Programs & Courses

Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

About This Program

Medicine Hat College is redesigning the online display of programs and courses and some content on this page may no longer be accurate. For official program information, please refer to the current academic calendar.

Learn about tuition and fees or download a program planning guide.

A communication disorder may be evident in a person’s ability to pronounce sounds, to understand what is spoken, to use vocabulary and grammar skills, to speak without stuttering, and to use his voice. Illnesses, accidents, strokes and delayed development may be causes of communication difficulties, which can affect every aspect of a person’s life.  

Working one-on-one and in groups with children and adults in schools and clinics to improve communication skills, you will have the opportunity to make a positive difference every day in the lives of your clients. Under the supervision of a Speech-Language Pathologist, you may provide treatment based on the SLP’s goals, make and develop materials and activities, document and report results, carry out screenings, maintain equipment, and assist with clerical duties.  

This program is offered both on-site (at MHC) or via distributed learning (where some courses are taken online and some via traditional paper correspondence - see Distributed Learning tab below.) The on-site option is a two-year (four-semester) diploma program, where the distributed learning option is completed over a longer period. In both options, the first nine courses are common to three different diplomas: Occupational Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant. This unique approach provides you with an excellent core upon which to build more specific skills depending on your interests. Some students continue on, gaining diplomas in a second or third area after completion of the first diploma. Your diploma will also transfer to degree programs.

Our Therapist Assistant program was the first program in Western Canada to offer formal educational preparation for Occupational Therapist Assistants, Physical Therapist Assistants and Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants and is a considered to be a leader and innovator in the field. Our faculty members continually partner with various provincial/national educators and professional groups in an effort to clarify and standardize the role of support personnel in rehabilitation service delivery. This kind of dedication, combined with a great curriculum and fieldwork opportunities, provides you with the background needed for a promising future.

Graduates of this program will find employment opportunities with:

  • Health Regions/Hospitals
  • Schools 
  • Day cares and preschools 
  • Rehabilitation Centres 
  • Private Practices of Speech-Language Pathologists  

High School
High School diploma with a minimum mark of 60% in each of

  • ELA 30-1
  • Biology 30
  • Two grade 12 subjects, one of which must be a 30-level science or Math 30-1 or Math 30-2

Mature Student
Biology 30 and ELA 30-1, or equivalent, are required.  This route is applicable if you do not meet the minimum requirements for admission but possess other post secondary and/or work experiences that create potential for success in the program. This route is available to a limited number of students.

Transfer Student Route

  • If you have previously attended a recognized college or university, you may be accepted on the basis of your college or university level course work.  You must have completed at least 15 credits of coursework with a minimum grade of a C or GPA of 2.0 out of 4.0.
  • You must have a 60% in ENGL 30-1 or equivalent of a C grade in a university level English course.
  • You must have a 60% in Biology 30 or equivalent of a C grade in a university level lab science course.


Academic Transition Plan (ATP)
If you do not posses all of the admission requirements, the Academic Transition Plan (ATP) may provide conditional acceptance to this program, provided space is available.  ATP is individualized to meet your needs.

Pre-Program Requirements
Once you are successful in gaining admission and have received the program package, you must

  • Complete a standardized health form, program of immunization (and chest x-ray as required)
  • Provide proof of current CPR Certification at the Basic Rescuer or Basic Cardiac Life Support level [Level C]
  • Provide proof of current Standard First Aid Certification
  • Provide a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector check.. Students are obligated to inform the Program Coordinator immediately of any change in the status of their criminal record.

First Year
Fall / Group 1 DL
ENGL 1xx or ENGL 2xx (ENGL 252 recommended)* 
IDST 100 Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
KNES 261 Human Anatomy+
PSYC 205 Principles of Psychology*
TAPC 110 Introduction to Health Care and Rehabilitation

Winter / Group 2 DL
LING 2XX or KNES 265 Functional Anatomy
Junior SOCI* (SOCI 203 recommended)
TAPC 111 Rehabilitation Process
TAPC 112 Human Disorders & (Dis)Abilities
TAPC 113 Growth and Development for Rehabilitation Service Providers

Spring / Group 3 DL
SLPA 212 Basics for the Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant

