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Special Education Assistant program

Program Courses

Computer Fundamentals
This course is designed to provide students with the computer skills required to work in a fast-paced environment. Throughout the course, students will use a simulated program to improve proficiency with the Internet, Windows environment, and Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).   

Theory and Principles of Learning

The purpose of the Theory and Principles of Learning course is to provide students with a general understanding and awareness of the brain and various types of teaching and learning strategies, focusing on the brain and how learning is developed. Students will develop awareness for their own individual learning style; this will provide students with opportunities to explore various teaching and learning strategies used in classroom settings.

Life Span Development
Human development will be explored from birth to late childhood and from adolescence to early adulthood. You値l be guided through a brief, but intense, theoretical examination of the concepts and principles of human development, change, and diversity. Special emphasis will be placed on childhood and adolescent development issues in relation to learning, growth, and maturation. The biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional characteristics of development will be reviewed in each stage of growth. This course will focus on assisting you to develop awareness of the characteristics of children and adolescents at their various stages of development, and acquiring the skills for maintaining health and safety in a school environment.

Working in Canadian Schools
You値l explore the typical roles, duties, responsibilities, and practices of Special Education Assistants within school communities. Team approaches will be considered for enhancing your understanding of the school experience. Emphasis will be placed on a variety of educational settings, programs, and relationships that Special Education Assistants typically encounter.

Supporting Students with Exceptionalities
It is vital to have a clear understanding on how to support students with exceptionalities. In this course, you will learn about behavioural, communication, intellectual, physical,
and multiple exceptionalities that you may encounter as an SEA. In addition to this, you will learn about the history and philosophy of support, and associated theoretical, social, and ideological models. Emphasis will be placed on developing ethical and professional
approaches to care as you gain skills to help you understand, respect, and promote the
self-determination of individuals with exceptionalities.

Observation and Recording
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a general understanding of the theory of observing and recording. In a classroom setting you値l learn about the purpose, standards, influences, and methods used. You値l develop an awareness of ethical and professional conduct through understanding the importance of confidentiality and an individual痴 right to privacy. You値l focus on the general characteristics of each recording method and apply your knowledge through group work focusing on classroom-based case studies. There will also be an opportunity for you to apply general observation principles and recording methods outside of the classroom setting with school-aged children.

Supporting, Modifying, and Adapting Curriculum
Students will examine the philosophy, goals, and content of curriculum in elementary and secondary schools, with a focus on English language arts, social studies, mathematics and science. They will then examine the role of the SEA and demonstrate ways to support curriculum, and modify and adapt the curriculum under the supervision of the classroom teacher for all students. 

Alternative and Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology in the Classroom
The purpose of the Communication and Assistive Technology in the Classroom course
is to provide SEA students with an understanding of augmentative and alternative ways to communicate focusing on defining, implementing, and enhancing communication
using alternative methods used in a classroom setting that support or replace typical
communication. Students will further develop their communication skills and
understanding of aided and unaided communication methods through participation in the American Sign Language Fundamentals workshop. Students will focus on the general
characteristics of each communication method and apply their knowledge through group
work. This course will also increase student awareness of assistive technologies as used by school children with special needs. Students will discover the evolution of technology in the classroom and explore where technology is heading, and apply knowledge gained during a hands-on assistive technologies lab.

Communication and Diversity in Family Systems 

The Communication and Diversity course will provide you with the opportunity to examine your own values, beliefs, attitudes, and tolerance levels in relation to your role in supporting and assisting special education students. It will focus on theoretical and practical communication strategies, such as interviewing and feedback skills, to promote effective communication between yourself, students, and co-workers in the school environment. You will be encouraged to gain awareness of your own communication style and the challenges that other communication styles may pose. Coursework will also cover building healthy relationships and understanding child abuse, with an emphasis being placed on inclusive education within the school environment.

Assisting Children with ESL/EAL
In this course, students will the identify policy and principles behind ESL/EAL programming and will examine assessment, the roles and responsibilities that government, school boards, and school staff have in ESL/EAL programs. Students will then discover how to provide support for ESL/EAL learners, taking into consideration methodology, appropriate approaches, culture, diverse language needs, and student motivation. 

Applied Behaviour Analysis
The Applied Behaviour Analysis course seeks to provide students with a conceptual framework in which to assess, document, and respond to the behaviour of the students they will support in educational settings. A variety of contemporary approaches such as Lovaasian Applied Behaviour Analysis, Sensory Integration Therapy, Functional Analysis, and Operant Learning Theory will be discussed. The students will review and practically apply concepts such as Discrete Trial Teaching and Content/Process Task Analysis as learning activities in the classroom setting using case studies provided by the Ministry of Education. The focus of this course will be to move students beyond an introductory level and to advance them in the practical area of addressing behavioural issues.

