Educational Support FAQs

What is an Educational Support/Assistant?

Educational Support Workers are responsible for working with students with exceptionalities (specifically physical and intellectual disabilities and behavioural or other learning difficulties). Educational Assistants, as professional and integral members of the school team, are responsible for the provision of academic, physical and emotional support to students with special needs within schools in order to encourage student independence and success. Under the leadership of the principal, Special Education Resource Teacher and classroom teacher, EAs have many varied responsibilities related to assisting instructing individuals and/or groups of students in segregated and/or integrated class environments. EAs implement special education programs related to behaviour, communication, intellectual or physical needs. Depending on specific Board policies and role descriptions, EAs may be required to basic medical procedures such as toileting, catheterization, shallow suctioning, and using assistive devices.

What are the application requirements? How do I apply?

Visit the Admission & Registration tab on the Educational Support program page to view requirements and apply.

How will I know if I've been accepted?

The Continuing Education Office will notify students via e-mail when admission decisions have been made.

When will I get more information?

There will be more information included in your admission letter, but you could also view the OntarioLearn page for more information on how to begin your OntarioLearn online courses.

How long is the program?

It is recommended students complete 3 courses per semester for 9 consecutive semesters to achieve the Educational Support Diploma in as little as 3 years.

What if I need longer or want to complete the program sooner?

Many students wish to complete more than 3 courses per semester to accelerate their Diploma completion. There is no limit to the number of courses a student can enroll in each semester, providing prerequisites are followed. 6-7 courses per semester, with a break in the Spring/Summer semester would be equivalent to the traditional full-time delivery.

Students who are unable to complete 3 courses per semester 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 the Program of Studies has been updated to reflect industry standards, the College may require a student to repeat a subject area.

What if I have an Educational Assistant Certificate but now I want to obtain the Diploma?

Prior to becoming a Diploma credential, the Educational Support program awarded a Certificate. Students with this Certificate who are looking to upgrade to the Diploma should contact us about additional required courses.

Students from Georgian College's EA Apprenticeship Program who wish to pursue the Diploma bridging program should also contact us.

How much does the program cost?

There is no overall program fee; you pay only the tuition fees and textbook fees for each individual course. Fees are based on the length of a course. Because fees change, they are only listed for those courses scheduled to run in the upcoming semester. 

Do I need textbooks?

Most courses utilize a variety of web-based resources that will be linked/available through the online learning portal once you are registered. However, if a textbook is required students can use the Campus Store web page to search for their required materials. 

How can I apply for an Exemption?

Students who have taken courses similar to those in the Program of Studies at Mohawk College or another academic institution may apply for an exemption to receive credit for the course(s). Exemptions are processed online after students have been accepted to the program. A valid student number is required. It is recommended that students have successfully completed at least one core course prior to applying for an exemption. Note that exemptions are granted by the individual academic area. View the Course Exemptions page to read more about the exemption process.

Can I get credit for Prior Learning/Experience?

After successfully completing the Placement Preparation course, three separate 20-day placements in a school board are required. The following requirements must be met in order to graduate: a Public School placement, a Catholic School placement, an Elementary School placement, a High School placement, and a specialized environment placement. Arrangements can be made for these placements to occur in 5-day blocks, a few days a week, or over half days but they must complete at the school boards during the day.

Students with occasional or full-time EA work experience can apply for PLAR for placement(s). Recognition will require letters of confirmation and reference, course assignments, principal evaluation, and proof of employment. Contact the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition Office for details.

Once students are registered for a placement course, they will be provided the opportunity to select 1st and 2nd choices of schools in their neighbourhood/preferred area. Students may not contact schools themselves. Once selection sheets are submitted, the Field Placement Coordinator will follow the appropriate protocol for the requested school board to connect with the school(s). Students are notified once a placement site has been secured. Additional paperwork must be completed, signed, returned, and approved before placement can officially begin.

Can I select my own school(s) for placement?

Once students are registered for a placement course, they will be provided with the opportunity to select 1st and 2nd choices of schools in their neighbourhood/preferred area. Students may not contact schools themselves. Once selection sheets are submitted, the Field Placement Coordinator will follow the appropriate protocol for the requested school board to connect with the school(s). Students are notified once a placement site has been secured. Additional paperwork must be completed, signed, returned, and approved before placement can officially begin.

Will I get hired?

Many Mohawk College graduates are hired at the schools in which they have completed a placement after building great relationships with the staff and students. However, every board in Ontario has independent hiring practices. Students are encouraged to connect with the Human Resources department of the school board they are seeking employment with as to their application procedures/timelines. Many school boards utilize the Apply to Education (opens new window) website where employee profiles and job opportunities are posted. For details on graduate employment rates, review the Graduate Employment Report webpage.