Special Education Techniques


Also known as Techniques d’éducation spécialisée


  • You often find yourself in the role of the listener
  • You enjoy the challenges of helping others in difficult situations
  • You feel the ability to guide, support, and empower others comes naturally to you
  • You want to further develop this kind of talent and refine it into a professional career
  • You have a great ability to adapt to different situations
  • You are open-minded

Why choose Special Care Counselling?

Pourquoi faire tes études en anglais?


Note: This program is available in the Fall semester only.



Many fieldwork settings require students to undergo a police background check. A criminal record might bar a student from completing their fieldwork in certain services.

The Special Care Counselling program is not available to International Students.




First Year


All combined, the first year courses share two main commonalities:

To provide students with an understanding of the field, the role of the S.C.C. and the meaning and significance of professional behaviors and attitudes.
To initiate explicit training in the fundamental skills essential to the field.
Students are informed that if they fail more than one core course in their first semester, they will be encouraged to take only general courses in the subsequent winter semester. They can resume in the following fall semester. The first semester lays a foundation and expectations and requirements increase incrementally with each semester. A student entering the second semester with a partial foundation will likely struggle and risk becoming frustrated and discouraged. This policy is designed to enhance student success.


Second Year


Within the classroom, students develop their theoretical and practical understanding of seven different client groups. In the fourth semester, a 225 hour fieldwork affords real life experience with a clientele of their choice (where possible). The ability to generalize and apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to the field is a crucial milestone in the training process. In most cases, only students who have completed all their first, second, and third semester program specific courses will be permitted to enter Fieldwork III. This is because all the skills learned in these courses are essential to succeed in fieldwork.


Third Year


The third year begins with an Internship where students are working in the field full time for an entire semester. Throughout this final phase of training, students are expected to demonstrate competence in all areas and to show that they have integrated their theoretical and practical skills from the previous two years. In most cases, only students who have completed all their first and second year program-specific courses will be allowed to continue into third year.

The Integrative Project course encompasses the Comprehensive Assessment and evaluates the degree to which students can apply skills developed both in program specific and general education courses. They must work collaboratively with a community partner to develop a project that will address an unmet psycho-social need. Accomplishing this task requires proficiency in all areas of the Graduate Student Profile.




The goals of the program-specific component of the Special Care Counselling program are based on the general goals of vocational and technical training. These goals are:


To help students develop effectiveness in the practice of a trade or occupation, that is:

  • to teach students to perform roles, functions, tasks and activities associated with the trade or occupation upon entry into the job market
  • to prepare students to progress satisfactorily on the job (which implies having the necessary technical and technological knowledge and skills in such areas as communication, problem solving, decision making, ethics, health and safety)


To help students integrate into the work force, that is:

  • to familiarize students with the job market in general and the context surrounding the occupation they have chosen
  • to familiarize students with their rights and responsibilities as workers


To foster students’ personal development and acquisition of occupational knowledge, skills, perceptions and attitudes, that is:

  • to help students develop their autonomy and the desire to learn, and acquire effective work methods
  • to help students understand the principles underlying the techniques and the technology used in the trade or occupation
  • to help students develop self-expression, creativity, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit
  • to help students adopt the attitudes required to successfully practice the trade or occupation, and instill in them a sense of responsibility and a concern for excellence


To promote job mobility, that is:

  • to help students develop positive attitudes toward change
  • to help students develop the means to manage their careers by familiarizing them with entrepreneurship



Special Care Counsellors are trained to work with people of all ages and diverse needs. The essence of their role is to develop relationships that provide support and guidance to enhance clients’ development, adaptation and quality of life.




Students develop competencies to work with a variety of client-groups such as individuals with physical, neurological, or intellectual impairments, mental health issues, substance abuse problems, behavior, language, and/or learning difficulties, seniors in loss of autonomy, and victims of violence.




The main places of employment are rehabilitation centres, short and long-term care facilities, psychiatric hospitals, adapted work centres, schools, CLSC’s, community organizations, group homes, day centres, and halfway houses.




Graduates of the Special Care Counselling Program at Champlain-Lennoxville have developed the conceptual, technical, and human skills required to exercise effectively the role of the special care counselor.

