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The Special Education Assistant Diploma program provides students with the necessary skills, knowledge and real-life experiences to work with individuals with disabilities in an educational setting.
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.
Special 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 Special Education Assistants for a successful career.
Upon completion of the Special Education Assistant Diploma program, 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.
Graduates of this 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 ECCE Special Needs Assistant).
The demand for education assistants, either provincially 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.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- A minimum of a high school diploma, 19 years or older at the start of the applicant’s program or course; and
- English Language Proficiency Requirements.
Applicants should also provide the following additional documents:
- Clear criminal records search for the vulnerable sector; and
- TB test and/or X-ray and Certificate of Health.
For more details, please see our Admissions Policy.
This program is delivered in-class from our Abbotsford campus.
920 hours (including a 120-hour practicum).
- In-class: 20 hours of instruction per week, for a total of 40 weeks, plus a 4-week practicum.
April 8, 2019 – February 7, 2020
- Classes are held Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.
SEA 100: Introduction to Psychology (80 hours)
This course offers students an engaging introduction to the essential topics in psychology. 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.
SEA 101: Human Development (80 hours)
Students will increase their current knowledge of human development in the domains of physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth from infancy to adolescence.
SEA 102: Disability Studies I (80 hours)
This course introduces students to a variety of low and high incidence disabilities, such as visual and/or hearing impairments, significant developmental delays, complex health issues, serious physical impairments and multiple disabilities.
SEA 103: Disability Studies II (80 hours)
This course is a continuation of Disability Studies I. It will cover more disorders and syndromes that can be seen in a classroom today.
SEA 104: Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (100 hours)
This course introduces students to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their prevalence, history, current treatment methods, strategies and interventions. Students will put together resource materials for future use in their field.
SEA 105: Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (80 hours)
This course introduces students to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), their prevalence and history, as well as strategies and interventions. Students will continue to build resource materials for future use in their field.
SEA 106: Understanding and Guiding Students with Challenging Behaviours (160 hours)
The main purpose of this extensive course is to introduce students to evidence-based positive practices and interventions for students with challenging behaviours. Emphasis will be placed on Applied Behaviour Analysis, Positive Behaviour Supports and Functional Behavioural Assessments (POPARD).
SEA 107: Dyslexia and The Orton Gillingham Approach (60 hours)
This course introduces students to the many forms of dyslexia and the educational options available. Emphasis is on the Orton Gillingham Approach.
SEA 108: Assistive Technology (40 hours)
Students will be introduced to different technologies, including low, mid and high-tech options that will assist students in navigating their world to achieve academic and social success.
SEA 109: Specialized Skills (40 hours)
Students will attend certification workshops that include Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI), First Aid, Assessment of Basic Language and Learning skills (ABLLs), Touch Math and Personal Care skills.
SEA 110: A Field Practicum (120 hours)
Over a four-week period of time, the student 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.
Tuition fees for this program are due and payable at least 30 days prior to the cohort start date. Students with guaranteed funding arrangements will be exempt from this requirement provided that they produce documentary proof at least 30 days prior to 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 (Domestic): $10,400
- Tuition fee (International): $13,520
Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of the required textbooks. The approximate textbook fee is $875.