, which begins in September.

On Occasion seats become available in some courses during the Winter or Spring semesters. When this is the case, qualified students who are on the program waitlist are able to take courses without being a fully registered CYFS student. practicum courses may not be taken prior to being accepted into the program. For more information, please contact Registration.                                            

Q. What are the workload requirements for CYFS programs?
A. As a full time student you are required to spend approximately 30 hours per week in ‘class time’ whether online or in the classroom.  You will also have several hours of homework each evening including class and practicum preparation time.  You will need to plan time for library research and group work. 

As a general guideline, a 45 hour (3 credit) course will require 5-7 hours per week.
A 60 hour (4 credit) course will require 7-12 hours per week.

As a full time student, working at a job during the school year is not recommended.

Q. Can I take the program part time?
A. Yes, you can do as many courses as you decide. There are three semesters, and courses are offered only once annually.  You are required to complete your certificate within 5 years..

Q. Do the courses transfer to University?
A. Many of our courses transfer to University programs. This information can be found on the individual course outlines. We also have "block transfer" agreements with some University degree programs. It depends which University you are planning to attend and which degree you are planning to complete. You are advised to ask the University for this information or check on the BC Council on Admissions and Transfers web site.

Q. How do I find out the costs for the programs?
A.  You can find the costs for the individual courses and programs using the online tuition calculator on the Tuition's page.

Q. How do I find out which books I need and how much they cost?
A. Please go to the College web site at:

Q. When can I apply to register?
A. You can apply to register in any CYFS program of study year-round for the annual September intake.

Q. Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
A. Please email the CYFS Coordinator at

Q. After I have applied and/or been accepted into the program, what can I do while I'm waiting for classes to start?

  • Get a copy of the 'Cites and Sources: An APA Documentation Guide" textbook which is used for every course in the program and learn about the expectations for how to set up your papers and use the required reference citations.
  • Get your textbooks from the College of the Rockies Bookstore. Some books may have e-Text options (available directly from the publisher).
  • Go to our online classroom, COTROnline, ( and complete some tutorials.
  • Participate in a program orientation session (dates will be posted on the CYFS website).
  • Visit the College of the Rockies Library (in person or online) to familiarize yourself with the resources available there.

Q. ECE applicants only: Do I have to complete 500 work experience hours before I can take the diploma program?
A. No, once you successfully complete an Early Childhood Education certificate program you can enrol into the ECE Diploma program. Licensing requires you to have the 500 hours before you are issued a provincial certificate (previously called "License to Practice"), not the college.