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Developmental Services Worker

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Program Code: 01101
Credential: Diploma
Program Length: 4 semesters
Start Dates: September

Program Overview

Humber’s Developmental Services Worker (DSW) diploma program teaches you skills to effectively promote the physical, mental and emotional health of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our faculty team consists of developmental services professionals who are active in the field, and our small class sizes allow for individualized attention. Our curriculum is designed with input from developmental services field experts, ensuring courses are current and relevant.

Your studies begin with an introduction to the developmental services sector and an overview of the types of developmental disabilities and the range of available community support services for this population. Next, you will learn about positive behaviour supports and intervention techniques, person-centered planning, dual diagnosis, health and wellness, basic pharmacology, supporting people with autism and other complex needs, sign languageand augmentative forms of communication, and effective responses to people who have experienced abuse. Finally, you will develop skills in building interpersonal relationships and problem solving.

You will also build your expertise in our counselling labs which provide an ideal setting to develop competencies for working with individuals with limited verbal skills.

New Advanced Standing Pathway

Already have a diploma or a degree? Complete the Developmental Services Worker diploma in three semesters. Apply to Semester 2 at ontariocolleges.ca. View the pathway and course curriculum for Advanced Standing in Explore Pathways > 

The Developmental Services Worker program is also offered part time.

 

Courses Program Standards Part Time Stream

Curriculum

Quick-Look Availability Scheduler

Use the Quick-Look Availability Scheduler to see available courses in a calendar view and plan towards achieving your certificate.

Compulsory 2023/2024 Academic Year 2024/2025 Academic Year
Empty row Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
DSW 111: Intervention Techniques 1
DSW 112: Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 1
DSW 113: Community Orientation
DSW 140: Interpersonal Communication
DSW 153: Educational Strategies
GNED 101: An Introduction to Arts and Sciences
PSYC 210: Psychology: Developmental
WRIT 100: College Reading and Writing Skills
DSW 150: Field Experience and Seminar 1
DSW 152: Person-Centred Planning
DSW 154: Responding to Abuse
DSW 157: Health and Wellness 1
DSW 158: Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 2
DSW 159: Abnormal Psychology/Dual Diagnosis
DSW 163: Professionalism in Developmental Services
DSW 201: Human Sexuality
DSW 217: Autism and Other Complex Needs
DSW 218: Sign Language and Augmentative Communication
DSW 219: Community Building
DSW 220: Basic Pharmacology 1
DSW 221: Intervention Techniques 2
DSW 224: Interpersonal Relationships and Problem Solving
WRIT 200: Workplace Writing Skills
DSW 250: Field Experience - Developmental Service Worker
DSW 251: Health and Wellness 2
DSW 253: Basic Pharmacology 2
Take 1 of the following electives 2023/2024 Academic Year 2024/2025 Academic Year
Empty row Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
ANTH 202: Physical Anthropology
ANTH 205: Cultural Anthropology
ARTS 138: Understanding Movies: An Introduction to Film Studies
ARTS 229: Musical Pioneers
ARTS 246: Art and Artists: Money, Madness and Masterpieces
CULT 120: Indigenous Perspectives on Music, Film and Media
