Important notice: We are currently updating program information for the 2021-22 academic year. The fees displayed on this page are for the 2020-2021 academic year, to see fees for the 2021-2022 academic year click here. This notice will be removed when updates are complete.

See the Courses tab below for details on program delivery.


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Educational assistants work with and support teachers in designing and implementing programs to help students maximize their school experience and reach their full potential. Some people consider that a job; people like you consider it a calling.

Your patience, creativity and understanding can make a difference in a student’s life – we’ll show you how and give you everything you need to get into the heart of this rewarding career. You’ll learn to help students who struggle with academics or who cope with behavioural issues, and you’ll come to understand many specific disabilities and how you can assist with these in an inclusive classroom setting.

Join us online for either one year (for a certificate) or two years (for a certificate and diploma) as you work towards a meaningful career. Designed to allow you to get your education wherever it’s convenient for you, our fully online Educational Assistant programs offer a flexible timeframe for completion. You can choose how many courses you take each term, from one class to a full-time load. And your practicum can be planned around your life or even take place at your work.

What are you waiting for? Begin your career today – apply for the Educational Assistant program!

Career opportunities

When you complete the certificate or the diploma program, your expertise will be in high demand. You’ll be able to find employment opportunities in:

  • Before & After School Programs
  • Private agencies who support children/youth with behavior challenges
  • Elementary, Middle and High Schools
  • Early intervention programs for children at risk
  • Kindergartens & Preschools
  • Recreation and Community Centres
  • Respite Care to Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • School Lunch Programs
  • Summer Camps and Summer Recreation Programs for Children with Special Needs
Starts In: Online delivery only - September, January and May
Application Deadlines:

For current application status, terms being processed and application deadlines visit the Program Application Status page.

Duration: 1 - 2 years
Credential: Certificate (Year 1) / Diploma (Year 2)

Athabasca University

Certificate graduates may receive up to 30 credits towards a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services major. Diploma graduates may receive up to 60 credits towards the third year of the Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services major.

University of Alberta

Educational Assistant diploma graduates are eligible to receive up to 30 credits towards the University of Alberta Bachelor of Science Human Ecology (Family Ecology major/Child and Youth Studies major).

Delivery Format

Online courses are instructor led. Communications, teaching and assessment components are delivered solely online, and do not have any on-campus elements. They are taught through a learning management system and may be either synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) or asynchronous (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Students complete all their work online and are not required to come to campus.


Learning does not occur at the same time or same place. Instructor provides materials including online readings, recorded lectures or presentations, posted lecture notes, video content, assignments and exams for online completion. Students access the course materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by the instructor.

Online Students
We know you selected this program because it best fit with your circumstances and other responsibilities. Nothing about our COVID-19 plan to keep students and staff safe affects your program and your ability to complete it in a way that works for you. Your program is offered online in an asynchronous way, so you can work through the course at a pace and at a time that works for you, within whatever time limits your instructor may establish. Even though you always intended to learn at a distance with Lethbridge College, please know our wide range of student support services will be available to you whether you need help with academic skills from our Learning Café, support to accommodate a disability or mental health concern from Accessibility Services or you have a health issue to be addressed by our Wellness Services team. This winter access to on-campus services such as the Bookstore, Library, and Wellness services will be a bit different for us. For the health and safety of all of us, it must be. But our goal is to ensure we provide you the experiential learning that Lethbridge College is known for.


Learning Environment

For the upcoming Fall 2020 semester, students will continue to participate in online asynchronous courses.

Year 1 (Certificate)
Course Code Title Credits

Note: Students will take ENG-1150 (Composition) or ENG-1190 (Introduction to Language and Literature).

Year 2 (Diploma)
Course Code Title Credits

Please note: Students are also required to complete a total of 3.00 credits in Electives (Please see Electives list).

Course Code Title Credits

Students may select from the above courses. Choices are dependent on scheduling. Other electives may be chosen with permission prior to enrolment and completion of the course.


Students are accepted into the Educational Assistant program for the Fall (September), Winter (January), or Spring (May) terms. Upon successful completion of your certificate program, you will be eligible for admission to the Educational Assistant diploma. In order to be considered for the diploma program, we recommend that you submit a Change of Program to the Admissions Office in your last term of study of the certificate program. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Admissions Office.

