Education Assistant Diploma Program (Live Online)

  • Format:

    (Live Online)

  • Duration:

    720 hours

  • Application Fee:

    $200 (Domestic)

    $300 (International)

  • Tuition Fee:

    $6,900 (Domestic)

    $8,625 (International)

Start Date

Live Online

Full Time: January 11, 2021 – November 16, 2021

Practicum component:

Oct 4, 2021 – Nov 16, 2021


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 Program Overview

The Education Assistant Course provides students, who are working with individuals and their disabilities, with the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective in real-life educational settings. This program focuses on the most prevalent disabilities and their developmental, functional and educational impacts on an individual. The goal of the program is to fully equip and prepare students to work with individuals with special needs using various support and educational strategies to aid their learning.

Education Assistants need to have a detailed understanding of a given disability, as well as a rich arsenal of knowledge in educational and developmental strategies. This is why education becomes a crucial component that prepares future Education Assistants for a successful career.

Upon completion of the Education Assistant course, students will be able to:

  • Obtain the necessary knowledge:
    • Learn to answer critical questions about specific disabilities.
    • Have a thorough understanding of the most prevalent disabilities, including mental and intellectual disabilities, behavioural impairments, physical disabilities (including hearing and vision impairments), autism, and psychiatric impairments.
    • Understand and be able to research specific educational and support strategies for individuals with special needs.
  • Develop the necessary skills:
    • Research and make effective presentations to community members on a given disability.
    • Analyze cases related to disabilities using collaborative and cooperative problem-solving strategies.
    • Gain practical experience necessary to work effectively in the classroom and other educational settings.
  • Cultivate the right attitude:
    • Learn to understand the complex relationship between the disability and the individual.
    • Recognize the importance of the individuality of persons with special needs.
    • Become aware of our own perceptions of disabilities and how those affect our understanding of disabilities.

Career Opportunities As Education Assistant

Graduates of the Education Assistant Diploma program will be able to obtain a position as an Educational Assistant in either private or public school settings. Other educational fields include:

  • After-school tutoring.
  • Home support teams for children with autism.
  • Respite care.
  • Behaviour intervention assistance.
  • Developmental disabilities programs and preschool environments (as an ECE Special Needs Assistant).

The demand for education assistants, either across the province or territories or in each specific school district, is dependent on the budget priorities, student enrollment, inclusion policies, and other hiring factors. Qualifications and hiring processes for education assistants may vary between the school districts.

Course Descriptions

EA 100: Introduction to Psychology

This course in psychology is designed to give the student the factual foundation in techniques. Through the study of human behaviour and mind, students will gain insights into the history of the field of psychology and will explore the past and current theories in such areas as cognition, motivation and wellness.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Gain a general knowledge of the major subfields of psychology.
  • Attain a working understanding of some of the major theories in psychology.
  • Develop the ability for critical thinking.

EA 101: Human Development

This course focuses on research and theory and uses fundamental developmental issues as a foundation for integrating studies and for demonstrating how complementary research methods work together. It also demonstrates that the results of child-development research can be used to enhance the lives of children and their families. Students will increase their current knowledge of human development in the domains of physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth from infancy to adolescence.

Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Define developmental theory and explain how theories are used to understand child behaviour and development.
  • Examine and discuss major theories of child development such as those of Piaget, Vygotsky, Freud, Erikson, and Bronfenbrenner.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of theories in terms of their practical applications in parenting and teaching.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the physical, social/emotional, cognitive and language development of children, both typical and atypical, in major developmental stages.
  • Examine and evaluate the role of family, teachers, and other professionals in facilitating children’s development.
  • Analyze the effect of biological, environmental and cultural influences on development of children of all ages.

EA 102: Disability Studies I

This course introduces students to a variety of low and high incidence disabilities, such as visual and hearing impairments, significant developmental delays, complex health issues, serious physical impairments and multiple disabilities. Extra syndromes covered in this course, outside of the textbook, are Angelman Syndrome, PKU and Fragile X.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Describe Universal Design for Learning and how it benefits the classroom.
  • Apply Differentiated Instruction to different subject areas.
  • Describe the different learning and behaviour exceptionalities.
  • Describe chronic health conditions.
  • Discuss diversity in the classrooms.
  • Discuss how to enhance social relations.