CULT 206: Canadian Society and Culture
CULT 211: Conspiracy Theories and Critical Thinking
CULT 220: News: Constructed and Consumed
CULT 228: Popular Culture: Shaping How We Live
CULT 229: Understanding Diversity: The World in Canada
CULT 239: Digital Culture
CULT 242: Culture, Technology and Identity
CULT 243: Crossing Borders: Migration and Culture
CULT 245: The Body: Beauty, Sex and Consumerism
CULT 248: Women and Popular Culture
ECON 150: Real Life Economics
ECON 204: People, Money and Markets
ECON 206: The History of Money
ENGL 239: Dark Days Ahead
GEOG 212: Political Geography
HIST 217: History of War
HIST 240: Law and Society
HUMA 137: Art Matters: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
HUMA 226: The Arts and the 21st Century Imagination: Longing for Paradise
HUMA 230: Women and Religious Traditions
HUMA 235: World Religions: Western and Eastern Traditions
HUMA 240: Rethinking Animals
HUMA 242: Vampires in Film and Literature
HUMA 245: The Islamic World: An Introduction
HUMA 250: God, Science and Religion
HUMA 255: Death and the Afterlife: Global Perspectives
HUMA 260: The World of Myths and Legends
IKN 100: Original People: Culture, Knowledge and Worldview
IKN 101: Indigenous Cultural Values: Behaviour and Identity
IKN 200: Indigenous Family and Community
IKN 201: Encounter, Change, Resistance and Renewal
MILE 210: Italy: Art and Architecture
MILE 215: Great Cities: USA
MILE 220: Vietnam Study Abroad: Hanoi & Danang
PHIL 120: Philosophy: A History of Ideas
PHIL 150: The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 217: Ethical Issues
PHIL 222: Justice: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law
PHIL 225: Philosophy of Love and Sex
PHIL 226: World Philosophy
PHIL 227: Business Ethics
PHIL 228: Success: Philosophical Perspectives
PHIL 229: Violence, Order and Justice: An Introduction to Political Philosophy
PHIL 230: Environmental Ethics
PHIL 235: Technology, Values, and Science
PHIL 250: Science Fiction and Philosophy
POLS 150: Introduction to Politics
POLS 206: Morality, Democracy and Politics
POLS 219: Globalization
POLS 220: Politics in an Apocalyptic World: Zombies, Aliens, and Killer Viruses
POLS 223: War and Terrorism
POLS 224: Justice, Equality and Rights
POLS 225: Environmental Policy and Economics
PSYC 110: Groups, Teams and Their Dynamics
PSYC 150: Psychology: Introduction
PSYC 210: Psychology: Developmental
PSYC 224: Psychology: Social
PSYC 230: Psychology: Abnormal
PSYC 245: Personality and its Assessment: Who am I? (And how do I know?)
SCIE 150: The Science of Everything
SCIE 209: Water: A Life or Death Issue
SCIE 213: Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
SCIE 216: Origins of Life
SCIE 218: Science Behind the Headlines
SCIE 219: Dangerous Earth
SCIE 221: The Environment
SCIE 222: Big History: A Biography of the Universe
SCIE 223: Astrobiology: Life in the Universe
SCIE 224: Discovering Dinosaurs
SCIE 250: The Science of Superheroes
SOCE 006: Canadian Society and Culture
SOCI 150: Sociology: Introduction
SOCI 207: Social Entrepreneurship: Profit, People and the Planet
SOCI 211: Sociology of the Everyday Life
SOCI 218: Population and Social Change
SOCI 219: Sport and Society
SOCI 226: Health and Society
SOCI 227: Environmental Citizenship
SOCI 232: Gender, Power and Society
SOCI 233: Sociology of Cultural Difference
SOCI 234: Society and Conflict
SOCI 236: Issues in Crime
SOCI 237: The Sociology of Fashion
SOCI 238: Sociology of Food
SOCI 239: Citizenship, Immigration and Democracy
SOCI 240: Sociology of the Family
SOCI 246: Sociology of Emotions
SOCI 247: Leadership
SOCI 249: Imagining the City
SOCI 257: Canada Today
SOCI 277: Sexual Diversity: Contemporary Social Issues