General admission requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.

Academic requirements

Applicants applying to the Educational Assistant diploma are required to have successfully completed a one-year Educational Assistant certificate or equivalent from a recognized college in order to enter the Educational Assistant diploma program.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Pre-Placement Requirements

This program has a required Work-Integrated Learning Pre-Placement Requirements (WIL) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the WIL.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate 3 in the WIL setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage - WIL placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student. Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage. In certain instances for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a WIL placement outside of Alberta). These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations must schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services at Lethbridge College preferably upon acceptance to the program and no later than the Add/Drop deadline to identify potential impacts of their disabilities in the WIL setting. As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with WIL supervisors to determine appropriate accommodations that do not compromise the health and safety of clients, essential placement requirements, or mandatory licensing processes. Failure to consult with Accessibility Services in a timely fashion may compromise the student's WIL placement and opportunities for success in the WIL setting.

In order to participate in a WIL, a student may be required to complete a Police Information Check or other type of Security Clearance to the satisfaction of Lethbridge College and the WIL organization. Completion of a WIL does not guarantee employment with a WIL organization. Many disciplines are provincially or otherwise regulated (e.g. health professions under Alberta's Health Professions Act); such regulation is beyond Lethbridge College's control. Completion of a WIL and graduation from a certain program do not guarantee one's licensure or admission into a regulatory body. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with a representative of the relevant regulatory body if they have concerns.

WIL sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. WIL’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

Prior learning assessment (PLA)

If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.

Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade their academic skills.


Upon successful completion of Certificate credit requirements, students are awarded an Educational Assistant certificate. Upon successful completion of Diploma credit requirements, students are awarded an Educational Assistant diploma.

Academic Year Tuition Fees Books & Supplies
Year 1 (Certificate) $3,420.00 $1,087.00 $1,250.00
Year 2 (Diploma) $3,278.00 $1,054.00 $650.00

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. Give it a try!

Budget Wizard

  • Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
  • Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
  • Tuition for international students is $14,220 for Year 1 and $13,955 for Year 2. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.

Strength of character, strength of certification

It takes strength to be an educational assistant – strength to advocate for those who are less powerful, strength to stand up in the face of adversity, strength to leave the day’s challenges at work and strength to continue caring deeply each time you enter the classroom.

Not just anyone can be an educational assistant, which is why several school divisions across Alberta are making the move to ensure their staff have the right qualifications. Many now require educational assistants to be on their way to completing a post-secondary certificate or diploma.

So whether you come to the Educational Assistant program fresh out of high school, in need of a career change or already employed in a school setting, two things are certain:

  1. It’s extremely rare to finish our certificate without having at least one job offer.
  2. It’s almost unknown to finish the diploma without already having a job.

Your education, your way

Designed to allow you to get your education wherever and whenever it’s convenient for you, both our Educational Assistant certificate and diploma are delivered fully online. With a flexible timeframe for completion and the option to choose full- or part-time studies, it’s easier than ever to fit your education into your life.

A word from the wise

Sarah King

“This program helped me realize my skills and utilize them to their fullest potential. Thanks to this program, I have been able to get a career that I love, and have made lifelong friends along the way!”


Paul Bryant

Retired principal of Mike Mountain Horse Elementary, Paul Bryant once said, “As Educational Assistant responsibilities become more diverse and challenging, the skills acquired through the college’s Educational Assistant program are invaluable.”


Nikki Gordon

“I have graduated from programs at Lethbridge College in both [online and in classroom] settings now and while having one-on-one instruction can often be beneficial, the freedom of distance education has been a great experience for myself and I would recommend it to anyone.”

– From Fall 2010 Wider Horizons


Gail McCready

“Doing the first practicum so early on in the program has been great; it has boosted my confidence, made me more sure about my decision.”


Anonymous student

“This program is like assembling a piece of furniture from Ikea; it looks like a lot of work but if you follow the instructions step by step with the tools you've been given you will easily get the result you are looking for.”