Education Institutions

This page contains links and descriptions to Alberta educational institutions offering Therapy Assistant programs.

A list of all OTA/PTA EAP accredited institutions can be accessed through the following link: Accredited Institutions.

MacEwan University

Physical Therapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant (PTA and OTA) diploma program prepares you with the skills, theoretical knowledge and practical experience to help clients regain mobility, recover from injuries, and overcome challenges to become independent.

The Physical /Occupational Therapist Assistant program at MacEwan University has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on November 30, 2017 for the period until November 30, 2023.

Details regarding accreditation decisions can be found on the OTA & PTA EAP website ( Any questions can be directed to Cassie Prochnau, Associate Professor. The OTA & PTA EAP contact information is: Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632,


Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

The Speech Language Pathologist Assistant major of MacEwan University’s Therapist Assistant diploma prepares you to help children and adults address their communication disorders.

Learn the skills and theoretical knowledge, and gain the practical experience needed to:

  • carry out treatment plans
  • observe and report patient responses
  • schedule activities
  • maintain therapeutic equipment

Graduates are fully prepared to make a difference in a client’s communication and/or speech disorder.

Full-time Day or Part-time Online?

Options exist on how you want to complete your diploma. You can complete your diploma via full-time study on-campus in a minimum of two years. Or study part-time online and complete your diploma in a minimum of 3.5 years.


Medicine Hat College

Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant

The Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physical Therapist Assistant (OTA/PTA) career is aimed at improving patient/clients’ health, movement, and quality of life. As an OTA/PTA, you will work under the direction of Occupational Therapists (OT) to help clients successfully perform daily activities related to self-care, leisure, and work, school or play. You will also work under the direction of physiotherapists (PT) to help provide treatment to help patients recover from illness or injury to improve patient mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or lessen physical limitations. If you are a compassionate and creative individual who enjoys working with people and being part of the health care and rehabilitation team, this program may be a good fit for you. Working with clients of all ages ranging from infants to seniors with a variety of health conditions, you will learn how to use a variety of interventions to help your clients. The activities could range from games or crafts; group activities; exercise for strength, flexibility, balance and coordination; use of assistive devices, and various electrotherapy and physical modalities. Your clients might have conditions such as back pain, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, mental health disorders or dementia among others. An OTA/PTA’s responsibilities also include monitoring and recording client progress, and reporting to the OT or PT.

This program is flexible in that the first 10 courses are common to both the OTA/PTA and SLP Assistant (SLPA) diplomas. This unique approach provides students with an excellent core upon which to build more specific skills depending on their interests. Along with extensive classroom training, students experience practicum training with potential employers in hospitals, private clinics, home care settings, schools, and community programs.

The diploma is offered both on-site (at Medicine Hat College) or via distributed learning. The on-site option is a two-year (five semester) diploma program, whereas the distributed learning (DL) option is completed over a longer period of up to five years. Students may wish to continue on and complete the SLPA diploma after completion of the OTA/PTA diploma. This diploma will also transfer to degree programs.

Medicine Hat College

Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

As a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant, you will find a rewarding career supporting Speech-Language Pathologists in their assessment and treatment of people with communication difficulties. You will have the opportunity to help people of all ages to improve their ability to communicate and interact with others. If you want a challenging and fulfilling career with a focus on helping people, the field of speech-language pathology may be ideal.

About this 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.

Medicine Hat College

NorQuest College

Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

The Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant diploma program prepares students to work in today’s interdisciplinary health care systems. This program will provide students with a strong occupational and physical therapy assistant background, and incorporate essential assistant-level skills in speech language therapy and therapeutic recreation. Equipped with skills in these four rehabilitation disciplines, students will be prepared to meet industry demand and work in various general therapy, rehabilitation, as well as discipline-specific positions. If you enjoy helping people and want a career assisting patients to overcome injuries, or impairments, this diploma program could be for you.


Red Deer Polytechnic

Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma

The Program
The program prepares the graduate to become an Occupational and/or Physical Therapist Assistant and is delivered over five academic terms. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to work as an Occupational and/or Physical Therapist Assistant. Program outcomes are designed to enable successful transition to the role of the Occupational and/or Physical Therapist Assistant, assisting students to:

