Education Assistant Professional Certificate
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As an Education Assistant you may assist teachers in the delivery of appropriate instruction and provide students with learning support. Support may be provided in the areas of learning, behavioural challenges, physical and self-care and supervision. Educational Assistants may also work with individuals with exceptionalities in various agencies and learning institutions supporting students in developing life skills, employment skills, and other related skills that help individuals to be independent and self-supporting.
This 6-month (25 week) program prepares you for careers working in educational settings such as public and private schools, early intervention programs, child care centres, private agencies, and other learning institutions that provide support/service to children, youth, and adults with exceptionalities. Education Assistants may earn up to $62,000 per year to start. Be employment ready in 6 months!
Why choose Columbia College’s Education Assistant Certificate program?
- Columbia College has been successfully preparing Education Assistants since 1995. We know what you need to learn to be an Education Assistant that employers value.
- You will learn theory that gives you a solid foundation in such areas as child development, approaches to learning, behaviour management, working with various exceptionalities, and supporting instruction across the curriculum and planning for inclusion.
- You will put theory into practice through 150 hours of practicum experience and 10 hours of practicum seminars. We have built a solid reputation with our practicum sites that will help you get a practicum placement and opportunity for employment.
- Get additional training to be work ready – you will receive Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training certification as part of your practicum preparation.
- We prepare you for success in our program. We offer you tuition-free College Skills for Success Program (20 hours) prior to the start of your program. We don’t leave anything to chance.
- You may be able to transfer your courses to our Human Services Diploma and add to your credentials. In our diploma you will experience further in-depth courses in areas such as: How to work with children with FASD and children with Autism; how to support ESL learners; instructional support in Mathematics, etc. Check out our Human Services Diploma.
This program is licensed by the Private Vocational Training Branch of the Alberta Government.
2018 – 2019: 96% graduation rate
2018 – 2019: 89% employment rate
Employers of Graduates
The following is a list of organizations that have hired graduates of this program:
- Calgary Board of Education
- Renfrew Educational Services
- Pace Kids
- Hawkwood Childcare Centre
- Kids & Company
- St. Wilfrid Elementary School
- STEM Learning Lab
- Child’s Way Child Care
- Rockyview Schools
- Calgary Catholic School board
- Banded Peak School
- E.C.I. Preschool
- Monsignor AJ Hetherington Elementary School
Click Here to see a list of Faculty Members for this course.
- The Education Assistant Professional Program is a 6-month (25 weeks) employment ready certificate program. An accelerated program! Be out quickly and start earning a salary.
- Complete 10 course requirements in six months that would take one year in a traditional delivery model.
- Full time and Part-time course-by-course options.
- Our program prepares you to work with children, youth, and adults.
- The program consists of 5 week semesters and you will be enrolled in 2 courses at a time with 39 hours of instruction per course.
- Additional Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training
- You will link theory and practice through a 150-hour practicum in your specific area of interest and an additional 10 hours of practicum workshops.
- Career and Employment Support.
- Students who successfully complete all program requirements will be awarded an Education Assistant Professional Certificate. Graduates may transfer completed courses for course credit to the Columbia College Human Services Professional Diploma – Education specialization. You will continue onward through additional course work to complete a Human Services Professional Diploma designation.
The aim of our practicum placement is for you to gain experience and employment as an Education Assistant. You will be required to complete 150 hours of practicum experience over the six months you are in the program. This provides you with valuable hands-on experience in the field and prepares you for your future. You will benefit from the relationships Columbia College has built over time for placements where organizations value the maturity of our students and their acquired knowledge and skills. You will also have the additional experience of attending 12 hours of practicum workshops to prepare you for employment. Part of your Practicum and work preparation will involve Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training.
University Transfer Credit
Transfer opportunities may be available at a variety of degree granting institutions across Alberta, Canada, and the world. Transfer opportunities allow graduates to receive credit for some or all of their completed courses towards a bachelor degree.
Note: The institution you wish to transfer to makes the final determination on the transfer credits they will accept. Before commencing your studies at Columbia College, please consult with the institution you are planning on transferring to.
Transferring credit into Columbia College’s Education Assistant Professional Program
If you are an Education Assistant or feel you have already completed some of the components of the program, you may be eligible to get credit for a limited number of courses. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is another option if you have worked in a related education field and believe that you have the understanding of a particular course. More information on how to apply for transfer credits can be found by contacting your admission advisor.
There are two basic options for admission into a Columbia College Professional Program:
- Alberta high school diploma, verified by transcript, or non-Alberta equivalent,
- English 30-1 with a final mark of 60%, English 30-2 with a final mark of 70%, or equivalent
Students who do not meet the academic requirements listed above (either fully or partially) can apply through academic assessment. Academic assessment students must meet the following:
- Be 19 years old of age or older
- Out of high school for 1 year
- Successfully meet the entry levels on Columbia College’s Accuplacer assessment test or equivalent (See Academic Proficiency Requirements)
Please note: Students who submit transcripts to meet the English Language Proficiency requirement may still be required to write the Academic Assessment as a result of reviewing their admission file and a formal interview with the Program Manager.
- Attend Columbia College’s Program Orientation and tuition-free online College Skills for Success course before the start of your program.
- Admissions interview(s) to determine suitability for the profession and opportunity for success in the program.
