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Communicative Disorders Assistant

Available at: Kingston


This program prepares students to work in a supporting capacity with  registered Speech-Language Pathologists or Audiologists in a variety of service settings and populations. The program is based on develop­ing a firm understanding of anatomical and physiological aspects of speech, language, and hearing disorders along with the necessary skills for intervention and programming. Empha­sis is placed on preparing the graduate to carry out screening and  remediation programs under the direction of the Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist. The comprehensive, competency-based field placements provide students with opportunities to develop and practice these skills.

This program is not open to International students.


In order to prepare students for their careers in the field of communication disorders, the CDA program provides practical, hands-on learning experiences. All classes are delivered by practicing clinicians in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  

Upon graduation, students will:

  • Have a thorough understanding of normal and abnormal functioning of all aspects of human communication.
  • Have a basic introduction to Applied Behaviour Analysis and its relevance in the field of communication disorders.
  • Be able to apply a range of intervention approaches for communication disorders in both adult and pediatric populations.
  • Work effectively in an assistive capacity with speech-language pathologists and audiologists, implementing recommended intervention programs.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with professionals in related disciplines.
  • Be eligible for membership with the Communicative Disorders Assistants Association of Canada (CDAAC).

Learn more about the Communicative Disorders Assistant program by reading the answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Check out the opportunities for students to be involved with the Centre for Behavioural Studies

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this program may find work assisting speech-language pathologists or audiologists in a variety of agencies serving clients/patients with communicative disorders. Hospitals, preschool speech and language programs, children's rehabilitation centers, stroke and brain-injury rehabilitation programs, school boards and private speech and hearing clinics employ Communicative Disorders Assistants.

The current job market is competitive. Many of our graduates relocate to other cities across and outside of Ontario to find employment.

Program Name

Communicative Disorders Assistant

Program Code



Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Start Dates


Program Duration

1 Year

Location (Campus)


Canadian Fees

To view a detailed fee schedule, please click here. The fee schedule will open as a PDF in a new window.

International Fees

To view a detailed International fee schedule, please click here. The fee schedule will open as a PDF in a new window.

Additional Costs

Students must be prepared to budget for additional costs related to field placements, which may be in communities across Ontario. While every effort is made to arrange for placements in students' preferred or home location, students must be prepared for additional costs associated with relocating to other cities for placement. Please also note that some field placements (notably placements in school boards) require students to have a vehicle. Students must budget for costs related to transportation and out of town accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

St. Lawrence College offers an extensive Student Scholarship and Bursary Program. Scholarships and bursaries for this purpose are sponsored by external organizations and private individuals. These awards recognize our academic excellence, community involvement, contribution to the quality of College life, outstanding achievement and professional potential. For more details visit Bursaries and Scholarships.

Program Outline 2019-20

Semester 1
CDAP 100 Articulation and Phonology
CDAP 101 Child Language Acquisition and Related Disorders I
CDAP 102 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
CDAP 110 Audiology I: Introduction to Audiology
CDAP 120 Principles of Therapy and Programming and Special Populations
CDAP 130 Augmentative and Alternative Communication I
PROF 100 Clinical and Professional Issues I
REHA 100 Adult Neurogenic Disorders and Rehabilitation I

Semester 2
INTN 100 Field Placement I
INTN 200 Field Placement II

Semester 3
CDAP 301 Child Language Acquisition and Related Disorders II
CDAP 310 Augmentative and Alternative Communication II
CDAP 330 Language, Learning and Literacy
CDAP 340 Fluency and Voice Disorders
CDAP 350 Audiology II: Amplification Systems and Aural Rehabilitation
PROF 300 Clinical and Professional Issues II
REHA 300 Adult Neurogenic Disorders and Rehabilitation II

Articulation & Credit Transfer Opportunities

SLC graduates have many options to continue their studies with post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world. Agreements between SLC and other institutions that are specific to this program are listed below. In addition, there are many credit transfer pathway agreements between colleges and universities within the province of Ontario. Please also visit to search for options relevant to your program area of study.

    Admission Requirements

    Minimum of a two-year post-secondary diploma or degree, with a specialty in health, community services or social services including Psychology, Linguistics or related disciplines. 

    Please note: For applications to the CDA program, there is no requirement to submit a letter of intent, references or curriculum vitae.

    This is a HIGHLY COMPETITIVE program. To be included in the competitive ranking, applications must be complete including all transcripts and proof of enrollment by February 1.  Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admissions to the program. Please see the Highly Competitive Program Chart for more details.


    Health Requirements


    for your clinical/practical placement.  THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.


    Questions regarding completion of this form can be submitted to:

    Note:  Full-time students coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1, can be claimed under the Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan.


    My experience in the CDA program was nothing short of amazing.  From day one, I knew that the professors were there for us.  They checked in constantly with us to make sure our work load was manageable and if there was any way that they could accommodate our individual learning preferences.  Also, they are all veterans and experts in their respective fields. Most of our professors continued to work their full time SLP or Audiology jobs, meaning they are bringing up-to-date knowledge right into the classroom.  The placements were, in my opinion, the most valuable experience of my year in the CDA program.  You immediately get to apply the base of knowledge you learn in first semester and then gain experience in therapy sessions and step out of your comfort zone to learn something new.  Plus, they are 100% flexible about where you want to go and what population you are interested in working with.  Now that I have finished the program, I can confidently say that the professors of the CDA program have given me not just a career, but a passion.

    Jessica Whynot, Communicative Disorders Assistant program, 2014

    Jessica Whynot

    Program Contact

    Christiane Haberl, B.Sc. SLP, M.A.D.S.

    Admissions Information

    Connect with a College Career Advisor:

    International Students Contact:

    Additional Information

    Programs at St. Lawrence College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Program delivery can be run weekdays, weekends or evenings. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided a St. Lawrence College email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.

    Currently, the CDA program is offered as a full-time on-campus program with classes scheduled during the days, as well as some evenings. Classes may be scheduled any time between 8:30am - 8:30pm. In semester 1, CDAP 102 is offered on-line, and in semester 3, PROF 300 is offered as a hybrid course. All other courses are classroom-based.

    Conditions of Enrolment in Field Placement:
    • Required valid certification in Standard First Aid with CPR Level HCP with AED, at the student’s expense.

    Criminal Background Check: Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (OPP) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.

    Many of our students complete the required first aid and CPR courses as well as criminal reference check just prior to the fall semester in July or August. The CDA program is work-intensive and many of our students find it helpful to have these additional requirements completed prior to the semester starting.

    Students and graduates are eligible for student/full membership with the Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada (CDAAC) and with Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC).

    Advanced Standing

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