Educational Support - 747

Ontario College Diploma
Make a difference providing support to exceptional students dealing with physical, emotional or intellectual challenges while attending school.
Students Studying

This program has undergone a name change from Educational Assistant to Educational Support. The program outcomes and career opportunities remain the same.

This part-time, online learning program has been designed to meet the needs of those who wish to pursue a career as an Educational Support/Assistant or are already working in the field and need to upgrade their qualifications.

The provincially-approved curriculum has been designed to develop the aptitudes, knowledge and skills EAs need to work with, and support children and youth with special needs during their educational experience. Through a carefully designed program of studies that combines theory and hands-on practice in school-based field placements, candidates prepare to work with teachers, and other professionals in meeting a wide-range of exceptional student needs.

The program is equivalent to the two year, full-time Educational Support Diploma program offered at Mohawk and other community colleges. The part-time, online format enables you to learn at your own pace and continue current full-time employment.

Program Contact
Continuing Education Community Services & Support

Applicants to the program must meet the following MINIMUM requirements:

Recommended Requirements

1. Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Students who struggle with communications or whose first language is not English are encouraged to explore upgrading options available through our Applied Communications Centre.
These students are also encouraged to take COMM11040 instead of COMMLL041 for added understanding and support. Both meet the graduating requirements of the Program of Studies.

2. Computer skills (e.g. word processing, data management, internet access)

Students should be familiar with computers, word processing, and email based systems prior to considering an online delivery option. To upgrade computer skills, consider a CE introductory 'Computer Basics' course or a Learning Support Centre workshop before applying.

    Additional or Technical Recommendations

    Additional Requirements (for Field Placements only)

    1. Formal Police Clearance (Vulnerable Sector Screening) is required, by every School Board
      Registered students who have been convicted of an offence under the criminal code for which they have not been pardoned may be denied the opportunity to enter field placement.

    Recommended Requirements for Field Placements

    1. Current Standard First Aid and CPR-Level C will need to be updated yearly.
    2. Crisis Intervention Training - NVCI or BMS recommended and available through Continuing Education each semester.

    The part-time Educational Support program provides students the opportunity to achieve their Educational Support Diploma at their own pace. By taking online courses, students can continue to balance personal and professional priorities while completing course work.

    Registrations for core courses in this program cannot be done online. You must register in person, by mail, or by fax. View the Registration Options page for more information.

    Students may begin taking open courses prior to admission into the ES Program:

    • Communication (COMMLL041) or equivalent Communication D (COMM11040)
    • Introductory Psychology (PSYCSS156)
    • Developmental Psychology (PSYCSS271)
    • Mathematics (MATH10038)
    • 2 General Education Electives (OPELXXXXX)

    Students are responsible for ensuring required prerequisites are completed prior to registering in subsequent courses.

    In Continuing Education, there are three semesters each year: fall, winter, and spring/summer. If a student is unable to complete three courses per semester then they should still complete core courses in the suggested order. As much as part-time studies enable students to work at their own pace, all students need to be aware that, as per the Program Promotion and Graduation Requirements policy (opens PDF, 56kb), to be eligible for graduation, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of current competencies outlined in the Program of Studies applicable at the time of graduation. In cases where study has been interrupted or a Program of Study have been updated to reflect industry standards, the College may require a student to repeat a subject area.

    Textbooks: For information on the textbooks needed for the upcoming term please visit our Textbook Search site:

    Program of Studies:

    Course Code Course Name Credit Hours Prerequisites Equivalent

    Mandatory Courses

    EDUC10075 Placement Preparation 3 42   EDUCEDE15
    EDUCEDE14 Foundations of Education 3 42    
    EDUCEDE17 Personal & Interpersonal Dynamics 3 42    
    EDUCEDE19 Technology in Education 3 42    
    MATH10065 Math in an Educational Setting 3 42   MATH10038
    PSYCSS156 Introductory Psychology 3 42    
    SAFE10004 Safety in an Educational Setting 3 42   SAFEEDE11

