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. 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). There will be two weeks of Directed Observation during school hours, and a four week practicum during school hours. 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 Dates: 

  • September Intake:
    • Applications open in January
    • Applications close end of May
  • February Intake:
    • Applications open in August
    • Applications close end of November

Application Requirements:

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 – Click the link to download the form APPLICATION FORM 

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. (contact the program coordinator if you have questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on this requirement)

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. 

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

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of program instructors and college administration. Their decisions regarding applications are final and not subject to appeal.