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2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Education Assistant Diploma

Location(s): Online

The Diploma in Education Assistant prepares learners to support children and youth with diverse abilities in British Columbia K-12 classroom settings. This credential is grounded in the principles of positive, person-centred support and holistic development of individual potential. The importance of making personal connections to knowledge, content, and ways of being are reflected in course design, enabling Education Assistants (EAs) to support children and youth to become connected, competent, caring, and autonomous individuals.

The Diploma in Education Assistant comprises 20 courses, blending theoretical, practical, and experiential learning while supporting students as they continue to develop an Integrative Learning Portfolio.

The entire program is regularly offered through a blended model of online delivery, including asynchronous and synchronous modes of delivery.

Students complete practica within their own communities provided options exist for acceptable placements. Students unable to locate suitable practicum placements in their own community may need to relocate to another community for one or more of the practicum courses.

Career Prospects

Qualified Education Assistants are employed in public and independent (private) schools around the province. Graduates of the Northern Lights College Education Assistant program may seek a variety of positions in elementary and secondary education settings, including Special Needs Support Worker, Personal Care Attendant, Settlement Workers in Schools and Playground and/or School Supervision Monitor. Education Assistants may be employed at any grade level, from kindergarten to high school graduation, to provide support to children with varying levels of special needs or they may provide general support in the delivery of educational programs to a number of children.

Prospective students are encouraged to research employment prospects for Education Assistants in their local community and school districts prior to applying to the program.




61 credits (1100 hours), minimum.

This is a two year program taken over four semesters with minimum of 15 credits per semester.  Part-time studies will take longer.

Estimated Program Fees

Program fee type: Academic

Costs indicated are estimates for a full-time course load.

Book, instruments, supplies, uniforms/clothing and third-party fees are additional.

Domestic Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Year 1$ 3,581.40$ 149.76$ 978.39$ 4,709.55
Year 2 (estimated)$ 3,700.78$ 150.96$ 978.39$ 4,830.13

International Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Medical Insurance
Year 1$ 11,580.00$ 149.76$ 978.39$ 828.00$ 13,536.15
Year 2 (estimated)$ 12,710.00$ 153.97$ 978.39$ 828.00$ 14,670.36

Special Pathways

Graduates of NLC’s Early Childhood Education and Care Diploma program will receive credit for the following course:

Graduates of this program can receive credit towards completion of NLC’s SSWD program.  See Social Services Worker Diploma for more information.

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Admission Requirements

English Requirement

For applicants from countries that practice Standard Written English, one of the following:

  • English Studies 12 with a C grade or higher
  • English First Peoples 12 with a C grade or higher
  • English 12 with a C grade or higher
  • English Literature 12  with a C grade or higher
  • ENGL 050 with a C grade or higher
  • ENGL 099 with a C grade or higher
  • Any university-level English course with a C grade or higher
  • NLC Writing Assessment with placement at the college level (100)

For concurrent studies (dual credit) applicants:

  • English 11 and enrolment in English 12 or equivalent with an interim grade of C or higher

For all other applicants, one of the following:

  • IELTS result with an overall score of 6.0 or higher with no band less than 6.0

Document Requirements

All of:

1 The comprehensive letter must state the applicant’s background, interest, and goals for pursuing this program.

2 The letters of reference must be written and dated within a year of application.  Each must attest to the candidate’s knowledge, skills and attitudes as a fit for the education assistant profession. One letter must be from a recent employer, and one letter must be a personal reference from a non-family member.

3 This form provides assurance of good health and must be signed by a physician.

Program Change

Current Education Assistant Certificate students may request a change to this program if they are in good standing and they submit a Letter of Intent with their program change request.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online. Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. Students are required to have a computer (laptop or other mobile device) with minimum computer requirements.
  3. Graduates are eligible for direct admission into the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing. Advanced standing is granted for HDEC 104 provided it is chosen as the General elective.
  4. This program is affiliated with Collège Éducacentre for delivery to French-speaking students.
    * indicates alternative courses for Collège Éducacentre students and are taught in French.
  5. Local education assistants working in local school district that have an MOU in place with NLC for discounted tuition pending seat availability must submit proof of employment from their school district.

Program Requirements

Residency RequirementFive courses comprising a minimum of 15 credits and one practicum must be completed at Northern Lights College
Minimum Grade Requirements2.00 Grade Point Average (GPA); minimum grade of C in all courses
Elective RequirementsElectives must include at least four (12 credits minimum) Specialty Electives

Semester One

All of:

Semester Two

All of:

And one of:

Semester Three

All of:

Semester Four

All of:

And one of:

And one of:

Education Assistant Electives

Specialty Electives

Choose at least four:

Open Electives

Choose one from the above or the from following:

1 Students who want to maximize course substitutions toward NLC’s Social Services Worker Diploma are advised to take HDEC 104 or ECEC 201 as an elective.

2 Students who seek advanced standing in the JIBC’s Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing must take HDEC 104 as an elective.

3 Students who plan to apply to Douglas College’s Behaviour Intervention Certificate must take ECEC 201 as an elective.


Diploma in Education Assistant