    Choose 1

    COMMLL041 Communication 3 42    
    COMM11040 Communication 4 56    
    Mandatory Courses
    EDUC10002 Cultural Diversity 3 42   SSCIAS105
    EDUC10040 Total Communication Part 1 3 42    
    EDUC10085 Placement 1 4 132 EDUC10075 and EDUCEDE14 and SAFE10004 EDUCEDE16
    EDUCEDE22 Behaviour and Mental Health Exception 3 42 EDUCEDE14 or EDUC10099  
    PSYCSS271 Developmental Psychology 3 42    
    OPELXXXXX General Education 1 option 3 42    
    COMP10006 Adaptive Computer Technology in Education 3 42 EDUCEDE19  
    EDUC10041 Total Communication Part 2 3 42 EDUC10040  
    EDUC10086 Placement 2 4 132 (EDUCEDE22 and EDUCEDE16) OR EDUC10085 or EDUC10099 EDUCEDE24
    EDUCEDE21 Classroom Skills 3 42 EDUCEDE17 and EDUCEDE14 and EDUCEDE22  
    EDUCEDE23 Communication Exceptionalities 3 42 EDUCEDE22  
    OPELXXXXZ General Education 2 Option Table 3 42    
    EDUC10001 Autism Spec Disorder - ASD 3 42 EDUCEDE23 or EDUC10099  
    EDUC10004 Learning Strategies 3 42 EDUCEDE17 and EDUCEDE21  
    EDUC10037 Transition Planning 3 42 EDUCEDE23 or EDUC10099  
    EDUC10087 Placement 3 4 132 (EDUCEDE21 and EDUCEDE23 and EDUCEDE24) or (EDUCEDE21 and EDUCEDE23 and EDUC10086) EDUCEDE25
    EDUCEDE26 Phys Multiple Exceptionalities 3 42 EDUCEDE23  

    Course Descriptions

    EDUCEDE14 - Foundations of Education

    Focus on techniques, ethical practices, historical developments in education and the impact of legislation on the ES's role. Discuss learning styles, observation strategies and data collection in a classroom setting and community supports.

    EDUCEDE17 - Personal and Interpersonal Dynamics

    Enhance personal and professional skills in organizing information, analyzing tasks and situations, and selecting and implementing solutions. Analyze issues, philosophy and techniques related to behaviour management in educational settings.

    COMMLL041 - Communication

    Develop thinking, writing, reading, speaking and listening skills with emphasis on effective written communication. In online delivery, regular weekly class postings are mandatory and strict deadlines apply.

    EDUCEDE19 - Technology in Education

    Learn to use Ministry of Education Software and other programs to enhance skills in working with exceptional learners. Keyboarding and computer skills required.. Access to Ministry Software is recommended - advisable to be completing a placement concurrently.

    MATH10038 - Mathematics

    Review basic math with a focus on the 5 strands identified by the Ontario Ministry of Education in the Ontario Curriculum. Topics include Number Sense and Numeration; Measurement; Geometry; Patterning and Algebra; and Data Management and Probability.

    EDUC10075 - Practicum Preparation 1

    Prepare for field placement, with emphasis on the Educational Support's role, collaboration with other professionals, and requirements for participating in the practicum. Equivalent to: EDUCEDE15. Prerequisites: EDUCEDE14 and SAFE10004.

    PSYCSS156 - Introductory Psychology

    Examine the basis of human behaviour. Study the scientific research process, the human brain and the nervous system, sensation and perception, learning, memory and personality.

    EDUC10002 - Cultural Diversity In An Educational Setting

    Learn to promote inclusivity in the classroom. Examine racism, multiculturalism, equity and diversity, social and political issues, and barriers to understanding and open communication.

    SAFE10004 - Safety In An Educational Setting

    Examine safety issues associated with physical care, coping with behavioural challenges, physical restraint, handling medical conditions, legislative requirements and WHMIS. You must complete this course before registering for a placement.

    EDUC10040 - Total Communication Part 1

    Investigate non-verbal communication issues with particular focus on supporting deaf and hard of hearing students. Learn basic signed English, and explore non-verbal communication options and Sign Language issues.

    EDUCEDE22 - Exceptionalities 1

    Explore suitable approaches for working with students with exceptionalities, their parents, and professional colleagues. Learn appropriate strategies for managing behavioural and/or emotional challenges. Prerequisites: SAFE10004, EDUCEDE14, EDUCEDE17.