Compulsory Courses

DSW 111 Intervention Techniques 1
 
DSW 112 Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 1
 
DSW 113 Community Orientation
 
DSW 140 Interpersonal Communication
 
DSW 153 Educational Strategies
 
GNED 101 An Introduction to Arts and Sciences
 
PSYC 210 Psychology: Developmental
 
WRIT 100 College Reading and Writing Skills
 
DSW 150 Field Experience and Seminar 1
 
DSW 152 Person-Centred Planning
 
DSW 154 Responding to Abuse
 
DSW 157 Health and Wellness 1
 
DSW 158 Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 2
 
DSW 159 Abnormal Psychology/Dual Diagnosis
 
DSW 163 Professionalism in Developmental Services
 
DSW 201 Human Sexuality
 
DSW 217 Autism and Other Complex Needs
 
DSW 218 Sign Language and Augmentative Communication
 
DSW 219 Community Building
 
DSW 220 Basic Pharmacology 1
 
DSW 221 Intervention Techniques 2
 
DSW 224 Interpersonal Relationships and Problem Solving
 
WRIT 200 Workplace Writing Skills
 
GNED General Elective
 
DSW 250 Field Experience - Developmental Service Worker
 
DSW 251 Health and Wellness 2
 
DSW 253 Basic Pharmacology 2
 

1 of the following electives

ANTH 202 Physical Anthropology
 
ANTH 205 Cultural Anthropology
 
ARTS 138 Understanding Movies: An Introduction to Film Studies
 
ARTS 229 Musical Pioneers
 
ARTS 246 Art and Artists: Money, Madness and Masterpieces
 
CULT 120 Indigenous Perspectives on Music, Film and Media
 
CULT 206 Canadian Society and Culture
 
CULT 211 Conspiracy Theories and Critical Thinking
 
CULT 220 News: Constructed and Consumed
 
CULT 228 Popular Culture: Shaping How We Live
 
CULT 229 Understanding Diversity: The World in Canada
 
CULT 239 Digital Culture
 
CULT 242 Culture, Technology and Identity
 
CULT 243 Crossing Borders: Migration and Culture
 
CULT 245 The Body: Beauty, Sex and Consumerism
 
CULT 248 Women and Popular Culture
 
ECON 150 Real Life Economics
 
ECON 204 People, Money and Markets
 
ECON 206 The History of Money
 
ENGL 239 Dark Days Ahead
 
GEOG 212 Political Geography
 
HIST 217 History of War
 
HIST 240 Law and Society
 
HUMA 137 Art Matters: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
 
HUMA 226 The Arts and the 21st Century Imagination: Longing for Paradise
 
HUMA 230 Women and Religious Traditions
 
HUMA 235 World Religions: Western and Eastern Traditions
 
HUMA 240 Rethinking Animals
 
HUMA 242 Vampires in Film and Literature
 
HUMA 245 The Islamic World: An Introduction
 
HUMA 250 God, Science and Religion
 
HUMA 255 Death and the Afterlife: Global Perspectives
 
HUMA 260 The World of Myths and Legends
 
IKN 100 Original People: Culture, Knowledge and Worldview
 
IKN 101 Indigenous Cultural Values: Behaviour and Identity
 
IKN 200 Indigenous Family and Community
 
IKN 201 Encounter, Change, Resistance and Renewal
 
MILE 210 Italy: Art and Architecture
 
MILE 215 Great Cities: USA
 
MILE 220 Vietnam Study Abroad: Hanoi & Danang
 
PHIL 120 Philosophy: A History of Ideas
 
PHIL 150 The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy
 
PHIL 217 Ethical Issues
 
PHIL 222 Justice: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law
 
PHIL 225 Philosophy of Love and Sex
 
PHIL 226 World Philosophy
 
PHIL 227 Business Ethics
 
PHIL 228 Success: Philosophical Perspectives
 
PHIL 229 Violence, Order and Justice: An Introduction to Political Philosophy
 
PHIL 230 Environmental Ethics
 
PHIL 235 Technology, Values, and Science
 
PHIL 250 Science Fiction and Philosophy
 
POLS 150 Introduction to Politics
 
POLS 206 Morality, Democracy and Politics
 
POLS 219 Globalization
 
POLS 220 Politics in an Apocalyptic World: Zombies, Aliens, and Killer Viruses
 
POLS 223 War and Terrorism
 
POLS 224 Justice, Equality and Rights
 
POLS 225 Environmental Policy and Economics
 
PSYC 110 Groups, Teams and Their Dynamics
 
PSYC 150 Psychology: Introduction
 
PSYC 210 Psychology: Developmental
 
PSYC 224 Psychology: Social
 
PSYC 230 Psychology: Abnormal
 
PSYC 245 Personality and its Assessment: Who am I? (And how do I know?)
 
SCIE 150 The Science of Everything
 
SCIE 209 Water: A Life or Death Issue
 
SCIE 213 Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
 
SCIE 216 Origins of Life
 
SCIE 218 Science Behind the Headlines
 
SCIE 219 Dangerous Earth
 
SCIE 221 The Environment
 
SCIE 222 Big History: A Biography of the Universe
 
SCIE 223 Astrobiology: Life in the Universe
 
SCIE 224 Discovering Dinosaurs
 
SCIE 250 The Science of Superheroes
 
SOCE 006 Canadian Society and Culture
 
SOCI 150 Sociology: Introduction
 
SOCI 207 Social Entrepreneurship: Profit, People and the Planet
 
SOCI 211 Sociology of the Everyday Life
 
SOCI 218 Population and Social Change
 
SOCI 219 Sport and Society
 
SOCI 226 Health and Society
 
SOCI 227 Environmental Citizenship
 
SOCI 232 Gender, Power and Society
 
SOCI 233 Sociology of Cultural Difference
 
SOCI 234 Society and Conflict
 
SOCI 236 Issues in Crime
 
SOCI 237 The Sociology of Fashion
 
SOCI 238 Sociology of Food
 
SOCI 239 Citizenship, Immigration and Democracy
 
SOCI 240 Sociology of the Family
 
SOCI 246 Sociology of Emotions
 
SOCI 247 Leadership
 
SOCI 249 Imagining the City
 
SOCI 257 Canada Today
 
SOCI 277 Sexual Diversity: Contemporary Social Issues
 

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

  1. Conduct oneself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships.
  2. Provide person-directed supports and services that respect and promote self-determination for people with developmental disabilities.
  3. Provide for the safety of people with developmental disabilities, self and others in compliance with all applicable legislation, regulations and standards of practice.
  4. Support health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities.
  5. Employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities.
  6. Provide leadership in the development of inclusive communities.
  7. Develop professional and personal plans that enhance job performance and well-being.


