Special Education Teacher Assistant Certificate

Program Overview:

The Special Education Teacher Assistant (S.E.T.A.) program prepares students for a variety of careers in schools, institutions and other workplace settings.

Education Assistants (EA’s) provide support in training and/or education involving basic life skills support and academic support in subjects requiring an understanding of the course curriculum content and learning concepts. Various alternative communication techniques may also be included. Education Assistants help classroom teachers in the implementation of behaviour programs that assist with the severely behaviourally challenged to achieve specific goals. Personal care assistance may be required.

The Program includes both theoretical studies, observation and practical applications of the role of the Education Assistant. The program is scheduled to be completed in one year.

Classes are scheduled for evenings and Saturdays. Students must also be available for for a four-week practicum placement in a school arranged by RMC and two weeks of directed observation and shadowing early in the program. Successful applicants can expect three weeknight evenings and most Saturdays between early September through to the end of the following May. There are no classes on Saturdays that fall before a statutory holiday.

Program duration is approximately 615 hours. Application for admission is required and attendance at the application session is mandatory.

This program is accredited with the Private Career Training Institutions Agency.

Program schedule available here.

Fall 2015 Registration/Application:

  • Registration for the SETA program opens on June 5, 2015 at 8:30 am, the registration form is completed at that time (a limited number of registrations are accepted on a first come – first served basis, no registrations will be accepted before June 5). There is a $28 application fee to be paid at registration.
  • Only prospective students who have been accepted for registration on June 5 will be invited to attend the application session.
  • Application Session – Friday, June 12, 2015 from 9:00 am to noon, please bring all relevant documentation as below:
  • Applicants may be interviewed prior to acceptance into the program. Attendance at the application session does not guarantee acceptance into the SETA program.

Admission Requirements:

  • Grade 12 (G.E.D. not accepted), copy of diploma or transcript.
  • Volunteer time and/or appropriate work experience (100 hours) – ideally, volunteer or work experience would be in a school setting, though experience with special needs individuals in other supported goal-oriented environments can apply: for example, formal recreation programs, group homes, pre-school or after school programs. Parents of special needs children would benefit from some volunteer time in a school setting.
  • Criminal record check – required for practicum placements. Ridge Meadows College will facilitate the criminal records check once the student has been accepted in to the program. students do not need to apply for a CRC on their own.
  • English and academic skills assessment: an assessment of spoken English, written English and Math skills, this is done at the application session.
  • Two professional references – written. These are not personal references; if you have volunteered in a school setting, we recommend references from the school administration, teachers and support teachers. Relevant employer references are accepted as well – for example: group home, care facilities or after school programs.
  • Bring documentation, references and a calculator to the application session.

Core Courses:

  • History & Issues in Para Education
  • 2 week introductory observation – daytime, within the first 6 weeks of the program
  • Child Development & Special Needs
  • Curriculum Adaptations and Supports
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Augmented Communication
  • Exceptionalities in the Classroom
  • POPARD Introduction to Autism
  • Health Care Issues
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
  • Occupational First Aid Level 1
  • ASL Prep I Units 1 to 3
  • ASL Prep II Units 4 to 6
  • Variety of seminars and workshops addressing speech and language, hearing, technology and other topics
  • SETA Practicum and seminars (four weeks)


**Program profile is subject to change based on program advisory committee recommendations.