Education Assistant

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

This is a full-time program with a significant workload. Regular attendance, participation, and completion of assignments is of the utmost importance.

Successful graduates of the program will be considered for an interview with School District 42.

Academic Requirements:

  • Completion of Grade 12 (or equivalent) or 19 years of age or older.

English Language Requirement:

  • Completion of English 12, or equivalent, or a satisfactory demonstration of written and verbal English ability as determined by the College.

Application Requirements:

  • Completion of Application form – Click the link to download the form.

Application Form

  • 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.
  • A record / summary of applicable work or 100 volunteer hours* (*Due to challenges volunteering during COVID-19, this requirement may be waived or modified at the discretion of the college).
  • Criminal Record Check (facilitated by the college; costs are included in the application fee)
  • A resume is not mandatory, but recommended.

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

February Intake (2022)

  • Applications now open!
  • Applications must be submitted by November 30, 2021

September Intake (2022)

  • Applications open in January
  • Applications must be submitted by May 31, 2022

Program Fees

Program Fees for February, 2022 are as follows:

  • Application Fee: $30
  • Deposit upon acceptance to the program: $1,000
  • Total Program Fees (including books and deposit): $8,700

Course Instalment Plans (CIPs) to pay program fees monthly, are available for students meeting certain conditions.  This program is not applicable for student loans.

Education Assistant - Semester 1

Course CodeCourse NameHours
EA01Introduction to Inclusive Education24
EA02Child Development - Infancy to Adolescence36
EA03Interpersonal Communications30
EA05Observation Practicum and Seminars72
EA09Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom42
EA10POPARD - Introduction to Autism30
EA11Sensory Strategies for Self-Regulation6
EA12Back Care3
EA14Social and Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practice15
EA21Speech and Language Development and Disorders12

Education Assistant - Semester 2

Course CodeCourse NameHours
EA04Medical and Health Issues24
EA06Anxiety12
EA07Application of Visual Design6
EA08Assistive Technology in the Classroom12
EA13Curriculum Supports - Elementary30
EA15Curriculum Supports - Secondary 36
EA16Positive Behaviour Supports42
EA17Introduction to Boardmaker9
EA18Occupational First Aid7
EA19Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (CPI)19
EA20Practicum and Seminars135

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 the following 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.

Thursday, November 4, 2021
Time:  7:00 pm
Place: Online via Zoom

Register Now!

What type of experience is usually required for entry into the Education Assistant Program?
Experience working with children, particularly children with special needs is an asset to acceptance into the program.

What are the components in applying to the program?
Completion of the application form found online at https://rmcollege.sd42.ca/program/education-assistant/ is the first step to applying to the Education Assistant program. The application must also include:

  • 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.
  • A record / summary of applicable work or 100 volunteer hours* (*Due to challenges volunteering during COVID-19, this requirement may be waived or modified at the discretion of the college).
  • Criminal Record Check (facilitated by the college; costs are included in the application fee)

Following review of the application by the Program Coordinator, an interview process and short entrance exam will be administered to determine final acceptance into the program.  Interviews are done in late May and late November. Students should note that a proficiency in English language (written and oral) is required.

What is the length of the program?
The EA program runs for ten months.  The September start runs from September to June, and the February start runs from February to the end of January the following year, with summer holidays off.

What are the components of the program?
The program is comprised of 21 courses including two fully supervised practicums. Typically, there are  3-4 courses going on at once.  Homework/studying/assignments/projects can be up to 6-8 hours per week depending on the course(s) at the time.  Canada Revenue considers this a full-time program.

What do the practicums involve?
There is one two-week observation practicum and one four-week full immersion practicum where students take on the responsible of an EA.  Each practicum has accompanying seminars and assignments.  Both are full time in school during the day approximately 8:00-2:30.  Practicum sites are secured by the college.

What are the hours of the program?
Classes are on weekday evenings 6:30 to 9:30 every Tuesday and Thursday, about 55% of the Wednesday.  Saturday classes (50 %) are full days 9:00-3:30.   There are two Monday evenings to prepare for the practicum.  Every effort is made to ensure long weekend are free of classes.

Will there be breaks in the program?
The program has a two-week winter/Christmas break and a 2-week Spring Break which coincides with Maple Ridge School District #42 Spring Break.

What is the teaching format of the program?
The teaching format is in-person. Practicums are based in schools in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadow School District.

How many students are in program?
Each program accepts about 25 students.

What are the instructor’s qualifications?
Our Instructors are/have been Elementary school teachers, school counselors or Secondary school teachers. Many have their Master’s degree and special training/expertise in their area of instruction in the program.

How long have they been teaching in their field of expertise?
We have very experienced teachers who have been teaching anywhere from 20-40 years.

What qualifications do employers typically look for in this occupation?
Individuals who have completed the Education Assistant Program and are certified.

What training or academic background is needed for a job in this field?
Education Assistant Certificate.  School districts also prefer First Aid, CPI (non-violent Crisis Intervention) and POPARD’s Introduction to Autism course which are all apart of our program.

What are the typical duties and responsibilities for Education Assistants?
Education Assistants work in inclusive classroom settings with children diverse needs. Duties can include academic/learning support all the way to self-care and medical/health support such as G-tube feeding and toileting.

What is the success rate for hiring?
Virtually all graduates from our program are hired in BC school districts as there is currently a shortage of EAs in the province of BC. Salaries are approximately $27.00 – $30.00 per hour per school district.

Is there funding support for students?
Yes, there is a payment plan available.  Some students also apply for funding through WorkBC.