Close

Work Placement

Our program offers a rich diversity of innovative and traditional opportunities to connect with the field. You will complete 600 hours of experience in the developmental services sector with established community partners over the duration of the program.

Students will engage in the first 200 hours of work-integrated learning two days per week, over 14 weeks in Semester 2. In Semester 4, students will engage in 400 hours of work-integrated learning, four days per week for 14 weeks. Opportunities are arranged with the help of a dedicated field placement co-ordinator and are typically unpaid. As part of work-integrated learning, students will attend seminar classes and complete coursework.


Take a Tour of Our Sim Labs

student standing in the court of justice

Student dusting bottle for fingerprints

Student using the driving simulator

Students in the Therapeutic Play Lab

Advisory Committee

This program’s advisory committee is comprised of people with extensive experience in the developmental services work profession, representing a variety of settings where developmental services workers are employed. Many are also members of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD).

Community Partnerships

Some of our community partners include:

  • Addus
  • Brampton Caledon Community Living
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Community Living
  • Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Peel and Halton Acquired Brain Injury Services

Your Career

A career as a developmental services worker will allow you to help people with disabilities live, work and participate in their communities. You will use your skills to support people with intellectual disabilities, autism, physical challenges or other needs.

You can find work assisting people in a variety of roles including:

  • classroom assistant in a daycare centre
  • community support worker
  • educational/teaching assistant in a school
  • family support worker
  • residential support worker
  • seniors support worker

Professional Accreditations & Recognition

Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD)

Graduates may apply to become members of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD) and its Developmental Services Special Interest Group (DSSIG).

Additional requirements may apply.

Note: The requirements for the additional credential(s) are determined by the granting body, which is independent from the College. Students are encouraged to obtain the specific requirements directly from the granting body before enrolling.

Program Availability

Start dates between Sept 2023 - Aug 2024
START DATE LOCATION STATUS
September 2023 Lakeshore Open
Start dates between Sept 2023 - Aug 2024
START DATE LOCATION STATUS
September 2023 Lakeshore Open

Social & Community - Human Services

female typing on a computer

Watch the video to hear what our graduates have to say about the Developmental Services Worker program and how the program prepared them for a rewarding career in the Human Services sector.


Humber Students Benefit from Five Centres of Innovation (COIs)

The Humber Centres of Innovation Network demonstrates our strong commitment to providing an experiential learning environment for students. Students and faculty work with industry partners on real-world challenges to prepare them to become the innovative and strategic problem-solvers of tomorrow. Come to Humber and experience interdisciplinary learning across five COIs.

About the COIs  

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Experience Humber

Program Highlights

Thu, November 03, 2022

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, we excitedly welcomed students back to the Lakeshore Campus for our Experience Humber Event.

Read the Full Article
Ontario College Fair 2022

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Program Highlights

Thu, November 03, 2022

Humber College had a strong presence in the 2022 Ontario College Fair, which took place October 19th and October 20th

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On October 21, 2019, the Provincial Government of Ontario announced the renaming of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). Both names may appear on this website.

Contact Us

Admissions Questions

General Enquiries

Call 416-675-3111 or email enquiry@humber.ca. If you have already applied, be sure to check your application status on myhumber.ca.

Domestic Applicants Enquiries

Domestic applicants can book a one-on-one advising appointment with an admissions representative.

International Applicants Enquiries

Contact the International Centre for information about full-time programs (including the International Graduate School), how to apply and to follow up on your submitted application.

Program-Specific Questions

Speak to the Program Co-ordinator about the course curriculum, projects and career options.

Andrea Rutherford, program co-ordinator
416.675.6622 ext. 3311
andrea.rutherford@humber.ca

Campus Information

Book a campus tour to take a closer look at what it's like to be a student at Humber.

Want More Info?

Find out more about the student experience and everything that Humber has to offer Future Students.

for more info on Humber, including programs, special events and more!

