The 745-hour program is approximately a 25-week or six-month program (based on a typical 30-hour instruction week) designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as direct client care providers and respected members of the health-care team, in community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, graduates provide person-centred care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in any level of continuing care, including: home support, adult day care, assisted living, complex care (including dementia care units) and acute care.
B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or
19 years of age and out of secondary school for one year as of the first day of classes.
All HCA program applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency (English Competency Self Declaration Form). Domestic and/or international applicants who are non-native English speakers will need to take a standardized proficiency assessment to confirm communicative competency in all four language skills areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
Domestic and/or international applicants:
Native English speakers requirement:
English 10 or equivalent;
Evidence of one of the following:
Non-Native English speakers requirement:
Evidence of one of the following test scores:
*educational institutions may conduct their own predictive validity studies to confirm appropriate cut scores
Other admission and pre-practice requirements:
It is recommended that students also complete a Grade 11 Science or ABE Science at the 70 or 80 Level.
Applicants must provide evidence of successful completion of a Red Cross Standard First Aid or St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid that includes Basic Life Support, CPR Level C no more than 12 months before admission.
A criminal record check clearance from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's Criminal Records Review Office. Okanagan College's admission offices will provide applicants with instructions and forms for applicants to submit to the Solicitor General's Office and a deadline for the College to receive the clearance letter. Applicants should only initiate their criminal record check when instructed by Admissions. Failure to provide a clearance letter by the deadline will result in a cancellation of the applicant's admission application.
Applicants must provide evidence of a negative tuberculin test, taken no more than six months before the date of application (or evidence of appropriate follow-up if the test was positive.)
Note: There may be additional fees associated with other admission and program pre-practice requirements. These requirements are usually completed outside of regular class time. Students are responsible for submitting appropriate documentation by the due dates provided. The admissions office and/or department chair will provide further instructions. Students may proceed into clinical practice education experiences only after successful completion of ALL the program pre-practice requirements.
Location and Dates:
Kelowna Campus - August, January, May
Vernon - October to April
Penticton - October to April
Salmon Arm - May to October
Program Length: 25 weeks
Tuition - Students may enrol in a part-time program if space is available after all full-time students are enrolled. Fees are assessed by component. Full-time student fees are based on vocational rates.
Textbooks - $350 approximately
Uniforms - $250 approximately
Other Expenses - Students must provide a suitable uniform, duty shoes, name tags and OC badge. Students are responsible for their own transportation.
Practicum, Extern and Clinical Experiences
Practicum, extern and clinical experiences are an integral part of health and social services programs. Locations are throughout the Okanagan Valley. Students must arrange for their own transportation to and from practicum, extern and clinical sites. In most cases, that means a driving license and access to a reliable vehicle is required. Travel expenses are the student's responsibility.
Hours vary from six to nine hours per day during the practicum for a total of 30 hours per week.
* Countries with English language systems / institutions (where English is a primary, official language and the language used for education):
British Virgin Islands
St. Kitts and Nevis
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caico Islands
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
United States of America (USA)
US Virgin Islands
1Applicants educated in Quebec at an institution where the language of instruction was not English, must meet the current English language proficiency requirements.
A minimum passing grade (P) for HCA 103 and HCA 107; and a minimum grade of 70% in all other courses in the program outline.
Health and Social Development
2022-23: $3,642.41 (Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton), $3,686.61 (Vernon)
Do you need to upgrade? Contact:
This program is student loan eligible.
Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 12/07/2022