EA 103: Disability Studies II

Continuing from Disability Studies I (EA 102), this course is a thorough introduction to the field of disabilities across the lifespan, from early childhood to adulthood. Topics include service delivery models, speech and language disorders, cultural and linguistic diversity as applied to learning disabilities, emotional and behavioural disorders, classroom management, universal design, special gifts and talents and working with families. Extra syndromes covered in this course, outside of the textbook, are Cornelia de Lange, Dup15Q and Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Discuss the historical overview of special education.
  • Discuss the different service delivery models used.
  • Describe classroom adaptations and/or accommodations.
  • Discuss the basic concepts of intellectual disability.
  • Identify strategies for successful inclusion.
  • Identify curricular content considerations for academic, social skills and transitional instruction.
  • Identify changes in the Canadian family structure.
  • Define and describe sensory impairments, traumatic brain injury, health problems and physical disabilities.
  • Explain what speech and language disorders are.

EA 104: Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course introduces students to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), its prevalence, history, treatment methods, strategies and interventions. Students will put together resource materials for use in their field of practice.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Explain the DSM-V criteria for ASD.
  • Describe the history of ASD.
  • Discuss the range of deficits seen in people with ASD.
  • Apply evidence-based practices to assist students.
  • Apply Discrete Trial Training procedures.
  • Explain what sensory impairments are and their characteristics.
  • Develop social stories, picture exchange communication binder, etc.
  • Explain the role of Autism centres in Canada.

EA 105: Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

This course introduces students to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), its prevalence, history, treatment methods, strategies and interventions. Students will put together resource materials for use in their field of practice.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Discuss values, attitudes and stereotypes of FASD.
  • Define FASD, incidence and prevalence rates.
  • Explain why it is difficult to determine prevalence rates.
  • Explain the risks of alcohol on the fetus.
  • Discuss the impact of alcohol on a developing fetal brain.
  • Discuss co-occurring medical problems and physical birth defects.
  • Explain primary disabilities.
  • Explain secondary disabilities.
  • Apply instructional methods to assist learning.
  • Explain the purpose of the FASD Wheel and LEIC form.

EA 106: Understanding and Guiding Students with Challenging Behaviours

This course will emphasis Applied Behaviour Analysis, Positive Behaviour Supports and Functional Behavioural Assessments (POPARD). These traditional and current behaviour management philosophies are utilized daily in the dynamic learning environment of which you will be a part of. 

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Describe the basic theory behind applied behaviour analysis.
  • Discuss why there is concern about its use.
  • Identify a target behaviour for modification.
  • List and describe behavioural assessments, graphing and data analysis.
  • Describe the options to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviour.
  • Explain how to establish discriminations.
  • Explain how to teach generalization and set up maintenance schedules.
  • Outline the theory behind Positive Behaviour Supports.
  • Demonstrate how to build positive relationships with students.
  • Develop Individual Behaviour Support Plans.

EA 107: Dyslexia and The Orton Gillingham Approach

This course will cover Dyslexia, its subtypes and interventions used in the school districts to help students succeed. Topics include the nature of the individual with Dyslexia, the principles of the Orton Gillingham Approach, multisensory instruction, Dyslexia and the brain; and the phonology, structure and history of the English Language.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Define dyslexia.
  • Define and discuss the common learning disabilities subtypes.
  • Explain the formal and informal assessment process.
  • Define the principles of teaching literacy.
  • Explain the multisensory approach to learning.
  • Explain the Orton Gillingham approach and its history.
  • Explain the development of reading.
  • Demonstrate interventions.

EA 108: Assistive Technology

This course is designed to show how assistive technology can be used in schools to enhance the teaching and learning of students with disabilities. It addresses the challenge of how teachers and educational assistants can use assistive technology in all kinds of classroom settings both to teach new skills to students and to provide students with access to the general education curriculum.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Define assistive technology.
  • Discuss how to use assistive technology to support reading and writing.
  • Explain universal design for learning and differentiated instruction.
  • Apply visual supports to support behaviour.
  • Show how to integrate augmentative communication in the classroom, home and community.
  • Explain the decision-making process in selecting appropriate assistive technology tools.

EA 109: Developing Skills

This course is designed to give students a variety of workshops that will increase their specialization. Workshops include Floortime, Mindup, Touch Math and more.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and apply the principles of Touch Math.
  • Explain what ABLLS-R is and how it is used to evaluate students’ language skills.
  • Explain the purpose of Floortime and how to use it.
  • Apply mindfulness to the lives of students.

