Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant


Winter 2021 Update

Course Delivery Summary:

  • Year 1: Online
  • Year 2: Blended

First year courses are well suited to online learning and will be delivered this way for the winter semester. Second year courses require students to work in labs on campus or in the community, and the practical work period in the SLPA program is critical to career success. This means students should be prepared to visit the Medicine Hat campus and/or a community site each week throughout the program for experiential learning.

Distance learning students who require in-person labs and/or fieldwork during Winter 2020 may experience delays in their program progression.

Your active participation in COVID-19 prevention is important. Please visit the COVID page to learn about your responsibilities, how to access campus, and what to expect.


About the Program

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.

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
A minimum mark of 60% in:

  • ELA 30-1
  • Biology 30 and

Transfer Student Route
A minimum mark of 60% or a minimum of C grade in:

  • ENGL 30-1 or a post-secondary level equivalent
  • Biology 30, a post-secondary level equivalent, or a university level lab science course

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.
Some courses related to this program are found here. Please see the academic calendar or this year's program planning guide for an up-to-date set of courses related to Speech Language Pathologist Assistant.

SOCI 2xx (SOCI 203 preferred)

ENGL 1XX or ENGL 2XX (ENGL 252 recommended)

One of KNES 265 Functional Anatomy or LING 2XX Introductory Linguistics

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  

What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.

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.