Apply a variety of communication strategies to effectively and respectfully build positive relationships through verbal, nonverbal, written and technological means with clients, families, care providers, and other stakeholders
Establish positive, effective, and collaborative relationships with an inter-professional team and others to achieve optimal client care.
Manage time and prioritize competing priorities in collaboration with occupational therapists, physical therapists and support the delivery of effective and efficient practice
Responsibly advocate, encourage change, and promote the health and well-being of clients, communities, and populations, while applying knowledge and influence within the OTA/PTA role
Maintain, enhance and share knowledge, skills and attitude through self-reflective practice, relevant goal setting, networking, quality improvement, self-care, and self-directed learning to continue to be lifelong learners
Practice in a legal, ethical and professional manner demonstrating conduct that meets expectations of members of society and the profession.
Perform responsibly and effectively through application of evidence-based disciplinary knowledge contributing to the development, implementation and modification of treatment plans while under the supervision and in collaboration with the occupational and/or physical therapist
Demonstrate sensitivity to the individual’s culture, diversity, and abilities by establishing, developing, fostering, maintaining and bringing closure to client-centered, positive therapeutic relationships
Collect, document and complete client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, confidential, and nonjudgmental manner. Through effective interpretation and communication of this data, students will participate in determining client progress toward specific outcomes as established in the plan of care by the Occupational Therapist and/or Physical Therapist
Recognize and apply principles that support safety in the workplace and adhere to all guidelines, procedures, protocols and standards to ensure personal safety and contribute to the safety of others
Note: The Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Red Deer College has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was awarded to the program on November 30, 2020 for the period until November 30, 2026.

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632,

Program Content
Year 1

INTP 102 Healthcare Anatomy and Physiology
INTP 104 Healthcare Communication I
OPTA 112 Healthcare and Rehabilitation
OPTA 117 Foundational Rehabilitation Skills
COMM 250 Business and Workplace Writing
OPTA 118 Functional Anatomy
OTA 105 OTA Skills I
PTA 100 PTA Skills I
OPTA 122 Common Conditions and Function
OPTA 114 Concepts in Mental Health
KNSS 307 Growth and Development
OPTA 130 Practicum I (Spring)
Year 2

OPTA 222 Complex Conditions and Function
OPTA 204 Sensation, Perception and Cognition
OTA 205 OTA Skills II
PTA 200 PTA Skills II
OPTA 215 Communication Impairment
OPTA 210 Professional Practice
OPTA 230 Practicum II
OPTA 330 Practicum III

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

Medical advances permit a growing number of children and adults to live successfully with disabilities. Clients, who have experienced an injury or a health condition that has impacted their ability to function in day-to-day life, can maximize their physical, mental and social abilities through rehabilitation. Under the supervision of an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, the therapist assistant works with clients across the lifespan with the goal of helping the clients to be active participants in society. Therapist assistants also support facility administration by managing therapeutic supplies and maintaining equipment.

SAIT’s Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma program trains students to become knowledgeable and skilled assistants in occupational and physical therapy. Course content meets or exceeds the essential competencies required for support personnel in both professions.

The Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant program is two years in length and is comprised of four semesters. The first semester of the program addresses key concepts of rehabilitation and healthcare delivery. Observational visits to the clinical settings assist the student in integrating knowledge of normal physical and psychological function with basic therapeutic skills. More advanced rehabilitation concepts, common health conditions and therapeutic skills used in occupational therapy and physical therapy are taught in the second semester. Professionalism and communication skills are also emphasized and practiced when the student completes a four-week practicum.

In the third semester of the program, advanced therapeutic skills and complex health conditions are taught. In the fourth and final semester, professional practices are integrated in the 12 week practicum. The student returns to SAIT for the final two weeks of the semester for comprehensive practical examinations and to consolidate his/her experiences.

Students must be disciplined for learning through self-study, face-to-face at SAIT, and in a clinical setting and online. Practica experiences are unpaid and may occur outside the Calgary area.

Students require a personal computer with Internet access and e-mail capabilities in order to complete the required courses. All courses require additional self-study.

Your Career

Graduates find work in a variety of settings including rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools and private physiotherapy and occupational therapy services in both urban and rural settings.

Student Success

Students must be physically fit and able to lift a minimum weight of 50 pounds.

Previous work or volunteer experience in a health- or wellness-related field is an asset.

Students who experience success in this program:

  • Have at least basic computer skills
  • Possess effective communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Have higher secondary or post-secondary marks
  • Are self-directed, highly motivated, detail oriented and well-organized
  • Are professional and flexible
  • Enjoy working in a team environment and in diverse settings
  • Above all, enjoy relating to others

Credentials and Accreditation

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma with both the occupational therapist assistant (OTA) and the physical therapist assistant (PTA) discipline designations.


The Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Program at SAIT Polytechnic has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on April 30, 2016 for the period until April 30, 2022.

For more information please contact the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, c/oPhysiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632.

Transfer Options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Athabasca University
  • NAIT
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)