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In RDC's School of Health Sciences our mission is to prepare resilient graduates who positively impact the health of diverse individuals and communities through dynamic, learner-centered experiences.

Excellence in Health & Wellness Education

Guiding Principles

  • Support our students and each other holistically.
  • Commit to a collaborative environment and build relationships within our Programs, our School, our Institution and our community.
  • Acknowledge, support and celebrate our achievements and successes as individuals, programs and as a School.
  • Value each other in our different roles, understanding we are all contributors to our success.
  • Be bold, take risks and embrace change.
  • Strive to make a difference through innovation and passion in our work.

Learn more about these RDC Health Sciences program:

Bachelor of Science, Nursing - collaboration with University of Alberta

Skills and Abilities I Need...

  • Nursing students need certain skills and abilities to attain the entry to practice competencies required of registered nurses in Alberta.
  • These requisite skills and abilities are required to progress through a nursing education program and for initial entry to practice as a registered nurse.
  • Students are encouraged to review the document Requisite Skills and Abilities for Becoming A Registered Nurse in Alberta (2011) to determine their fit with the requirements for becoming a registered nurse and/or identifying their potential need for accommodation in becoming a member of the nursing profession.
  • For further information regarding potential accommodation for students with disabilities please see Red Deer College Accessibility Services
  • Please note that the Alberta Human Rights Commission interpretive document Duty to Accommodate Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Educational Institutions (2010) stipulates that accommodation does not require post-secondary institutions to lower their academic or non-academic standards and requirements to accommodate students. Accommodation does not relieve students of the requirement to develop the essential skills and competencies expected of all students in a program
  • For further information about graduates from the program please review the Grad Profile & Program Outcomes
  • The BScN program has implemented a situational judgement test requirement, effective Fall 2021 admission onward. The CASPer Test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is the specific situational judgement test being used by the BScN program. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the grade assessment that we use for application processing.

CASPer Testing

Eligibility for admission to the BScN program at Red Deer College requires all applicants to meet minimum academic requirements and minimum non-academic requirements (CASPer). Applicants who do not meet all minimum requirements are not considered for admission.

All applicants to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at Red Deer College are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) as part of the application package. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.

An applicant's CASPer score is a selection factor that is considered in the admission decision process. CASPer Testing is external to the Red Deer College application system.

Applicants are required to first submit their application to Red Deer College, then register for a CASPer test. CASPer test results are sent directly to Red Deer College from the CASPer agency and the test should be completed by January 31 to be included in the March 1 review of applicants.

For students who apply to attend RDC after January 31, the review of your application will not be completed until the CASPer score is received by Red Deer College (this takes about three weeks). For applicants who write the CASPer after March 1, you will not be included in the first admission cycle and will be considered for the waitlist.

The earlier that CASPer scores are submitted, the earlier the College can make an admission decision on the RDC application. Applicants with incomplete or missing CASPer scores will not be considered for admission. You are only permitted to do the CASPer assessment once per admission cycle. Applicants who have taken the test in previous years will be expected to re-take it. Specific CASPer testing dates are listed on their website.

In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy these requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.

Please email any inquiries you may have about the CASPer test to support [at] takecasper [dot] com.

Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant (OPTA) Program

Mission, Vision, and Goals 

Mission Statement

The Occupational & Physical Therapist Assistant Program, through integration of theory and innovative practice, strives to produce outstanding graduates who are exceedingly prepared to skillfully deliver quality client-centered care to diverse populations in a variety of settings.

Vision Statement

To be the therapy assistant program of choice creating highly skilled and versatile professionals who positively contribute to the health and well-being of our communities. OPTA Values Learning is at the heart of Red Deer College. RDC’s key values include exploration, inclusiveness, excellence, integrity, community, and accountability. These same values are the foundation of the OPTA program.


The OPTA program strives to prepare students to effectively meet all of the program learning outcomes (listed below) by the time of graduation. In addition to preparing each student to achieve program learning outcomes, the OPTA program focuses on the following goals:

  • Learner Centeredness: The OPTA program will regularly seek and act on feedback from students. We will measure this by completing the following:
    • Use classroom assessment techniques periodically such as start, stop and continue and exit cards.
    • SFI (student feedback instrument) surveys.
    • Course evaluations completed after every semester.
    • College completer survey sent to graduates.
    • Changes/adjustments made annually based on student feedback
    • Instructors meet every year in May to discuss progress and evaluate outcomes.
  • Applied Experiences: The OPTA program will build relationships with community partners to ensure students are receiving relevant and current training. We will measure this by completing the following:
    • Ensure the OPTA Program Advisory Committee has appropriate members that include community representatives, employers, students, and graduates.
    • Maintain relationship with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and other practicum sites.
    • Solicit feedback and build relationships during practicum visits.
  • Innovation: The OPTA program will utilize innovative learning activities such as simulation where appropriate. We will measure this by completing the following:
    • Involve students in at least one simulation activity per year.
    • Collaborate with other programs in School of Health Sciences to continue to learn about and implement best practices in simulation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply a variety of communication strategies to effectively and respectfully build positive relationships through verbal, nonverbal, written and technological means with clients, families, care providers, and other stakeholders.
  2. Establish positive, effective, and collaborative relationships with an interprofessional team and others to achieve optimal client care.
  3. Manage time and prioritize competing priorities in collaboration with occupational therapists, physical therapists and support the delivery of effective and efficient practice.
  4. Responsibly advocate, encourage change, and promote the health and well-being of clients, communities, and populations, while applying knowledge and influence within the OTA/PTA role.
  5. Maintain, enhance and share knowledge, skills and attitude through self reflective practice, relevant goal setting, networking, quality improvement, self-care, and self directed learning to continue to be lifelong learners.
  6. Practice in a legal, ethical and professional manner demonstrating conduct that meets expectations of members of society and the profession.
  7. Perform responsibly and effectively through application of evidence-based disciplinary knowledge contributing to the development, implementation and modification of treatment plans while under the supervision and in collaboration with the occupational therapist and/or physical therapist.
  8. Demonstrate sensitivity to the individual 's culture, diversity, and abilities by establishing, developing, fostering, maintaining and bringing closure to client-centered, positive therapeutic relationships.
  9. Collect, document and complete client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, confidential, and non-judgmental manner. Through effective interpretation and communication of this data, students will participate in determining client progress toward specific outcomes as established in the plan of care by the occupational therapist and/or physical therapist.
  10. Recognize and apply principles that support safety in the workplace and adhere to all guidelines, procedures, protocols and standards to ensure personal safety and contribute to the safety of others.

Preceptor Education Modules

Module One:… 

Modules Two:…

Module Three:…

Module Four:…

Contact Us

RDC Inquiries

Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

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