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
In this course, students will review Autism Spectrum Disorders. They will then examine the history of Applied Behaviour Analysis, as well as other autism treatment models before moving into introductory application of ABA principles and skills through group work and case studies. This course also provides students with the opportunity to examine how ABA programs and developed, and the role that the SEA plays in supporting ABA programming.  

Applied Behaviour Analysis Part II
Students will consolidate all ABA knowledge gained during Applied Behaviour Analysis Part II. The main focus of this course is the application of hands-on training in discrete trial training, incidental teaching, pivotal response training, fluency building, and verbal behaviour. Students will also discuss dynamics of problem behaviour, and how to overcome potential barriers in ABA programming. 

Personal Care
In this course, you値l integrate the theory and practice of providing personal care for students who may have specialized needs. This course will include personal hygiene, oral care, assisting with bathroom routines, and proper body mechanics for lifting and transferring. 

Consolidated Practice Experience
The consolidated practice experience will provide you with the opportunity to apply your learned theory and practical skills in a school setting. Making connections between theory and practice is a vital aspect of learning; self-reflection and self-evaluation are important skills for continued professional growth and development. In addition to working in a school setting, you will post weekly entries in response to specific discussion topics on an online discussion forum. This online forum communication will provide an opportunity for critical reflection, thoughtful peer interaction and ongoing supervision by an assigned Stenberg College Forum Facilitator.

Career Search Strategies
This course is offered in combined online and classroom delivery format. Students learn to network effectively (online and in person), to search and apply for jobs and to prepare targeted resumes and cover letters. Students are also provided with coaching and individualized instructor feedback on their resume, cover letter and interview skills.
Additional Certification
The program also includes essential industry-related training and certification in:

You'll receive Red Cross First Aid Certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Health Care Provider (HCP) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). This industry standard certification is valid for three years.

Managing Hostile Interactions
Hostile incidents are clearly on the increase in society today and more people find themselves presented with personally hurtful, intimidating hostile behaviour. Dealing effectively with hostile individuals takes energy and the careful application of a specific range of skills. In this certificate course, students will learn to manage themselves, defuse the person, and then address the problem.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behaviour Analysis Course Certificates of Participation
HR Departments from multiple school boards have confirmed that applicants with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behaviour Analysis Training and certification are favored for hiring.  Furthermore, eligibility for internal postings will often rely on this training and certification.

Assistive Technology Certificate of Course Participation
Students will complete 25 hours of training in assistive technology. During this training, students will be given an overview of assistive technology, and examine how assistive technology can be effectively implemented in the classroom. Students will also have the opportunity to use various types of technology that support participation, communication and learning in school environments during a hands-on lab.

Personal & Professional Development Skills Certificate
Responding carefully to the needs of today痴 employers, a series of Personal and Professional Development Workshops have been integrated throughout the program to develop critical thinking and soft skills. Workshops include Giving and Receiving Feedback, Conflict Resolutions, Active Listening, Providing Quality Service and Building Rapport, Leadership, and Employability Skills.

Body Mechanics & Back Safety
You will be educated in proper body movement to prevent and correct poor posture, reduce stress on ligaments, joints and tendons and enhance physical capabilities. Proper body mechanics and back safety will enhance the longevity and success in the workplace and will help ensure that transfers and positioning are done in a manner that is safe and appropriate for everyone. Please note: While this training follows best practices, graduates may also be required to learn and follow workplace specific protocols.

American Sign Language (ASL) Fundamentals
This twelve-hour workshop introduces American Sign Language and the Dear or Hard of Hearing Community and provides you with the historical perspectives and evaluation of both. You'll learn how to fingerspell the alphabet, perfect the signing of your name and progress in your signing skills through dialogue practice and performance. To receive the certificate for this training, there is testing to conform basic receptive skills, signing skills, knowledge of ASL and the Deaf or Hard of Hearing Community.

Sensory Awareness
This workshop provides basic awareness on sensory issues and dysfunction. Practical strategies will be explored and students will generate unique strategies in supporting individuals with sensory needs.

Over 92% of our graduates are working in their field of study within 6 months of graduation

2014 - 2015 2013 - 2014 2012 - 2013

Special Education Assistant
BC Ministry of Education
BC Teacher's Federation
Education Canada
Educator's Reference Desk

"This practicum was invaluable because it prepared me for the reality of the profession. I'm proud to be a Stenberg grad."
Jennifer C.