Education Assistant Certificate

Program Overview:

Education Assistants work with K-12 students with special physical, behavioural or learning needs. Ridge Meadows College Education Assistant Program will prepare you for supporting students in mainstream learning assistance, resource room, English Literacy, and alternate settings. A second cohort for this program will commence in the new year (January 2020) and will be complete by winter break 2020 (there will be a break in instruction over the summer). The program runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings (6:30-9:30 pm) – there will be occasional Monday evenings as well – and most Saturdays (9:00 am – 3:30 pm). A schedule will be provided to successful applicants by early December 2019. There will be two weeks of Directed Observation during school hours towards the end of February, and a four week practicum during school hours starting in mid-November. Cost of the program (subject to change) is approximately $8,700.00. Payment plans are available. The program is currently not eligible for student loans.

While this is considered a part-time program, the work load is quite heavy. Regular attendance, participation, and completion of assignments is of the utmost importance.

Application Requirements:

The Deadline for Application for January 2020 is Friday, September 27, 2019

Late applications may be considered once applicants who have met the deadline have been reviewed and if space remains. As there has been a demand beyond our capacity in recent years, we recommend applying by the deadline.

  • Completion of Application form – the form is now available online or can be picked up in person at the college after that date.

Included with the application form, please submit:

  • A hand-written, one-page letter / statement about why you feel you are a good candidate (to include any experience dealing with children, youth, or persons with special needs)
  • Two letters of reference, preferably from professionals in education, special needs programs, child care, recreation, or community service.
  • Transcript or proof of Grade 12 graduation. Off shore credentials may be considered. Evidence of other post-secondary education should be included.
  • A record / summary of applicable work or volunteer hours (100 hours).
  • A resume is not mandatory, but useful.


  • Completion of the application form along with supplemental documents and a $30 non-refundable application fee.
  • High School Graduation – Grade 12.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to pass a Criminal Records Check for work in the vulnerable sector – the college will run these checks upon acceptance to the program.
  • 2 professional references.
  • 100 hours appropriate work / volunteer experience.

Assets for Applicants

  • Volunteer or work experience with children or youth in school settings (K – 12)
  • Volunteer or work experience with children, youth, or adults with special needs
  • Familiarity with the various roles of education assistants in the school system
  • Strong numeracy and academic aptitude
  • Post-secondary courses in education psychology, special needs, or health care
  • Other training related to heath care, child care, behavioural support, or home support

Program Costs

Registration Fee $30

Tuition and Book Fee: Approx. $8700.00

Selection Process

A limited number of applicants will be accepted to the program. Class size each year is limited so selection into the program is based on a competitive process. Application packages will be reviewed after the September 27, 2019 deadline.

Applicants are evaluated on their initial application package. Selected applicants will be screened through further written and personal interviews, focusing on these criteria:

  • completeness of the application, including both references and hand-written letter
  • relevant work and/or volunteer experience, especially with people with special needs or in K – 12 classrooms
  • strength of the hand-written statement in terms of content, clarity, and writing skills
  • related prior education and other applicable academic qualifications
  • demonstrated understanding of the role of an education assistant preparedness for the program’s demanding schedule

Only applicants who will be given further consideration will be contacted by November 8, 2019. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of program instructors and college administration. Their decisions regarding applications are final and not subject to appeal.