Ontario College Diploma in Educational Support
Formerly named: Educational Assistant
You can make a difference in a child's life as a competent, caring educational support professional. Our program will prepare you to play a vital role in the classroom supporting students with special needs.
Our updated two-year Educational Support diploma program prepares you to work in a school setting as part of the educational team who support children with special needs. You will help children with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, sensory or physical disabilities.
You will spend the first semester of the program learning more about yourself (self-knowledge is important when working with others), about other people, and about their communities. Technology plays a key role in your work in the classroom or institutional setting, and you'll learn using the latest software on laptops and iPads.
You will also have a chance to learn a whole new language - American Sign Language.
In the second and third semesters, the roles of teacher and educational assistant will be explored and more clearly defined. You'll learn how to:
- manage behaviour
- modify educational programming
- support exceptional children
- assist with curriculum planning
Much of this training is experiential, taking place in various educational settings in the community.
During third semester, you will spend three days a week in class at the College and two days a week in a classroom in an area school. The final part of the program is an intensive, semester-long, practical learning experience in an educational setting or agency. During this extensive placement experience, you'll work with students with a range of exceptionalities including autism, physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, visual impairments, and learning disabilities. This placement can take place in the location of your choice, whether that’s in your home town, in the Kawartha region or a larger city in Ontario.
If you have already completed an Ontario College Diploma or a university degree, you may be eligible for the accelerated Educational Support - Advanced Standing program. You can graduate in just ten months.
Why Choose Fleming
In the 20 years plus that the Educational Support program has been offering training, area school boards have said this is the diploma program they want their Educational Support staff to have. In short, the Fleming program has a reputation for excellence, and well-rounded graduates.
You will refine your skills as a competent, caring educational support professional during the extensive 95 days on placement in a real-world setting.
Is this you?
To succeed in this program and career, you require:
- a love of children and concern for their healthy physical, intellectual, and social emotional development
- strong oral and written communications skills
- the ability to work as part of a team
- cultural and "ability" sensitivity
- excellent interpersonal skills
- excellent problem solving skills
- empathy and creativity
- basic computer skills
- Any experience working with children or youth, such as in a summer camp or day care, or a peer tutoring program is an asset
The main employer of educational support professionals is the school system, but there are also opportunities in other institutional settings offering education as part of the programming. Some of our graduates find employment as a result of their placement in their final semester and may even be offered a job prior to graduation.
Minimum Admission Requirements
OSSD with the majority of credits at the College (C) and Open (O) level, including:
- 2 College (C) English courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)
When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) or (U/C) courses are also accepted.
Non Academic Requirements
Your program has mandatory requirements which may include a criminal reference check, first aid, CPR-C, etc. For more information, please see the Non Academic Requirements page.
If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.
Considering a range of caring, people-focused professions? You may want to check out the Early Childhood Education and Recreation and Leisure Services programs, which offer a different opportunity to work with children and youth.
Students should plan to spend approximately $700 per year for books and supplies. You will be required to submit a current police records check, which is available from your local police department upon payment of a fee.
You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized below.
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- 30 out of a 90 credit degree;
Visit ONTransfer.ca for further details
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- The diploma must include a one-year introductory university-level humanities or social science course or equivalent
- Two years (or equivalent) related work/advocacy experience. Applicants without this may be accepted, but must either complete DST 80A/B: Practicum in Disability Studies in the program or apply for exemption if achieved while in the program
- Visit ONTransfer.ca for details