    EDUC10085 - Practicum 2

    Under the guidance of a supervising teacher or school team, support learners effectively and demonstrate professionals interactions in a Primary/Junior, Intermediate or Secondary educational division. Placement packages are available online once registered. Students may NOT begin placement until package is submitted and approved. Prerequisite: EDUC10075. Equivalent to: EDUCEDE16.

    EDUC10041 - Total Communication Part 2

    Continue to examine teaching and implementation strategies to enhance communication skills, given different limitations and exceptionalities. Prerequisite: EDUC10040.

    PSYCSS271 - Development Psychology

    Examine the growth and changes of mental, social and emotional characteristics from cradle to grave, with special emphasis on development of human personality.

    COMP10006 - Adaptive Computer Technology in Education

    Learn to use adaptive technology to assist special needs children. NOTE: You must have experience in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet search techniques. Prerequisite: EDUCEDE19.

    EDUCEDE23 - Exceptionalities 2

    Discuss the types of communications exceptionalities and their implications for students. Integrate previous learning on behaviour management and other aspects of communications. Prerequisites: SAFE10004, EDUCEDE14-22.

    EDUCEDE24 - Practicum 3

    Under the direction of a teacher, demonstrate capability in assisting students with three types of exceptionalities e.g. behavioural, communications, autism, intellectual/developmentally delayed, physical and/or multiple exceptionalities. Placement packages are available online once registered. Students may NOT begin placement until package is submitted and approved. Prerequisite: EDUCEDE16. Corequisite: EDUCEDE26. Equivalent to: EDUC10086.

    EDUCEDE21 - Classroom Skills

    Examine Ontario Curriculum with emphasis on language arts, mathematics, one content area and physical education. Develop understanding of teamwork in a classroom and become more effective in assisting learners. Prerequisites: SAFE10004, EDUCEDE14 and EDUCEDE17.

    EDUC10001 - Autism Spectrum Disorder - Assisting Student Development

    Develop essential tools for working with children with ASD. Review the work of local, professionals and international Autism experts, with emphasis on communication, social skills, behavioural challenges, family sensory and educational issues. Prerequisites: SAFE10004, EDUCEDE14,17,19,21-23.

    EDUC10004 - Learning Strategies

    Help your students learn more effectively. Develop understanding of how we learn, remember, and solve problems. Learn to identify learning needs, and apply various strategies to support learning.

    EDUCEDE26 - Exceptionalities 3

    "Intellectually Challenged" will describe intellectual challenges, team roles, expectations, skills and supports for intellectually challenged individuals. "Physically Challenged" will describe various types of physical challenges and how to effectively assist physically challenged students. "Multiple Challenged" will describe multiple challenges, roles, exceptions, skills and supports for multiple challenged individuals. Prerequisites: EDUCEDE14-23, SAFE10004.

    EDUCEDE25 - Practicum 4

    Build on the skills demonstrated in previous field work as preparation for the ES role in your preferred school board. Assist students with three types of exceptionalities not addressed in Practicum 3 in the implementation of their IEPs. Placement packages are available online once registered. Students may NOT begin placement until package is submitted and approved. Prerequisites: SAFE10004, EDUCEDE14, 15,16,17 and 24. Equivalent to EDUC10087.

    EDUC10037 - Lifeskills and Job Coaching

    Focus on the job coaching role. Learn to assist the exceptional learner with basic life skills and job readiness training.

    Educational Assistant Apprentices

    A partnership exists between Mohawk College and Georgian College to facilitate individuals who are working as Educational Assistants, and who have met all the requirements for the Educational Assistant Apprenticeship Certification of Completion, to complete the courses required to be awarded an Educational Assistant Ontario College Diploma. Email us at cecommunity [at] for more details on this bridging opportunity.

    The Educational Support Diploma program can lead to exciting career opportunities!

    Industries of Employment

    • School Boards
    • Private Schools
    • Community Facilities offering Special Education
    • College and post high school programs

    Occupational Categories

    • Educational Assistants
    • Support/Learning Facilitators for Children with Special Needs

    Graduates of Educational Support Diploma program may also be interested in Degree Transfer or Post-Graduate opportunities!