Education Assistant Diploma Program

  • Delivery Method: In-Class or Combined Delivery
  • Duration: 41 weeks, including an 8-week practicum
  • Starts: Twice per year (March and August)
  • Credential: Diploma
  • Wages: Up to $27.44/hour

Do you enjoy working with children? Do you want a rewarding career helping individuals with challenges achieve their full potential? Consider a career as an Education Assistant.

Education Assistants assist elementary and secondary school teachers as they work with students who may require additional support for academic, ESL, behavioural, and special needs. Graduates of Stenberg’s Education Assistant program are prepared to work in both public and private schools, child care centers, community drop in centres and more.

There are few things in life as rewarding as helping individuals with challenges achieve their full potential. Education Assistants assist elementary and secondary school teachers to support students requiring special needs instruction. Stenberg’s Education Assistant Program produces graduates high in demand by school districts throughout British Columbia and Alberta.

The program is offered in a classroom- or online-based format, allowing you to choose the delivery method that best suits your learning style, lifestyle and schedule.

Please note that the job title “Educational Assistant” is growing in use and is replacing “Special Education Assistant”. The title “Teacher Assistant” is being used less as time goes on.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of Canadian Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Completion of English 12 with a grade C or higher or Communications 12 with a grade B or higher or alternate acceptable English assessment
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance examination
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Successful completion of a short written essay
  • Meeting English Language Requirements if English is a Second Language
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • In addition to the Criminal Record Search, Alberta students may be required to complete a Child Intervention Check
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a physician

Program Advisors will work with students to obtain the following:

  • Proof of 50 hours of volunteer or paid experience working with children
  • Reference letter stating suitability to work with children
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have volunteer or paid experience working with children with special needs in school or related settings

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Student Stories

Read stories from our students and grads about their experience with the Education Assistant program at Stenberg.

Kerry Ogilvy

For Kerry Ogilvy, becoming a mother was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. “It sounds corny, but as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mom. After I had my second son I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with what would eventually become four children…but as my kids got older, caring for them became less of a demand on me time-wise, and I found myself feeling unfulfilled.”

After some soul-searching, Kerry realized that what she had been missing was the opportunity to interact with and care for young children on a daily basis. Kerry was interested in becoming an Education Assistant and began researching the different schools that offered the program. She was drawn to the flexible nature of Stenberg’s program, which is offered in a combined-delivery format. “I’m a morning person, so I would be up at 6:00 am getting my reading done, watching lectures, whatever I needed to get done. It didn’t matter what time of day I logged in, there were always others in the classroom.”

Kerry excelled in the Education Assistant program, so much so that she was selected as the Spring 2016 Co-Valedictorian.

Kerry was fortunate enough to be hired just three days after completing her program, and now works as an Education Assistant in the Surrey School District, a position that perfectly fits her own personality and skill set.

“I look forward each and every day to making a difference in the life of a child who needs a little extra help at school. Seeing the little moments of triumph when a child understands something for the first time or meets a goal, that’s the best feeling in the world.”

More Like This


Early Childhood Education is an extremely rewarding profession. There is a great demand across BC for qualified and dedicated Early Childhood Educators that can provide superior care and education for children from birth to school age.

Stenberg College offers the Post-Basic Infant Toddler and Special Needs Early Childhood Educator Program (Dual Diploma) to those who have already completed an Early Childhood Education Basic (Certificate) level program.