Education Assistant Certificate

Program Description

The Education Assistant program provides theory, develops compe­tency in required skills, and promotes professional development towards the training and preparation of an Education Assistant to enhance the child’s involvement in the educational environment.

Education Assistants may be employed to provide support to children with varying levels of special needs or they may provide general support to classroom teachers in the delivery of educational programs to a number of children or the entire class.

Northern Lights College offers a 12 month Certificate* or two-year Diploma program. This program may be completed on a part- or full-time basis. Students may complete the program within their own community through online delivery. Face-to-face offerings are available within the NLC region (contingent on student enrollment or special project offering).

*When completed full time in three full semesters (Fall, Winter, Fall)

Career Prospects

Qualified Education Assistants are employed in public, private and independent schools around the province as a Special Needs Support Worker, Personal Care Attendant, and Playground and/or School Supervision Monitor.


Location: Online/Distributed Delivery

Length: 12 months when full time beginning in the Fall term

Start: September, January (full time or part time), or April (part time only)

Fees: Current Fee Schedule

Need upgrading first? Start with NLC’s Career and College Preparation program.

Admission Requirements

A. Standard admission requirements are as follows:

  • Completion of a Northern Lights College Application Form and payment of the related application fee (NLC Application form is found on our admissions page)
  • Copy of government - issued ID with current full legal name.
  • Comprehensive letter stating background, interest, and goals in taking the program.
  • Official transcripts from all secondary or post-secondary institutions attended, indicating successful completion of one of the following English courses with a “C” or higher: Grade 12 English, English Literature 12, English 12 First Peoples, English 050, or English 099. OR Any university-level English course with a C grade or higher. OR Completion of the NLC Writing Assessment. Performance on the NLC Writing Assessment is used to make recommendations about appropriate course placement. The NLC Writing Assessment form can be found on our admissions page. "Official" Transcripts must be received unopened from the sending institution or the Ministry.
  • Provide two current letters of reference, one personal and one from a recent employer (must be written and dated within the last year), attesting to personal suitability for working with young children.
  • Submit an NLC Health Certificate of Good Health signed and dated by a physician (form found on our admissions page).

Dual Credit

In order to gain conditional acceptance, secondary school Dual Credit students will also need to submit:

  • A copy of a Dual Credit application completed and signed at a local secondary school.
  • Transcripts indicating successful completion of Grade 11.

Please consult the High School’s Dual Credit Coordinator or Counsellor to determine any additional prerequisites for individual courses.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.
  2. Each student is required to authorize a Ministry of Justice Criminal Record Check before participating in any courses involving access to children or vulnerable adults.
    Under no circumstances will students be permitted to complete any practical work in a child care or school setting until NLC has received a clear Schedule B criminal record check with the Ministry of Justice.
    Students are obligated to report any Schedule B criminal convictions that occur after they authorize a Criminal Record Check but are still enrolled in the program. Failure to do so may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
    • Please see the NLC Criminal Records Check page for completion instructions and more information pertaining to Criminal Record Checks.
  3. Students complete practica within their own communities provided the options exist for acceptable placements. Students unable to locate suitable practicum placements in their own communities may need to relocate to another community for one or more of the practica.
  4. Please note the following application deadlines: May 1 for Fall (September) start; October 1 for Winter (January) start; and February 1 for Spring (April) start.
  5. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide. 
  6. Northern Lights College has partnered with Collège Éducacentre for delivery of the Education Assistant Certificate in French. For information on delivery of the program in French, please contact Emilie Dehoubert, French Student Advisor
    Collège Éducacentre
    604-708-5100 poste 1404

View the Education Assistant Admissions Page

Do you need more information?

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