Conceptual Skills (Savoir)


Graduates will possess:

  1. The knowledge required to explore potential explanations regarding human behavior using diverse theoretical perspectives and paradigms.
  2. The ability and skills to remain continually abreast of current best practices.
  3. A rudimentary understanding of the needs and characteristics of individuals of all ages experiencing cognitive, physical, mental, and/or emotional difficulties.
  4. The critical and creative thinking skills to reflect, question, analyse, evaluate and problem solve.
  5. Technical Skills (Savoir Faire)


Graduates will know how to:

  1. Develop, implement and analyse a myriad of observation tools.
  2. Be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.
  3. Be able to communicate functionally in oral and written French.
  4. Write clear, concise, nonjudgmental reports.
  5. Gather pertinent data on clients from all sources available.
  6. Assess client needs, formulate goals/objectives, choose appropriate interventions, write, implement and evaluate intervention plans.
  7. Establish professional helping relationships that promote trust, autonomy and adjustment.
  8. Use communication techniques that encourage collaboration, mutual respect and openness.
  9. Work collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  10. Human Skills (Savoir Être)


Graduates are people who:

  1. Are empathetic, caring and sensitive to the needs, motivations, thoughts, and feelings of others.
  2. Are polite, dependable, dedicated and trustworthy.
  3. Are flexible and adaptable.
  4. Possess integrity and abide by the code of ethics.
  5. Understand the need to model the behaviour and attitudes they seek to cultivate in others
  6. Live a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.




The Comprehensive Assessment (CA) is a requirement designed to demonstrate that a student has integrated all the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed throughout the program, including general education courses.  At Champlain-Lennoxville, this is evaluated in the context of Internship.  Students must demonstrate competency in all conceptual skills, technical skills and human skills learned throughout the program. All skills required are found in the Graduate Student Profile and serves as the foundation for the CA.


The Comprehensive Assessment is evaluated through the students’ ability to demonstrate that they master the intervention process throughout all its phases. The practical component is evaluated through internship whereas the written and oral components are evaluated through an oral presentation to a panel of SET teachers at the end of the semester. Consolidating questions by the panel regarding the students’ integration of essential skills and their ability to transfer knowledge concludes the CA. A pass in Internship is required in order to access the Comprehensive Assessment.


In accordance with Article 6.2 of the IPESA, in order for the CA to be recognized for graduation, students must pass the course to which it is attached.




Many Quebec universities offer credit for courses (passerelle) in related baccalaureate programs to Special Care Counselling graduates. Consult specific universities for details.  The University of Calgary offers a Block transfer, giving SCC graduates direct access to a two-year university diploma.


Total courses : 39
Total credits : 91 2/3

Semester 1

Physical Education 109-101-MQ
College English 603-101-MQ
French – General 602-10?-MQ
Normal Development 350-117-LE
Fieldwork: An Introduction 351-101-LE
Introduction to Special Care Counselling 351-102-LE
Communication 351-103-LE
Observation: An Introduction 351-104-LE

Semester 2

Humanities – Knowledge 345-101-MQ
English for SCC 603-BEP-LE
French – Specific 602-BE?-LE
Fieldwork l 351-201-LE
Intervention: An Introduction 351-202-LE
Observation II: Analysis and Reporting 351-203-LE
Helping Relationship 351-204-LE
Bio-Psychosocial Adjustments 351-224-LE

Semester 3

Physical Education 102 or 103 109-10?-MQ
English 102 or 103 603-10?-MQ
Complementary course
Older Adults with Loss of Autonomy 351-302-LE
Developmental Disabilities 351-303-LE
Mental Health and Substance Abuse 351-304-LE
Youth and Adjustment 351-305-LE
Physical and Neurological Impairments 351-306-LE

Semester 4

Humanities – World Views 345-102-LE
English 102 or 103 603-10?-MQ
Fieldwork ll 351-401-LE
Violence: the Perpetrator and the Victim 351-402-LE
Language and Learning Difficulties 351-403-LE
Group Dynamics 351-404-LE

Semester 5

Internship 351-501-LE

Semester 6

Physical Education 102 or 103 109-10?-MQ
Humanities – Ethics 345-BEK-MQ
Complementary course
Reintegration: Re-entering
Society or the Workplace
Integrative Project 351-603-LE
Intervention II 351-604-LE
Support Networks 351-605-LE
Sociology of Unequal


First semester
350-117-LE NORMAL DEVELOPMENT (2-1-2) 45 HRS / 1 2/3 CR

This course provides students with a biopsychosocial understanding of normal human development throughout the lifespan. Students examine the age-related changes that occur in the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial domains of a person’s development from infancy to late adulthood and their impact on behaviour. This course lays the foundation for understanding atypical behaviour and adjustment problems to be covered later on in the program.