Second Year
Fall / Group 4 DL
DBSS 160 Introduction to American Sign Language+
SLPA 215 SLPA Therapeutic Processes I
SLPA 216 SLPA Therapeutic Processes II
TAPC 210 Professional Integration for the Therapist Assistant
One of
CHPC 124 Language and Literacy+
EDAS 101 The Education Assistant in the Classroom+

Winter / Group 5 DL
SLPA 206 Therapeutic Process III
SLPA 207 Therapeutic Process IV
SLPA 218 Career Preparation for the SLP Assistant

NOTES:
*ENGL 125 is also offered by distributed learning at Medicine Hat College.  Other English courses are not offered by distributed learning at Medicine Hat College but are available by distributed learning format through other post-secondary institutions. Contact Academic Advising for more information.  
+ This course is offered on-site and via distance delivery

Continuation Requirements

  • You must adhere to the professional commitment as outlined in the Therapist Assistant Programs Student Handbook.  Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.
  • You must complete the program within five years of registration in the TAPC 100.
  • All TAPC, SLPA, KNES and IDST 100 courses must be completed with grades of C or better.
  • You must earn a grade of at least C- all other courses.
  • In order to be able to continue in the program, a current and cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 is required at the end of each semester.
  • Attendance in all courses is considered essential.
  • You will usually be permitted to repeat a particular Therapist Assistant course (TAPC, SLPA) only once.
  • You are normally expected to complete courses in the sequence outlined in the calendar.  Courses taken in a sequence other than what is outlined in the calendar (including deferring courses in other terms) may compromise your standing in the program as lab and fieldwork planning is done in advance of courses starting.

Graduation Requirements

You must successfully complete 19 specific courses and meet attendance, fieldwork and grade requirements as set out in the program policies.

Distributed Learning (DL)

If you are enrolled in the distributed learning component you are expected to participate in experiential learning opportunities that are group or individually based.  You should be prepared to travel to pre-arranged sites for workshops.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork Requirements

  • Fieldwork arrangements are made by Medicine Hat College with consideration of student preferences; however, students may be required to complete fieldwork at sites other than those requested by students.  Once arrangements are confirmed, they are usually not modified.
  • Students should expect to complete at least one fieldwork placement out of Medicine Hat (fieldwork courses are: SLPA 206, SLPA 207, TAPC 110.
  • You may anticipate additional costs associated with these placements, e.g., travel, accommodations, etc. 
  • At this time, fieldwork placements occur only in Canada.

Continuation Specific to Fieldwork

  • Immunization required by the program must be up to date prior to commencing job shadowing and fieldwork placement(s).
  • You must successfully complete lab components of SLPA 212, SLPA 215 and SLPA 216 prior to entering fieldwork.
  • All fieldwork experience must meet attendance requirements as specified.
  • Participation in all activities related to fieldwork is mandatory.
  • Should you receive an unsatisfactory evaluation on a fieldwork placement, you will be required to discuss this situation with the Medicine Hat College faculty.  This evaluation may result in your having to repeat the placement.  If you receive an unsatisfactory evaluation on more than one placement, you will be required to withdraw from the program. 
  • You may be required to obtain a recent police information check and/or similar checks, at your expense, prior to entry into some fieldwork sites.  You may wish to discuss this further with the Coordinators.
  • Should your performance and/or health be questionable in relation to the delivery of safe client care and/or the maintenance of the professional standards of the program, you may be asked to leave your fieldwork site and may not receive a credit in the fieldwork course.

Transfer

Individual courses transfer to other post-secondary institutions as outlined in the Alberta Transfer Guide. 

Athabasca University
Graduates of the Speech Language Pathologist Assistant diploma are eligible to transfer 60 credits toward the Bachelor of Professional Arts - Human Services.

University of Calgary
Graduates are eligible to apply to the two year post diploma BCR program (Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation).

Thompson Rivers University

Graduates of the Speech Language Pathologist Assistant diploma are eligible to receive advanced credit towards the Bachelor of Health Science or the Bachelor of General Studies.

International Exchange Opportunities

You can explore short-term education abroad opportunities in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Ecuador. Visit the International Mobility Program section to find out more.

Scholarship Info

Medicine Hat College distributes over $300,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Applying online is easy!

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Funding Your Education

There are several options to assist you in funding your education at MHC. Find out what option is best for you.

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