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Continuing Education

Activity Assistant

Health Care

Help older adults stay active, engaged, and healthy

Use your talents to enhance the lives of adults in long-term care by helping plan and implement recreation activities that promote wellness.

The Activity Assistant part-time program equips you to organize and provide activity programming for older adults, some of whom may experience physical or cognitive challenges. Recreation and fitness activities can help seniors maintain health, mood, mobility, and independence, as well as improve quality of life and social interaction.

When you graduate as an activity assistant, you are ready to work under the direction of a recreation professional to deliver programming in long-term care homes, assisted living settings, adult day care programs, client homes, mental health homes, or residential group homes.

The Activity Assistant program is ideal for anyone wanting quick entry into the booming health care field or for care aides looking to expand their skill set.

Credential: Certificate

Format: Part-time

Delivery: Hybrid

Duration: 9 months

Days and times: Online with some scheduled Saturdays on campus. Students outside Fraser Valley to remain online.

Location: Abbotsford — Clearbrook Centre

Tuition*: $3,902

Practicum available? Yes

Start dates: September

Employment facts

If you are positive, compassionate, and resourceful and enjoy the rewards of spending time with people, a career as an activity assistant may be the perfect fit for you. Not only are there many activity aides openings available, but it is also a fulfilling career with good income potential.

According to WorkBC, as B.C.’s population continues to age, the health care and social assistance field will see the largest increase in job openings in the next 10 years. Fifty-four percent of these will come from the need to replace retiring workers, while an additional 46 percent will arise as a result of expansion in the health care system in response to the growing medical needs of an aging population.

Most activity assistants are employed by health care agencies and work in long term care homes. However, some activity assistants also find employment in residential homes, community mental health centres, adult day care programs, hospice care, community centres, private homes, and even cruise ships. Common titles for Activity Assistant grads include:

  • Activity assistant
  • Activity aide
  • Activity worker
  • Care/activity aide
  • Activity coordinator
  • Therapy recreation wellness assistant
  • Recreation assistant
  • Recreation aide
  • Recreation worker
  • Recreation programmer
  • Life enrichment assistant
Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements

You must complete the entrance requirements listed below before you apply.

  • B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent or minimum of 19 years of age before the first day of classes.
  • Proficient use of the English language. This level may be met by one or more of the following:
    • Communications 11 or 12 with a C+ or better.
    • English 10 or equivalent with a C+ or better.
    • Canadian Language Benchmark placement test (CLBPT) – 8 overall, with no skill less than 7.
    • EAP 084 with a C+ or better.
  • Letter from employer(s) confirming 20 volunteer or work hours in an adult care setting with satisfactory reference/recommendation. Need volunteer hours? Contact the following care homes. Maplewood Seniors Care Society, Menno Place, Tabor Village. *(Email if you are unable to meet this requirement)*
  • Satisfactory Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening. *Instructions will be given online at the start of the program to complete this form.*
  • Submission of a signed Health Assessment Record indicating physical fitness and emotional stability.

*All documents must be scanned, pictures of documents will not be accepted*

All students entering this program are expected to be computer literate. This means knowing how to run programs from a Windows environment, and having basic Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet skills. Students must have reliable transportation to all clinical practicum sites.

Practicum requirements

Please email the following documents to If you fail to email your documentation, you cannot be placed in a practicum and are not eligible to graduate.

Program outline


The program is divided into courses as listed below.

  1. ACTA 10: Fundamental Concepts for Activity Assistants 
    Online — 30 hours
  2. ACTA 20: Wellness and Well-Being in Activity
    Online — 30 hours 
  3. ACTA 30: Interpersonal and Communication Skills in Dementia Care 
    Online – 30 Hours
  4. ACTA 40: Understanding the Population of Older Adults
    Online — 30 hours
  5. ACTA 50: Practicum Orientation: Introduction to Care Settings 
    In-class — 10 hours pre-practicum
  6. ACTA PRAC 1: Practicum #1 
    30 hours — observational
  7. ACTA 60: Activity Design and Implementation Techniques
    In class — 30 hours
  8. ACTA 70: Activity Adaptation and Modification for Physical and Cognitive Changes in Older Adults
    In class — 30 hours
  9. ACTA 80: Responding and Managing Responsive Behaviours
    In class — 30 hours
  10. Employment Preparation
    In Class — 10 hours
  11. ACTA PRAC 2: Practicum #2
    90 hours — Hands-on, practical

See the Fall 2023 Activity Assistant schedule.


Your practicum placements will reflect the business practices of your practicum host. Many Activity Assistants work part-time hours and varying shift schedules, so your practicum shifts will reflect the schedule of the host you are paired with.

Continuing Education (CE) will pair you with a practicum host from the Lower Mainland. While we try to place students near their city of residence, we cannot guarantee a practicum placement in a specific city. For example, students who live in Chilliwack, may need to travel to Abbotsford to complete their practicum. Transportation to the practicum site is your responsibility.

If you live outside of the Lower Mainland but would like to attend practicum in your city of residence, please notify CE, prior to the start of your program, that you would like to find your own practicum host in your city of residence. All hosts will require departmental approval.

You will receive one practicum site placement. If you refuse your assigned practicum site, you will need to find your own site and obtain departmental approval prior to the start of your practicum.

Please discuss any barriers that may affect your practicum assignment with Continuing Education immediately after registration.


Phone: 604-851-6324
Toll free: 1-888-504-7441 ext. 6324
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