EA 110: A Field Practicum

For six weeks, students will gain the practical experience necessary to work effectively in a classroom, assisting teachers in supporting the students with a wide range of abilities. Students will have an opportunity to work at a level comparable to that of employable education assistants. The field practicum is available in private and public schools, elementary through secondary grades. Evaluation assignments must be completed.

Upon completion of this course the successful student will demonstrate:

  • Understanding of the relationship between theoretical knowledge and practical application and ability to apply knowledge to practice.
  • Skill development in a work context.
  • Understanding of the relationship between quality practice and organizational philosophy, structure, and policy and procedure.
  • Awareness of professional and ethical practice.
  • Develop an understanding about the role and expectations for working with people who have disabilities across the lifespan.
  • Understand and articulate the importance and role of ethics in support work.
  • Engage in exemplary practice.
  • Follow professional obligations and commitments as outlined by a pertinent professional code of ethics.
  • Model and practice respect for diversity.
  • Facilitate inclusion and participation.
  • Identify appropriate learning content, strategies and routines for using alternative communication.
  • Design and implement appropriate instructional strategies.
  • Assist individuals to meet their personal needs in ways that empower, give dignity and increase self-esteem.
  • Identify barriers to the acquisition of skills.
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of an Educational Assistant.
  • Understand policies, protocols and intervention techniques for crisis situations.
  • Identify strategies to maximize the communication potential of each situation.
  • Use a variety of observation/assessment tools in an objective manner.
  • Organize and write concise, effective documents.
  • Research and document information for a variety of audiences and purposes.
  • Use grammar and other writing conventions appropriately.
  • Demonstrate constructive techniques for managing interpersonal conflict in team and group situations.
  • Identify and analyze the context, message, audience and purpose of written documents.
  • Demonstrate self-awareness regarding one’s skills, personal style, and values when working in groups.
  • Communicate in a caring, respectful and clear manner.
  • Utilize strategies for community building and community connecting.
  • Use personal understanding of diversity/social justice issues to support and advocate for individuals in the community or school.
  • Integrate theoretical knowledge with practice experiences.
  • Establish effective relationships with children and/or adults.
  • Practice ethically and accurately the quality of their own performance.


Full Time: January 11, 2021 – November 16, 2021

  • Students must devote at least 15 hours per week to attending webinars, seminars, and laboratories online.
  • Webinars are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm -8:30 pm PST.
  • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the criteria as set out in our Admissions Policy.

NOTE: Applicants who are unable to access our existing English Language Proficiency testing options due to test centre closures, we have made special temporary arrangements to accept the result of the Duolingo Online Test. Please refer to this memorandum for further information. 

Applicants should also provide the following additional documents. These additional mandatory requirements apply prior to commencing practicums and not at the time of admission.

  1. Clear criminal records search for the vulnerable sector;
  2. TB test and/or X-ray and Certificate of Health;

Technical Requirements

Live Online Students

Ashton College uses Adobe Connect and Schoology to help instructors and students connect and collaborate online. Students should have regular access to a computer, laptop or smartphone to access the class materials.

To be able to participate in webinars, students would need a webcam and headset, or a microphone and headphones, along with a high-speed internet connection. To view the technical requirements for Schoology, please click here and to view the technical requirements for Adobe Connect, please click here.

Please run a test to ensure whether your device can run Adobe Connect. You may be required to install the Adobe Connect add-in. If that’s the case, you will receive instructions to do so when you access a meeting for the first time. It is mandatory to run a Diagnostic Test to join an Adobe Connect meeting on a computer. The Diagnostic Test ensures that your computer and network connections are verified.

Adobe Connect mobile app is only available on Android devices and iOS. Recorded sessions are not accessible via the mobile device app, so students will need to use a desktop/laptop to view the recorded sessions.


Tuition fees for this program are due and payable 2 weeks prior to the cohort start date. Students with guaranteed funding arrangements will be exempt from this requirement provided that they produce documents before the cohort start date.

All formats of the program are eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and bank financing. However, students are responsible for making their own funding arrangements and are advised to contact the relevant funder well in advance of the start date to make an application.

Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:

  • Application fee: $200 (Domestic Students) or $300 (International Students)
  • Tuition fee (In-class): $10,400 (Domestic Students) or $13,520 (International Students)
  • Tuition fee (Online): $6,900 (Domestic Students) or $8625 (International Students)

Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of the required textbooks. The approximate textbook fee is $875.

This program was reviewed and approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

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