351-101-LE FIELDWORK: AN INTRODUCTION (1-3-2) 60 hrs / 2 CR)

In this course, students are exposed to the many types of settings and client groups that Special Care Counsellors can potentially choose to work with. Visits, guest speakers, and interviews help students begin to clarify their understanding of the role of the S.C.C. They are initiated to the skills, qualities and ethics required by the field and receive first-aid and CPR training. This course prepares students to work directly with clients in the context of Fieldwork I.


This course introduces students to the field of Special Care Counselling, and to community resources and services it utilizes. They investigate the functions and role of the S.C.C. and how it differs from professionals in related fields. The importance of interdisciplinary expertise and collaborative team work is emphasized. The examination of pertinent laws as well as the mandates of different types of services (public, private, community) provides students with an understanding of where and why clients are directed towards one service or another.

351-103-LE COMMUNICATION (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR.

This course introduces students to the practice and principles of effective communication with clients as well as colleagues. They are taught to recognize and analyze elements that help or hinder the communication process. Students are taught to closely examine their own communication patterns, difficulties and strengths in order to develop better self-awareness of how they interact with others. A combination of theory, in class exercises, and self-awareness activities, afford students the opportunity to practice and improve interpersonal skills crucial for the development of trust in a helping field.

351-104-LE OBSERVATION: AN INTRODUCTION (1-2-2) 45 HRS / 1 2/3 CR

This is the first of two courses that investigates the process of observation as it pertains to the S.C.C. The first course focusses on the how and why of gathering both direct (through the senses) and indirect (through documentation) observations of the client. Students learn to adopt a holistic perspective to their information gathering, paying attention to all aspects of the client’s behavior and their social and environmental context. They develop a repertoire of information-gathering tools and the knowledge of how and where to apply each. Students will practice writing skills necessary to produce professional documents (behavioral profiles, logbook notes, client files, notes to parents, incident reports…).

Second semester

NOTE: A student who fails one or more core courses in the first semester will be encouraged to take only general education courses in the subsequent winter semester. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.

351-201-LE FIELDWORK I (0-7-2) 105 HRS / 3 CR

In this course students spend one full day a week working in a setting with a client group (where possible) of their choice. They are expected to apply the knowledge and skills learned in all the first semester courses. Assignments and small group supervision meetings will be geared towards: assessing students’ ability to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers, developing and implementing observation tools with discernment, writing objectively and nonjudgmentally. They will also gradually practice analytical, helping, and intervention skills that are developed concurrently within this semester.

(Prerequisites: 351-101-LE, 351-102-LE, 351-103-LE, 351-104-LE))


This is the first of two courses to examine the core of the role of the S.C.C. That is, the ability to develop and implement intervention strategies and techniques based on best practices and a rationale supported by systematic behavioral observations. Students learn how to assess client needs and strengths, formulate SMART objectives, develop intervention strategies, devise and animate activities, and write and evaluate intervention plans. They begin to explore and cultivate their own intervention style and will be encouraged to generalize this undertaking throughout their training.


In this course, a follow-up to Observation: an Introduction, students continue to hone their writing skills and their ability to determine and implement independently the appropriate information gathering tools. In addition, they learn to formulate practical and reasonable explanations regarding their observations of client behavior. The ability to formulate proficient analyses of ongoing direct and indirect observations and their concomitant recommendations will be a focal point in this course.

(Prerequisite: 351-104-LE)

351-204-LE HELPING RELATIONSHIP (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR

In this course students learn the behaviors, skills, and attitudes involved in establishing professional helping relationships. They develop techniques to help clients explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with the goal of formulating an action plan. Students explore the idea that the helping relationship can unfold at any time, in any setting during the client’s daily routine. Two hours of practice is allotted weekly to facilitate the integration of the helping skills presented.

(Prerequisite: 351-103-LE)


In this course students are introduced to the multidimensional aspect of adjustment. Students develop the ability to recognize and understand particular adjustment problems from a bio-psychosocial perspective. They will develop a global understanding of the way biological, psychological and social factors interact in situations of adaptation and/or adjustment problems and impact on the overall functioning of the person. This course introduces the concept of bio-psychosocial adjustment to each of the population groups that will be studied later in the program.

