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More Program Information

In Red Deer Polytechnic's School of Community, Wellness and Health 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 Health Sciences programs:


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 Polytechnic 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.
  • If entering the Bachelor of Science, Nursing program after completing the LPN to BScN Transition Program, the Casper Test will be completed as part of the admission to the LPN to BScN Transition Program.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Handbook

Read Red Deer Polytechnic's Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Handbook.


Casper Testing

Eligibility for admission to the BScN program and the LPN to BScN Transition program at Red Deer Polytechnic 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 and the LPN to BScN Transition program at Red Deer Polytechnic 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 Polytechnic application system.

Applicants are required to first submit their application to Red Deer Polytechnic, then register for a Casper test. Casper test results are sent directly to Red Deer Polytechnic from the Casper agency and the test should be completed by the date indicated in your Application information on the Loop to be included in the initial review of applicants.

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

Applicants with incomplete or missing Casper scores will not be considered for admission. You are only permitted to do the Caper 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 (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 Polytechnic. Red Deer Polytechnic’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 Community, Wellness and Health 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


Agora Undergraduate Conference

Red Deer Polytechnic's Agora Undergraduate Conference showcases student work completed in Humanities and Social Sciences, Social Work, and Justice Studies classes, bringing together Red Deer Polytechnic's diverse community in celebration of student excellence. Students have the opportunity to share the results of their coursework with a public audience. 


Social Work Diploma

Once it has been determined that you have met the academic requirements, you will be mailed a package of materials which includes the various requirement:

Volunteer / Work Hours:

minimum of 100 hours of volunteer experience is required as part of the Social Work Application Process.  Work-related experience can also be used in lieu of volunteer experience.  Please check with our department to ensure it is applicable.  The hours must be current, and completed at one organization, as one confidential reference is required from the direct volunteer or employment supervisor. 

It is required that these be completed in a

  • human service agency/organization, or
  • social service agency/organization, or in a 
  • healthcare environment.  

The clients must be disadvantaged or marginalized in some way.  The volunteering must include direct client or patient contact as your primary function (rather than office work, cooking, etc.) and deal with the client’s psycho-social wellbeing.

If you have any questions about the suitability of your volunteer experience please email the Social Work program.

Opportunities can often be found in:

  • helping agencies,
  • outreach organizations,
  • schools,
  • ​hospitals (depends on type of work),
  • programs for at-risk youth,
  • women’s shelters,
  • long-term care facilities (depends on type of work),
  • agencies for people with addictions, homelessness, mental illness, and who are mentally challenged.

We do not accept hours completed:

  • as part of high school work experience program;
  • fundraising;
  • sports coaching;
  • daycare (exception is a day care in a women's shelter);
  • babysitting;
  • foodbank / meals-on-wheels;
  • educational aide (exception is for children who are coded);
  • before school/after school programs/lunch supervision (exception is for children who are coded);
  • housekeeping;
  • personal experience such as having a sibling with autism or having foster children in the home;
  • office/administrative work; and
  • bible or church group and activities.

It is required that the 100 hours be completed at one organization, but note that more than the 100 hours can be beneficial in the interviewing process.

Employment experience can also be used in lieu of volunteer experience (please check with our department to ensure it is applicable). The hours must be current, and completed at one organization as one confidential reference is required from the direct volunteer or employment supervisor.

complete application package must include the following:

  1. a personal profile;
  2. three confidential reference request forms, and one needs to be signed by a direct volunteer or employment supervisor;
  3. a minimum of 100 volunteer or work hours completed at one agency site.

How you will get an Interview:

Forward your complete application package to the Polytechnic.  If your completed package is received by February 15, you will be invited for an interview to be scheduled before April 30, with a decision about admission after May 1. An interview with a Social Work faculty member is required as part of admission to the Program. Your work or volunteer experience must be completed or almost completed prior to your interview with a Social Work faculty member.

Other Information:

While not an admission requirement for the program, applicants are advised that most agencies where they will be placed for practicum experiences will require a

  • Police Information Check, and
  • Vulnerable Sector Check.

Students should be prepared for approximately $50 to $75 in extra expense to acquire these documents.

The existence of a criminal record may prevent practicum placement, program completion, and professional licensure and therefore affect future employment prospects. It is the decision of each agency or institution to accept or reject a student for placement or observation experience based on the results of the criminal record check. 

For more Information:                             

Email:    socialwork [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (socialwork[at]rdpolytech[dot]ca)


Pharmacy Technician Diploma


To be the Pharmacy Technician Program of choice, empowering professionals that positively contribute to the health and well-being of our communities.


The Pharmacy Technician Program strives to produce graduates who are highly regarded as professional, skilled and exceedingly prepared for career success by providing exceptional, applied and innovative educational experiences in a learner centered environment.

Program Outcomes

  • Communicate effectively and respectfully to build positive relationships through verbal, non-verbal, written and technological means with patients, co-workers and other healthcare providers.
  • Practice in a legal, ethical and professional manner demonstrating conduct that meets expectations of members of society and the profession.
  • Accurately manage and performs technical and distributive tasks expected of a pharmacy technician.
  • Builds collaborative relationships within the pharmacy and healthcare teams to optimize patient safety and meet patient healthcare needs and improve healthcare outcomes.
  • Perform job related tasks in a safe an effective manner that ensures quality and patient safety while using professional judgement as to which tasks can be performed independently or in collaboration with a pharmacist.
  • Maintain, enhance and share knowledge, skills and attitude through self-reflective practice, use of available learning resources, networking and self-directed learning to continue to be a lifelong learner.

Pharmacy Technician Laboratory 

The Pharmacy Technician Laboratory space was renovated in 2021 and provides students with learning spaces that replicate both a community and a hospital pharmacy. The modernization of our spaces greatly improves the realism of student experiences and prepares them for entry to practice. 

Pharmacy Technician LaboratoryPharmacy Technician Laboratory

Pharmacy Technician Laboratory   Pharmacy Technician Laboratory

We understand that you still have questions about the programs.
You can talk to us and we can help.

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