- Evidence of the application for a Police Information Check, Vulnerable Sector Search and Child Intervention Check must be submitted prior to the start of the program.
- Standard First Aid and CPR Training Level C (prior to starting practicum – by the end of the first semester).
Do I need to submit a transcript? Or take the Assessment Test?
Transcripts can be difficult to obtain, and may not always be approved if they are old, if the grades are low, or if it’s unclear how the courses align with the admission requirements. Please note the following:
- Courses / Tests completed older than 2 years may not be accepted;
- Unofficial transcripts can be submitted, but official transcripts may be requested by the Office of the Registrar to have on file in order for program registration to be official;
- Students with transcripts from an international institution who are looking to apply with their transcripts are encouraged to have their education assessed through the ‘International Qualifications Assessment Service‘ (IQAS).
Applicants should direct any transcript questions they may have to email@example.com.
Please note that students who are uncertain about their transcripts can choose to apply by taking the Columbia College Admission Assessment test. Students who enter through the admission assessment test are not required to submit transcripts as part of their admission application.
Do your academic skills need to be upgraded to meet admission entry requirements?
If your academic skills need to be improved in one or more areas, the student may be referred to Columbia College’s Academic Preparation – College Prep (free courses). See Continuing Education – Academic Preparation – College Prep.
Health and Wellness Status / Accommodations
Due to the demanding nature of the work in the education field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the education assistant field has a strong focus on health and wellness. If you have a medical condition or disability that may impact your ability to be successful in a course or practicum setting, you are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or the College’s Accommodations Advisor as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. For more information on Accommodations, click here.
Competitive Entry: Six Step Process
Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.
Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the academic and non-academic admission requirements.
Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines
- Applications and proof of the admission requirements (official transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted to be included in selection.
- Selection will begin four months prior to the start date of the program and will done on a continuous basis until the program is full.
- In the selection process, qualified applicants will be ranked according to their program suitability following a review of the entire application (including the admissions interview). Selection is ‘not’ based strictly on prior academic achievement. Applicants will be offered admission or placed on the waitlist. Columbia College reserves the right to grant or refuse admission to any applicant.
Step 4: Apply to the program and submit your transcripts and other supporting documentation.
Step 5: Schedule and complete your admissions interview.
Step 6: Continue to monitor changes to your application status and any outstanding admission requirements through correspondence with your admissions advisor.
Academic Proficiency Requirements
English Proficiency Requirements
English test / program
Minimum required score
|Columbia College’s Required College Prep English course||B or 75%|
|Canadian Language Benchmarks / Milestones Test*||8 in each strand|
|IELTS Academic*||Listening – 7.5, Reading – 6.5, Writing – 7.0, Speaking – 7.0|
|Columbia College ESL820 level course||80% and 8 in each strand|
|Columbia College’s Accuplacer English Test*||SS-85, RC-80, WR-6+|
|IQAS – Formal assessment||Alberta Education English Language Arts equivalents|
|Alberta Education High School English Course||English 30-1, English 30-2 with a final mark of 60%, or equivalent|
OR: Successful completion of an Alberta Education English Language Arts course that is consistent with the specified academic admission requirements for the Career Program
OR: Successful completion of three years of full-time secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction
OR: Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of one year of full-time post-secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction
OR: Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of a post-secondary level English course with a minimum grade of a C (65%) or equivalent
Test/Transcript results are valid for two years from the day of testing or completion of a course. Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program may not be accepted, but will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar. Official results must be submitted.
Transcripts will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar and the Education Assistant Professional program to determine whether the courses completed will be accepted to meet the proficiency requirement.
Communication during selection
Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the Columbia.ab.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. An up-to-date phone number is also strongly recommended for times when email correspondence is unsuccessful.
Please click here to view the student handbook for the Education Assistant Professional program for students beginning in January 2018.
Course List and Descriptions
For a full list of courses and course descriptions for this program, please click here.
Tutoring is available for students. If you require tutoring, please contact your Program Chair or Coordinator.
Columbia College’s tuition and general fees come into effect August 1 of each year.
For more information about tuition and the Columbia College Tuition chart, please click here.
Refund of Tuition Fees
Please refer to the Student Contract of Tuition form for details of tuition refund policy. This form is available from this program’s Student Admission Advisor.
September 9, 2019
January 6, 2020
May 25, 2020
How to Register
For details on applying or reapplying to this program, please refer to the Admissions page.
To graduate from Education Assistant Professional program, students must successfully complete each course, earn 33 credits, and achieve an overall program grade point average of 2.0.
Board of Advisors
Patrick Simmons, M.Ed., Chair Education Assistant Professional Program / Registrar Columbia College
Kris McNab, Coordinator Education Assistant Professional Program Columbia College
Lindsay Hillier, CPHR, Recruitment Consultant, Calgary Board of Education (CBE)
Tom Brinsmead, Supervisor, Diverse Learning Calgary Catholic School District (CSSD)
Jane McKeown, Supervisor, Early Intervention Program, Foothills Creative Beginnings – Cochrane and Calgary
Lyndon Chubbs, M.Ed, CPHR, Manager of Human Resources, Rockyview Schools
Marian Bobak, Principal, Calgary Quest School
Lucy Dooley, M.Ed., Education Assistant Practicum Advisor, Columbia College
Kim Palmer, Principal, Phoenix Education Foundation
- Lectures 1
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Certificate No
- Assessments Self