(Prerequisite: 350-117-LE)

Third semester

In this course, students learn about the primary and secondary characteristics involved in the ageing process. Most common illnesses, conditions and disorders experienced in late adulthood and their impact on autonomy and psychological well-being are covered. The various forms of dementia and their behavioral manifestations are explored along with current best practice intervention strategies and approaches. Lectures, guest speakers, films, and assignments are all geared to foster a more positive, insightful, hopeful and empathetic perception of this stage of life and its associated needs. At the end of this course, students will be equipped to help older adults and their family members adapt to the changes that frequently accompany ageing.


This course covers individuals with an intellectual impairment and those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Students learn to assess the effect of the disability on the individual’s autonomy, independence, adaptability and socio-affective functioning. Focus is placed on the importance of working with their level of  autonomy through the development of adaptive skills and behaviors. They learn to plan interventions, strategies and therapeutic activities designed to help clients meet their various needs and maximize their potential.


This course examines issues related to mental health and substance abuse. The focus is on the impact these may have on a person’s daily functioning, as well as their family. Theoretical knowledge will prepare students to recognize and understand the major features of mental disorders covered in the DSM-V. The central goal of this course is to prepare students to be able to accompany clients through the stages from acknowledgment of the disorder, acceptance, rehabilitation, ongoing maintenance, and relapse prevention.

351-305-LE YOUTH AND ADJUSTMENT (2-1-2) 45HRS / 1 2/3 CR

The focus of this course is the intervention with youth (0 to 18 years). Students explore various psychological, familial and social situations that can lead to socio-emotional maladjustment. They learn to design interventions and activities geared towards helping clients express emotion, develop social skills, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. Students explore ways of working collaboratively with families and other professionals.


This course covers several physical and neurological impairments frequently encountered by special care counsellors and provides a basic understanding of their characteristics (definitions, causes, symptoms, prevalence, and comorbidity). Students will learn how to assess the impact of the impairment on the physical, psychological, cognitive, social and moral functioning of these clientele groups. They will examine best practices with respect to maintaining or improving the clientele’s functional autonomy and quality of life to support well-being by exploring relevant approaches, interventions, and strategies. Students also receive training in basic transfer and mobility techniques.

Fourth semester

NOTE: A student who has not successfully completed all first, second, and third semester program-specific courses may not be permitted to take Fieldwork II. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.

351-401-LE FIELDWORK II (0-15-2) 225 HRS/ 6 CR

In this course, students spend two full days a week throughout the semester, in fieldwork with a focus on intervention. Previous courses and Fieldwork I have prepared students to rapidly become active, contributing members of the team. They will have the opportunity to assess needs, to propose, and to implement interventions and activities in response to them. Students will be required to apply the observation, communication, helping, and intervention skills learned to date and to make links between theory and practice. Small group supervision meetings at the college every two weeks provides students with an opportunity to explore a variety of issues and to assume responsibility for their own professional growth.

(Prerequisites: All first, second, and third semester program-specific courses)


This course examines the cycle of violence and all the factors that promote, contribute to and sustain violence. The needs and characteristics of both perpetrators of violence and their victims will be discussed. Students will learn strategies for preventing and/or mitigating aggressive behaviors and how to protect themselves, the client and others when necessary. The concept of empowerment, the importance of the social support network and social integration will be covered for both perpetrators and victims.


In this course, students learn how to recognize indicators of learning and/or language difficulties among young people in a school or daycare context. They explore the concepts of emergent literacy and literacy. They learn strategies and techniques designed to enhance language skills in all children including those with difficulties or disabilities. Best practices for enhancing children’s social and communication skills as well as their motivation and interest in learning will be covered. The importance of ongoing consultation with resource persons and the implementation of concerted actions with family members and other concerned professionals is underscored.

351-404-LE GROUP DYNAMICS (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR

This course explores theoretically and practically the concepts of group dynamics and team work. Students learn how to analyze the developmental stage and level of functioning of a group or team by examining the patterns of communication, leadership styles, roles, interpersonal relations, conflict management and problem solving strategies adopted by the participants. They apply this knowledge to an analysis of their own behaviors and attitudes within a group as a means of developing their skills as a facilitator. They experiment with strategies designed to enhance group effectiveness by encouraging participation, collaboration, cohesion, and decision making.

