Diabetes Education for Health Care Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated October 29, 2014

Questions and answers for Diabetes Education for Health Care Professionals program.

  1. Why should I consider the Diabetes Education Program for Health Care Professionals program? What sets this program apart from other programs?
    As a student in the Diabetes Education for Health Care Professionals program, you’ll learn to practice in accordance with the Primary Health Care Model and the Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guideline and learn how to use primary prevention strategies and population health approach to disease prevention.
  2. Is this program approved?
    The program is based on the Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guidelines, which ensures that students receive theory based on the most current information. Many graduates go on to write the national Certified Diabetes Education exam.
  3. When can I start courses in the program?
    You can start any time of the year from September 1 to May 31 as the program has ongoing enrolment. Students are encouraged to enroll in one course at a time. Although each course is 15 weeks, students can progress as quickly as their time allows. They do not have to use the entire 15 weeks that is allowed, and can enroll in another course as soon as they have finished the course they have been taking. If a student enrolls in two courses at the same time, they only have 15 weeks to complete both of the courses. This can become unmanageable for the student. With ongoing enrolment, there is no hold up for the student who wants to progress as quickly as possible.
  4. How is the program offered?
    The program is offered through distance learning.  Most of the courses are in an online platform as well as quizzes, assignments, and exams.  Communication is through emails, phone, and fax.  You will work at your own pace as you progress through the program.

    You will also attend an on-site lab in Regina or Saskatoon. Upon successful completion of the theory and lab components, you will participate in a clinical experience.
  5. How many courses are there in the program?
    There are nine theory courses, one lab and one clinical component.

    You will have 15 weeks to complete each theory course. Some courses have prerequisites.
  6. I have not been in school for awhile. Do you have any suggestions for enhancing my study skills?
    The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Library has a wealth of resources that they direct you to help you study, write exams and write papers.
  7. I have never taken online courses before. How do I know if I have the attributes to be a successful online learner?
    Distance education takes added time and energy, therefore it is suggested that you evaluate your readiness for learning via distance. Self-assessment tools to determine if online learning is right for you are available on the Internet and on request to the program.

    Personal attributes of the successful online learner are:
    - Ability to assume responsibility for own learning
    - Self-directed and motivated
    - Persistent and confident
    - Ability to problem-solve
    - Active in their learning
    - Effective time management skills
    - Disciplined to study without external reminders

    Basic technical skills that you need include:
    - Basic computer literacy
    - Word processing
    - Searching on the internet
    - Taking time to complete available online tutorials and use help screen.
  8. What kind of supports can I put in place to ensure I am successful as an online learner?
    Saskatchewan Polytechnic has a wealth of tutorials and support tools to ensure your success. A successful online student searches out these tools and uses them. When a student is registered into a Saskatchewan Polytechnic course for the first time, the student is also enrolled in a free orientation course called “Online learning made easy.” Students are strongly encouraged to complete this short course to learn about supports Saskatchewan Polytechnic has in place to enhance your success. Students who complete the orientation tools before the course begins have reduced frustration when the course starts.

    Student success is also enhanced through family and employer support. Families can provide childcare or assist with household chores. When employers allow flexible hours for school obligations or use of a computer at work, success is also enhanced. Some students have found that having a personal laptop that can be taken with them wherever they go enhances their success.
  9. How will I communicate with faculty?
    Program faculty are available to support you via the telephone and email.

    There is no faculty support in July and August as these months are not counted when determining your end date.
  10. I have always attended formal classroom education. Distance learning seems like it would be a lonely experience. Is there any way I could have contact with my classmates?
    While distance learning can be a lonely experience, all students are given the opportunity to complete a Freedom of Information consent form. If you agree to allow our faculty to release your contact information to other students, then you can be linked up with your classmates. Your information is only given to other classmates and is only released with your consent.
  11. How will I progress through the program?
    Each of the theory courses is divided into learning outcomes that cover specific material. Each learning outcome is divided into learning steps that will guide you in your learning. There are review exercises included at the end of each learning outcome that allow you to assess your learning. All theory courses have a final exam and some have a midterm as well.  The courses have assignments to evaluate your knowledge. Guidelines for completing assignments and the grading criteria are included in the course manuals.

    There is one 12-hour lab experience which looks at how various issues affect diabetes care, prevention and education. The role of community development and capacity building in diabetes prevention and management is explored. You will practice performing a foot assessment.

    There is one 60-hour clinical practice education which takes place in your home community (whenever possible). You must successfully complete all the theory and lab courses prior to registering for the clinical practice education course.

    All exams are graded as pass / fail.
  12. Where are the labs held?
    The labs are held at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina or Saskatoon Campus. A minimum number of students are required in order to offer the labs.
  13. Where will my clinical practice education take place?
    You will do your clinical practice education in an agency chosen by you and the program faculty. An experienced agency staff member will guide and direct you, and evaluate your competence.
  14. Where do I write my exams?
    An approved test site will be assigned to you when you are registered in program courses.

    Students can write their exams at the test centres located at a Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus.  However, you can also write your exams in a local facility approved by the Program Director.

    The exams are multiple choice and require the writer to know how to use a mouse and read on-screen instructions.
  15. Can I get credit for prior learning?
    Please go to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).

    If you have three years experience or the equivalent of 5000 hours recent diabetes educator experience, and have an employer reference and have learned the skills and knowledge for one or more of the courses, you may apply to be assessed for each applicable course.
  16. Where can I buy my books and other materials?
    Information on purchasing textbooks and course manuals will be provided when you register. Material is available for purchase online, by phone, or in person.
  17. What completion document do I receive after completing the program?
    Upon graduation, you will receive an advanced certificate in Diabetes Education for Health Care Professionals.