Start Dates



Program Delivery

  • In Class
  • Any-time Online
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $5,507
Estimated Book Costs: CAD $300

This program is under proposed revision and not currently open for applications.

Program Description

The Education Assistant program at Bow Valley College is designed to provide learners with a combination of practical skills and theoretical knowledge to enable the Education Assistant to provide high quality classroom experiences for children and adolescents who have a range of exceptionalities. The Education Assistant works with students in inclusive and specialized settings supporting students' cognitive, psychological, and social development.

The Education Assistant program can be taken either face to face or online. If face to face delivery is chosen, access to any of the online offerings is not guaranteed.

Do you plan on extending your education? Transfer your courses and complete the Disability Studies Diploma in just over a year. 

Go at your own pace! You can take up to three years to complete this certificate. If you plan on doing this, contact the School of Community Studies or Academic Advising to get the recommended course load per term.

Regional learners

Learners living in the area surrounding Calgary can take the program starting in Fall (September) through the online offerings. Contact Regional or view our locations to contact your nearest campus. Practicum courses include on-site activity at a local school in the region. 

Hear about one of the program's grads! Erwin Bear Chief completed his Education Assistant Certificate and his Disability Studies Diploma. Read his story. 

Course Listings Request More Information Applying FAQ
Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

Regional Applicants

Airdrie Campus
Cochrane Campus
Okotoks Campus

Admission Requirements

Academic requirements
  • Credit in English 30-1 or a minimum final mark of 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) test with a standard score of 520 in Language Arts: Reading and Writing
  • Satisfactory results on the Bow Valley College Admissions Test
Pre-practicum requirement

The Education Assistant program includes a practicum placement in the winter semester in agencies where employers require a Police Information Check (PIC) with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS). Results of this check may restrict opportunities for placement in a practicum. The PIC must be obtained before the start of the practicum and may need to be renewed more than once while enrolled in a program. 

English language proficiency requirements

See English language proficiency requirements for details.


Transfer opportunities are available to a variety of institutions. Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which you apply. See our most current transfer agreements here.

Related Links

Course Listings Request More Information Applying FAQ
Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

Regional Applicants

Airdrie Campus
Cochrane Campus
Okotoks Campus

Employment Rate


Training Related Employment Rate


Based on 2019-2020 domestic and international students who self-reported finding employment or training-related employment within 6-12 months after graduating.

Course Listing

Full course outlines are available here.

Curriculum subject to change.

Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

This course develops knowledge of the history, philosophy, legislation, values, trends and issues related to exceptional learners. It explores student inclusion and provides a wide overview of exceptionalities ranging from mild to severe and child to adulthood. Access and retrieval of information on exceptionalities is emphasized.

This first-year composition course introduces learners to academic writing and critical thinking. They read and analyze sociopolitical, cultural, and gender issues in texts with an emphasis on experiences of people whose voices were historically silenced, particularly those of Indigenous communities in Canada. Learners develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing source material. Learners present their written assignments professionally according to APA formatting guidelines.

The lives of individuals with disabilities can be improved through the use of assistive technology. In this course, learners investigate the principles of universal design and explore how those principles guide the incorporation of assistive technology into daily activities. Learners explore a variety of current assistive technologies and strategies for their use with individuals and groups.

This course introduces learners to inclusive education in a Canadian classroom. Learners explore the roles and responsibilities of the Education Assistant as an educational team member in a school setting. Learners will gain the skills and attitudes necessary for an Education Assistant to work professionally and effectively within legal and ethical standards and provincial guidelines, and confidentiality and professionalism will be stressed throughout the course. The philosophy and educational concepts associated with inclusion and diversity form the foundation for this class.

This course examines theory, principles, concepts, and instructional strategies related to expressive and receptive language and literacy development. It focuses on assisting students with reading and writing processes and adapting strategies, materials, and activities to meet the needs of individual students.

This course provides an overview of the typical physical, social, emotional, moral, and cognitive developmental changes occurring during middle childhood and adolescence. Learners explore major theoretical concepts and strategies of interaction with individuals in this age group. Course activity focuses on typical and atypical aspects of development; the contexts and social spheres that shape middle childhood and adolescence; as well as transitions from middle childhood to adolescence.

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

This course builds on the Introduction to Exceptionalities. It focuses on teaching/learning strategies and interventions for learners with specific exceptional needs. Resources, assessment procedures and inclusion of individuals with exceptionalities are addressed. The integration of theory, principles and concepts when determining strategies, materials, and activities for exceptional learners is emphasized. An introduction to assistive technology is included.

This course focuses on conducting and recording observations of student progress and behaviour, and on beginning to develop an understanding of the assistant's role in classroom management. Following this, it will examine attitudes, skills, and strategies that encourage positive student behaviour. A variety of practical approaches to understanding and managing student behaviour, and for dealing with students exhibiting behavioural difficulties will be explored.

This course focuses on learning process and the application of learning principles in providing instructional support to learners. It provides knowledge of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and materials to assist students across the curriculum. It explores techniques to reinforce, adjust and modify tasks to meet the needs of individual students.

This is a two-part course that consists of a weekly 2-hour seminar and a total of 180 hours of practicum experience in local schools. The weekly seminars provide an opportunity to discuss practicum experiences. The practicum section of this course is designed to give the student an opportunity to begin practicing as an education assistant and to make further connections between theory and practice.

Elective CoursePlus one (1) of the following electives:

This course provides an introduction to the diverse Indigenous Nations of Canada, while looking at the effects of colonialism in both historical and contemporary times, and from multiple perspectives. This course will orient learners to the current goals and challenges of Indigenous communities in Canada today. Learners are encouraged to situate themselves in Truth and Reconciliation and the Calls to Action, especially as they relate to their chosen field of work.

This course involves the exploration of the concepts of living a balanced life according to the Medicine Wheel in the areas of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Learners will be able to incorporate Medicine Wheel-informed wellness activities to support clients on their journey of healing.

Optional International PracticumCredit

Program FAQs

Yes. The Education Assistant Certificate has a face-to-face or online delivery. Many online learners take it on a part-time basis over two to three years. 

The Education Assistant Certificate has one practicum component which takes place in the winter semester.

No, this is not a legislated role, but it is well recognized within the school systems.


There are a range of opportunities for Education Assistant Certificate graduates within the school boards. 

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