(Prerequisite: 351-204-LE)

Fifth semerter

NOTE: A student who has not successfully completed all first and second year program-specific courses may not be allowed to continue into third year. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.

351-501-LE INTERNSHIP (0-40-4) 600 HRS/ 14 1/3 CR

This course gives students the opportunity to do their internship in the Eastern Townships, Montérégie, or Montreal. With supervision from both the college and staff at the fieldwork placement, students implement interventions, from the detection of a problem to the recommendations and follow up procedures. Interventions are carried out in the context of the client’s daily living activities with the final goal of providing suitable activities, social integration and autonomy. Students act in line with the mission statement of their placement, and promote its underlying values.

(Prerequisite: 351-401-LE)

Sixth semester

In this course, students learn how to evaluate and facilitate a client’s ability to re-enter society and/or the workplace. They analyze issues related to the re-integration of individuals from a systemic-ecological perspective. They become familiar with the many services, organizations, programs, community resources, laws, and policies that exist to ensure and facilitate re-integration. The Special Care Counsellor’s role in empowering the client towards action and autonomy is emphasized

351-603-LE INTEGRATIVE PROJECT (2-4-5) 90 HRS / 3 2/3 CR

In this course, students are expected to demonstrate an integration of all the skills and knowledge accrued throughout the program, including those acquired in general education courses. These are succinctly summarized in the Graduate Student Profile. Each student identifies a social problem resulting in an unmet psychosocial need in the community. They conduct research to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issue and consult with pertinent resource persons in the field. In collaboration with an interested community partner, the student designs a project geared towards the targeted need. Regular individual meetings with the instructor will help guide the students through their integrative process; this will occur more often than the theoretical components in class. The Comprehensive Assessment is incorporated into the integrative project therefore a passing grade in this course automatically constitutes a pass on the CA.

351-604-LE INTERVENTION II (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR

This course pursues the competencies related to all aspects of intervention that were introduced in Intervention: an Introduction. At this stage in the program, students have studied several different client populations and have been exposed in fieldwork to different paradigms and practices. They are now expected to demonstrate that they are able to think critically and independently about what approaches, techniques and tools are better suited to particular clients and needs. Students who can now think flexibly about both the art and the science components of intervention will display creativity and ingenuity in devising suitable intervention strategies and tools. This will be further refined as students explore intervention with clients in the context of volatile, unpredictable and potentially explosive situations. The course will also examine ways of preventing burn-out.

(Prerequisite: 351-202-LE)

351-605-LE SUPPORT NETWORKS (1-2-2) 45 HRS / 1 2/3 CR

This course focusses on the systemic nature of intervention by examining the client’s support networks and the role of the S.C.C. within it. Students learn to gather information on the people in the client’s immediate environment and to evaluate their capacity to provide psychosocial support. They consider nonjudgmentally the environment’s culture, values, beliefs, and practices in order to assess its strengths, challenges and risk factors. Students develop communication and helping techniques that foster trust, collaboration and openness to new ideas and information. They also learn how, when and where to file official reports to proper authorities.


This course sensitizes students to the different types of minorities that exist in Canadian society and promotes an understanding of these groups. The course also describes social inequality and explains the impact of social inequalities and minority groups standing on intergroup relations. Specific groups are studied to understand each one's distinctiveness and possibly bury misconceptions. Lastly, the course describes and analyzes the challenges and adjustment problems which people face based on their perceived differences and foster the coexistence and integration of people with differences.



Opportunities after completing the program:

  • Special Education Technician
  • Social Rehabilitation Technician
  • Youth Counsellor

Workplace opportunities:

  • Recreation Centers
  • Social Service Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Youth Centers
  • Local Community Service Centers (CLSC)
  • Provincial and Federal Detention
  • Private Daycare Centers
  • Transition Houses
  • School Daycare Services
  • Reception and Accommodation Centers
  • Early Childhood Centers (CPE)
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Community or Social Action Organizations
  • School Service Centers


This training is covered by the  Perspective Québec scholarship program. For more information or to find out which institutions are eligible, see https://www.quebec.ca/education/aide-financiere-aux-etudes/bourses-perspective


This Technique can also lead to Undergraduate studies in Psychoéducation (DEC-BAC Agreement).