How To Become An Apprentice

Becoming an Apprentice

Find an employer willing to sponsor you as an apprentice.

Contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development to register as an apprentice.

Work with your employer approximately one year before attending Humber.

View Instructions 

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

If you’re in high school – grade 11 or 12 – you can earn co-op education credits through work placements in some skilled trades.

Visit OYAP 

How to Apply

Domestic Students

Applications to Humber are made through ontariocolleges.ca. Be sure to submit your application by the equal consideration deadline of February 1. You may apply after February 1, however, post-February 1 applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of the space in the program.

To check program availability refer to the Campus/Availability listing on Humber’s program pages, search by availability, or ontariocolleges.ca.

To see where you are in the admissions process, visit the Admissions Road Map.

International Students

If you’re an international student, you can apply directly to Humber via our International Centre.

Need Advice?

Program Advising Appointments

Get help narrowing down your program options or book a one-on-one pre-enrolment advising appointment with one of our Recruitment Officers.

Transfer & Pathway Advising

Book a virtual appointment with a Student Mobility Advisor learn more about getting Transfer Credit(s) for previous post-secondary experience, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), and Pathways options.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet all the requirements below in order to meet minimum program eligibility. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission. Admission decisions will be available via MyHumber, or by email and mail. Admission decisions will not be released by phone.

Admission selection is based on the following three requirements:

  • Academic

    To be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

    • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent including these required courses:
      • Grade 12 English (ENG4C or ENG4U or equivalent)
      • Three Grade 11 or Grade 12 C, M or U courses in addition to those listed above

    or

    or

    Mature Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or other postsecondary school, and will be 19 or older as of the first day of classes. Humber will invite you for testing to demonstrate that you meet all listed course requirements.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or attended postsecondary studies, and will be 21 or older as of the first day of classes. Mature applicants for degree programs will be required to meet course requirements at the U/M level or equivalent.

    College Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants must have an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 65 per cent in the program. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

    University Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

  • English Language Proficiency

    All applicants whose first language is not English must meet Humber’s English Language Proficiency Policy.

  • International Credit Evaluation

    Canadian citizens or permanent residents with international education are required to provide a WES or ICAS evaluation.

International Academic Equivalency

Admission equivalencies for Humber depend on your country of study. Please enter your location or choose detect my location to see the requirements for your country below.

Post-Admission Requirements

Once you have been accepted, and have confirmed your offer, you may need to complete a further set of requirements related to your program (Post-Admission Requirements).

Placement Requirements

The following will be required when applying to prospective placements during the program:

  • Medical Certificate of Health
  • Valid Standard First Aid with CPR-C and Automated External Defibrillator (AED)(C)
  • Employers who provide field placement opportunities require students to undergo a vulnerable sector check. It is important for potential students to understand that the requirements noted above are beyond the control of Humber and may prevent students from completing the full program, including the field placement component, and/or securing employment. Applicants are advised to check the requirements for specific positions in which they are interested before enrolling in this program.

Note: A vulnerable sector check will be requested during your program of study. In respect to the 90-day limit on the validity of vulnerable sector checks and the type of checks required by various agencies, please do not attain a vulnerable sector check prior to being accepted to the program. Faculty will support students upon arrival to the program to ensure they apply for the correct type of police documentation at the appropriate time.

Equipment & Device Requirements

Fees & Financial Aid

The 2022-2023 fee for two semesters was:

  • domestic: $3,759.88
  • international: $16,394.00

Fees are subject to change.

Fees by Semester

Domestic Fees International Fees

Additional Costs

$800 – textbooks (over four semesters); costs vary for transportation for field placement, field trips and crisis intervention training.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Bursaries

Understand the costs associated with coming to Humber and explore resources available from first year to your final year on Student Fees and Financial Resources.

Scholarships

Humber Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships and bursaries that you may be eligible for, visit Student Scholarships. International students can visit International Student Scholarships.

Humber Bursaries

Bursaries are available for Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs primarily based on financial need, visit Humber Bursaries.

External Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Find out more information about external scholarships and bursaries, visit External Awards.

Indigenous Student Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Humber offers a variety of bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous students, visit Indigenous Student Awards.

Explore Opportunities through Humber Pathways

Humber Pathways include:

  • Opportunities to build on your college education and complete your diploma or degree at Humber.
  • Degree and graduate study opportunities at other institutions in Ontario, Canada and abroad.
View Pathways Into This Program  
View Transfer Out Opportunities From This Program  
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