Program Length

The ESL portion of this program will assist students to prepare for the Health Care Aide Certificate Program by focusing on the skills students need to be able to complete their course requirements. In the first semester, students will go through an intensive language training course which prepares them to build the foundations to be successful in their HCA training component and be able to work in the healthcare environment with its specific requirements.

The ESL component of this program will also focus on certain academic skills to equip students with specific medical terminology, and certain essential skills such as critical thinking as well as problem solving skills to enhance students’ ability to understand and apply the knowledge provided by the HCA component. These skills are transferable to many areas of work and can be applied while practicing in the field.

ESL Pathways to HCA program distinctly addresses the English language which Health Care Aide Professionals need to be able to practice safely and confidently at work, an occupation which requires precision and high level of accuracy to avoid any potential errors.

Alberta Human Services Grant funding is available for both the full-time ESL component as well as the full time Health Care Aide program for those who qualify.

Click here for information on our COVID-19 response and delivery of services

Program Details

  • 16 week ESL Component and 32 week HCA Component
  • Small classes (average size of 20 students)
  • Tutoring support available – individual, group, and in-class
  • English for Academic Purposes Course and English for Medical Purposes Course
  • Government Approved Health Care Aide Program

Admission Requirements

Immigrant Language and Vocational Assessment Referral (ILVARC) to determine placement in the program


Take a Columbia College ESL Assessment

  • Students will enter the ESL component of this program at a minimum of CLB 7. Students must achieve a minimum of CLB 7 before starting the HCA portion of their training and then successfully complete all of the components of the HCA program in preparing for entry into the workforce as a certified HCA.

This program targets non native speakers of English.