Education Assistant and Community Support

The Education Assistant and Community Support program includes both theoretical and practical applications for working with people who have disabilities, across the lifespan. The core and specialty courses provide students with the skills and knowledge to work in entry level positions in community settings with people who have disabilities, and as educational assistants in the school system.

More Information

Contact an Educational Advisor at the University for information. Please email to book an appointment.


To learn about some of the careers in community support visit Inclusion BC.

To learn about some of the careers as an Education Assistant visit Make a Future.

Accessible Program Delivery

The 10 Education Assistant and Community Support Program courses will be offered in a blended delivery format that includes attending face to face institutes in Powell River for 2 - 3 days, twice a semester and participating regularly in a virtual classroom each week. This exciting program delivery model makes the certificate accessible to:

  • students who have significant family responsibilities
  • students living outside the geographic area, and
  • students who are working

This program is also offered fully in-class at the Nanaimo campus.

Transfer Credit (from other institutions)

Vancouver Island University recognizes the academic knowledge and achievement of students who have undertaken post–secondary studies at other colleges, institutes, or universities. Credit is assigned on the basis of an official transcript, course outlines, and other supporting documentation. Transfer students must meet all of Vancouver Island University's admission requirements.

A Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) also offers students with substantial past work experience or training the opportunity to receive full or partial credit for courses. A PLA is requested through a faculty member and is approved by the Dean of Health Sciences and Human Services. A PLA usually involves developing a portfolio that demonstrates how you meet the course learning objectives. View the master course outlines including the course learning objectives.

Admission Requirements

  • General admission requirements apply
  • English 12 with a min. “C” grade, or equivalent
  • Resume, application, and covering letter
  • Two letters of reference
  • Interview

Recommendations for Admission

  • Volunteer or paid experience working with people who are mentally, physically or behaviourally challenged

Computer Requirements

Notes on Admission

  • Practica will require a criminal record check prior to placement.  To this end, once accepted into the Education Assistant and Community Support program, students must complete the Consent to a Criminal Record Check for working with children and / or vulnerable adults and pay the current fee. VIU will submit the completed form to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Once received, the clearance form will be uploaded to the student’s account. A criminal record check completed through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for an employer may be accepted if it is current. Students are advised that a criminal record may limit their practicum possibilities and their work opportunities in the Human Services field.
  • For admission to the program, applicants will be assessed on past academic achievement, related volunteer/paid employment, writing skills, and performance at an interview with faculty
  • Applicants may be required to provide a letter from a family physician attesting to the applicant’s suitability to take the program

Program Outline

Spring 2022

  • ECEC 150 (Interpersonal Communication: Theory and practice)
  • EACS 140 (Understanding and Supporting Behaviour across the Lifespan)

Fall 2022

  • EACS 150 (Health and Wellness)
  • EACS 160 (Augmentative Communication and Adaptive Technology)

Spring 2023

Other Required Courses

  • University English *
  • EACS 180 (Practicum - School Based)**
  • EACS 190 (Practicum - Community Based)**

Please discuss with an Educational Advisor

* English Requirement can be taken in any semester

One of:

  • ENGL 115 - (University Writing and Research)
  • ENGL 125 - (Literature and Culture)
  • ENGL 135 - (Literature and Criticism)

Note: English 115 is also available fully online

**Practica Course Schedules will be determined and cannot be taken in student’s first semester. EACS 130 is a pre-requisite for EACS 180 practicum.

Additional information is available in the Human Services Program Calendar.

Fees (subject to change)

Tuition (per 3 credit course)
Student Fees per semester (based on 3 courses)
Application Fee

Other Expenses

  • Headsets $20
  • Criminal Record Search $45 (approx.)
  • Textbooks approximately $600

Special Expenses

Travel to attend face to face classes in Powell River is required. Travel may be required for practicum completion. All fees and other costs are subject to change without prior notice.

Financial Assistance

Contact an Educational Advisor at the University for information. Please email to book an appointment.