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Paraeducator/Substitute Authorization

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Paraeducator Generalist Certification Course – Hybrid

 

Description:

***Note: This course is not appropriate for teachers to take for license renewal and it is not appropriate for RENEWAL of a Paraeducator Certification.

This (90 clock hours) hybrid course is open to all paraeducators needing certification or anyone looking to become a paraeducator. Successful completion of this course will lead to Paraeducator Generalist Certification from the BOEE.

This training involves some face-to-face meetings and the remaining times are a completion of online units.

The application process will be discussed in class. The application fee is $40 and the background check fee is $75 (total of $105). Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or high school equivalency.

Learning Goals

  1. The participant will understand and be able to complete requirements of being a certified paraeducator regarding the foundations of this position.
  2. The participant will understand and be able to complete requirements of being a certified paraeducator regarding learning environments.
  3. The participant will understand and be able to complete requirements of being a certified paraeducator regarding content and instruction.
  4. The participant will understand and be able to complete requirements of being a certified paraeducator regarding the emotional and behavioral needs of this position.
  5. The participant will understand and be able to complete requirements of being a certified paraeducator regarding professional relationships, ethical and professional practice of this position.

Course Outline

Through a variety of on-line and face-to-face activities, applicants shall explore and demonstrate the following list of competencies.

  1. Foundations: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Recognize the different developmental stages of students.
    • Believe every student can learn.
    • Recognize that each learner has unique learning needs that may require accommodations.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the common core, including competence in reading, writing and math.
    • Function in a manner that demonstrates a positive regard for the distinction between roles and responsibilities of paraeducators and other professionals, including respecting the teacher as supervisor and seeing the teacher as ultimately responsible for the education and behavior of the students.
  2. Learning Environment: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Follow the prescribed health, safety and emergency school and classroom policy and procedures.
    • Organize materials to support teaching and learning.
    • Facilitate the integration of student with diverse needs in various settings.
    • Assist with special health services, under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
    • Promote a safe and positive learning environment.
    • Function in various instructional settings (e.g., large group, small group, tutoring).
  3. Content and Instruction: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Assist with learning activities and opportunities to accomplish instructional objectives.
    • Support high expectations that are shared, clearly defined and appropriate.
    • Monitor progress and document and report objective observations that inform instructional decisions.
    • Effectively use verbal and nonverbal forms of communication with students.
    • Assist with the implementation and use of instructional and assistive technology.
  4. Emotional and behavioral: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Assist in modeling and teaching specific appropriate behaviors, social skills, and procedures that facilitate safety and learning in various environments.
    • Assist in the implementation of individualized behavior management plans.
    • Document and report objective observations on student behaviors.
    • Assist in modifying the learning environment to manage behavior and social skills.
    • Recognize that there is a cause or reason for misbehavior and assist in determining the cause or reason.
    • Recognize, address and report bullying.
    • Recognize and report atypical emotional behavior.
  5. Professional Relationships: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Demonstrate a commitment to work as an effective team member.
    • Foster a professional and caring relationship with each student’s family.
    • Develop and maintain positive and professional relationships with students.
  6. Ethical and professional practice: Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
    • Follow ethical practices for confidential information.
    • Participate in ongoing professional development.
    • Accept and apply constructive feedback.
    • Abide by the Iowa code of ethics and professional practice rules of the board of educational examiners and rules of the Iowa department of education.
    • Demonstrate the ability to separate personal issues from one’s responsibilities in the workplace.
    • Maintain a high level of competency and integrity.
    • Share information regarding students’ performance, behavior, or program with students’ parents or guardians only as directed by the supervising teacher or educator.
    • Be aware of personal biases and beliefs and refrain from discriminatory practices based on a students’ disability, race, creed, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, or national origin.
    • Demonstrate ethical behavior when supporting students with graded activities, quizzes, and tests.
    • Abide by Iowa law regarding the use of restraint and seclusion.
    • Recognize that the paraeducator may not be given primary responsibly for the education of an individual student(s).
    • Recognize that instructional decisions are made by the individualized education program (IEP) team for students with disabilities and that any changes to instruction, accommodations, supports, and services cannot be made outside the IEP team.

Assessment

Pass:

  • 100% attendance and active participation at Face-to-Face meetings
  • Completion of all activities at a minimum of 80%

Fail:

  • Failure to meet above criteria

Substitute Authorization

Iowa Western offers the Substitute Authorization course allowing an individual to substitute in a K-12 institution for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment. An individual who holds a paraeducator certificate and completes the substitute authorization program is authorized to substitute only in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed.

A substitute authorization may be issued to an individual who:

  • Has successful completed all requirements of a board of educational examiners-approved substitute authorization program totaling a minimum of 15 clock hours
  • Has achieved one of the following:
    • Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Completed an approved paraeducator certification program and holds a paraeducator certificate
  • Has attained a minimum age of 21 years
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa division of criminal investigation background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant.

The state’s fee for the substitute authorization is $85 for three years.

Renewal requirements for the substitute authorization consist of a minimum of two renewal units equivalent to 30-clock hours and completion of a child and dependent adult abuse training program approved by the state abuse education review panel. A waiver of the approved child and dependent adult abuse training requirement may apply under the following conditions with appropriate documentation of any of the following:

  • The person is engaged in active duty in the military service of this state of the United States.
  • The application of this requirement would impose an undue hardship on the person for whom the waiver is requested.
  • The person is practicing a licensed profession outside this state.
  • The person is otherwise subject to circumstances that would preclude the person from completing the approved child and dependent adult abuse training in this state.
  • The person has previously renewed a license or authorization issued by the board of educational examiners and, at that time, reported the completion, within the past five years, of child and dependent adult abuse training approved by the state abuse education review panel.

Courses Offered

 

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