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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 healthcare field or for care aides looking to expand their skill set.

Credential: Certificate

Format: Part-time

Delivery: Online coursework with some scheduled Saturdays on campus. Students outside Fraser Valley to remain online. Practicums to be completed in person.

Duration: 9 months

Days and times: No scheduled meeting times except one weekly optional lecture. Date and time of lecture to be determined at the start of the program.

Location: 

Tuition*: $3,980

Practicum required? Yes

Start dates: September

Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements

You must meet all entrance requirements to be accepted to the program. View the entrance requirements in the 51 Academic Calendar.

All students entering this program are also expected to be computer literate. This means knowing how to run programs in a Windows environment, and having basic Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet skills.

 

Supporting documents

Once you have , you will need to submit the following documents.

 

1. Letter from employer(s) confirming 20 volunteer or work hours in an adult care setting with a satisfactory reference/recommendation.

Need volunteer hours? Contact the following care homes: , , .

If you are unable to meet this requirement by the program start date, email continuingeducation@ufv.ca

 

2. Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening

A satisfactory Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening is required for practicum. Complete the  using access code CACJXKC5VT.

After making the fee payment, you will receive an online receipt from the . Your results are sent directly to Continuing Education.

 

3. Immunization Record

The BC Health Authorities require you to be up-to-date on your vaccinations. For questions about immunizations, please contact , your doctor, or a community health centre.

  • You must provide records for all immunizations, or have your doctor complete the Health Practicum Student Immunization Record if you do not have records. This must be submitted no later than two weeks after the program starts.
  • Students must be vaccinated against COVID-19, per .
  • For more information, please review the (pg. 6-7).

 

4. First Aid certificate

You must have an up-to-date certificate: Standard First Aid, Emergency First Aid, or WorkSafe BC Occupational First Aid Level 1. Due before the first practicum.

 

5. Foodsafe certificate

You must have an up-to-date certificate or . Due before the first practicum.

 

How to submit the above documents

Your Criminal Record Check will be automatically sent to Continuing Education upon completion, but you will need to submit the other documents yourself.

To submit your documents, email continuingeducation@ufv.ca and attach the files.

  • These documents must be scanned. Photographed documents will not be accepted.
  • Label the email subject line as: AA Documents, Lastname, First Initial
  • If you fail to email this documentation, you cannot be placed in a practicum and are not eligible to graduate.
Program outline

Courses

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 2024 Activity Assistant schedule.

 

Practicum

As part of the Activity Assistant program, you will complete two practicums that provide a meaningful work-like experience and exposure to professional care settings. First you will complete a 30-hour observational practicum midway through the program, and then you will complete a 90-hour hands-on practicum at the end of the program.

 

Practicum 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.

 

Practicum location

If you live in the Lower Mainland, Continuing Education (CE) will provide you with a practicum placement. 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. 

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.

 

Practicums for distance students

If you live outside the Lower Mainland, you will need to locate an appropriate practicum site in your area and submit their details to the Continuing Education department for approval.

 

Missing your practicum

Completing both practicums is a requirement for graduation. If you are unable to attend or complete a practicum due to extenuating circumstances, please contact Continuing Education immediately.

Extenuating circumstances are defined as a situation beyond your control that prevents you from completing a course, program, or practicum. These are circumstances that are unexpected and/or uncontrollable and arise during the course of the program. Examples include:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Car accident
  • Medical emergency
  • Incapacitating illness
  • Serious personal situation

The following does not qualify:

  • Inability to achieve a passing grade
  • Unawareness of deadlines
  • Unfavorable weather conditions
  • A short-term illness
  • An unmanaged, pre-existing health condition

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

 

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 aide job 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 healthcare 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 healthcare system in response to the growing medical needs of an aging population.

Most activity assistants are employed by healthcare 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
Textbooks

To find your textbooks, use the . Select "CE - Continuing Education" as your area of study.

Questions?

Phone: 604-851-6324
Toll free: 1-888-504-7441 ext. 6324
Email: continuingeducation@ufv.ca
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