Board of Educational Examiners

Approved Paraeducator Preparation Programs and Contacts



Paraeducator Rules

PARAEDUCATOR CERTIFICATES

282—24.3 (272) Prekindergarten through grade 12 paraeducator generalist certificate.
24.3(1) Applicants must possess a minimum of a high school diploma or a graduate equivalent diploma.
24.3(2) Qualifications or criteria for the granting or revocation of a certificate or the determination of an individual’s professional standing shall not include membership or nonmembership in any teacher or paraeducator organization.
24.3(3) Applicants shall have successfully completed at least 90 clock hours of training in the areas of behavior management, exceptional child and at-risk child behavior, collaboration skills, interpersonal relations skills, child and youth development, technology, and ethical responsibilities and behavior.
24.3(4) Applicants shall have successfully completed the following list of competencies.
a. Foundations. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
(1) Recognize the different developmental stages of students.
(2) Believe every student can learn.
(3) Recognize that each learner has unique learning needs that may require accommodations.
(4) Demonstrate knowledge of the common core, including competence in reading, writing and math.
(5) 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.
b. Learning environment. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Follow the prescribed health, safety, and emergency school and classroom policy and procedures.
(2) Organize materials to support teaching and learning.
(3) Facilitate the integration of students with diverse needs in various settings.
(4) Assist with special health services, under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
(5) Promote a safe and positive learning environment.
(6) Function in various instructional settings (e.g., large group, small group, tutoring).
c. Content and instruction. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Assist with learning activities and opportunities to accomplish instructional objectives.
(2) Support high expectations that are shared, clearly defined and appropriate.
(3) Monitor progress and document and report objective observations that inform instructional decisions.
(4) Effectively use verbal and nonverbal forms of communication with students.
(5) Assist with the implementation and use of instructional and assistive technology.
d. Emotional and behavioral. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Assist in modeling and teaching specific appropriate behaviors, social skills, and procedures that facilitate safety and learning in various environments.
(2) Assist in the implementation of individualized behavior management plans.
(3) Document and report objective observations on student behaviors.
(4) Assist in modifying the learning environment to manage behavior and social skills.
(5) Recognize that there is a cause or reason for misbehavior and assist in determining the cause or reason.
(6) Recognize, address, and report bullying.
(7) Recognize and report atypical emotional behavior.
e. Professional relationships. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Demonstrate a commitment to work as an effective team member.
(2) Foster a professional and caring relationship with each student’s family.
(3) Develop and maintain positive and professional relationships with students.
f. Ethical and professional practice. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will:
(1) Follow ethical practices for confidential information.
(2) Participate in ongoing professional development.
(3) Accept and apply constructive feedback.
(4) 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.
(5) Demonstrate the ability to separate personal issues from one’s responsibilities in the workplace.
(6) Maintain a high level of competency and integrity.
(7) Share information regarding students’ performance, behavior, or program with students’ parents or guardians only as directed by the supervising teacher or educator.
(8) Be aware of personal biases and beliefs and refrain from discriminatory practices based on a student’s disability, race, creed, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, or national origin.
(9) Demonstrate ethical behavior when supporting students with graded activities, quizzes, and tests.
(10) Abide by Iowa law regarding the use of restraint and seclusion.
(11) Recognize that the paraeducator may not be given primary responsibility for the education of an individual student(s).
(12) 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.

282—24.4 (272) Paraeducator area of concentration. An area of concentration is not required but optional. Applicants must currently hold or have previously held an Iowa paraeducator generalist certificate. Applicants may complete one or more areas of concentration but must complete at least 45 clock hours in each area of concentration.
24.4(1) Early childhood—prekindergarten through grade 3. The paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies so that, under the direction and supervision of a qualified classroom teacher, the paraeducator will be able to:
a. Reinforce skills, strategies, and activities involving individuals or small groups.
b. Participate as a member of the team responsible for developing service plans and educational objectives for parents and their children.
c. Listen to and communicate with parents in order to gather information for the service delivery team.
d. Demonstrate knowledge of services provided by health care providers, social services, education agencies, and other support systems available to support parents and provide them with the strategies required to gain access to these services.
e. Demonstrate effective strategies and techniques to stimulate cognitive, physical, social, and language development in the student.
f. Gather information as instructed by the classroom teacher about the performance of individual children and their behaviors, including observing, recording, and charting, and share information with professional colleagues.
g. Communicate and work effectively with parents and other primary caregivers.
24.4(2) Special needs—prekindergarten through grade 12. The paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies.
a. Foundations. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the paraeducator will demonstrate an understanding of an IEP.
b. Learning environment. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will demonstrate an understanding of the value of serving children and youth with disabilities and special needs in inclusive settings.
c. Content and instruction. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Implement the activities assigned by a teacher to meet the goals and objectives in an IEP.
(2) Assist in academic subjects through use of lesson plans and instructional strategies developed by teachers and other professional support staff.
(3) Gather and maintain data about the performance of individual students and confer with special and general education practitioners about student schedules, instructional goals, progress, and performance.
(4) Operate computers and use assistive technology and adaptive equipment that will enable students with special needs to participate more fully in general education.
d. Emotional and behavioral. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will:
(1) Gather and maintain data about the behavior of individual students and confer with special and general education practitioners about student schedules, instructional goals, progress, and performance.
(2) Use appropriate instructional procedures and reinforcement techniques as specified in the IEP or by the behavior team.
e. Professional relationships. Under the supervision of a licensed education professional, the
paraeducator will, if asked, participate as a member of the IEP team responsible for developing service plans and educational objectives.
24.4(3) English as a second language—prekindergarten through grade 12. The paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies so that, under the direction and supervision of a qualified classroom teacher, the paraeducator will be able to:
a. Operate computers and use technology that will enable students to participate effectively in the classroom.
b. Work with the classroom teacher as collaborative partners.
c. Demonstrate knowledge of the role and use of primary language of instruction in accessing
English for academic purposes.
d. Demonstrate knowledge of instructional methodologies for second language acquisition.
e. Communicate and work effectively with parents or guardians of English as a second language students in their primary language.
f. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate translation and interpretation procedures.
24.4(4) Career and transitional programs—grades 5 through 12. The paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies so that, under the direction and supervision of a qualified classroom teacher, the paraeducator will be able to:
a. Assist in the implementation of career and transitional programs.
b. Assist in the implementation of appropriate behavior management strategies for career and transitional students and those students who may have special needs.
c. Assist in the implementation of assigned performance and behavior assessments including observation, recording, and charting for career and transitional students and those students who may have special needs.
d. Provide training at job sites using appropriate instructional interventions.
e. Participate in preemployment, employment, or transitional training in classrooms or at off-campus sites.
f. Communicate effectively with employers and employees at work sites and with personnel or members of the public in other transitional learning environments.
24.4(5) School library media—prekindergarten through grade 12. The school library media
paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies so that, under the direct supervision and direction of a qualified school library supervisor or school librarian, the paraeducator will be able to:
a. Be aware of, implement, and support the goals, objectives, and policies of the school library media program.
b. Assist the school library supervisor or school librarian in general operations, such as processing materials, circulating materials, performing clerical tasks, assisting students and staff, and working with volunteers and student helpers, and to understand the role of the paraeducator in the library setting in order to provide efficient, equitable, and effective library services.
c. Demonstrate knowledge of library technical services including, but not limited to, cataloging, processing, acquisitions, routine library maintenance, automation and new technologies.
d. Be aware of and support the integration of literacy initiatives and content area standards, e.g., visual information and technology in support of the curriculum.
e. Be aware of the role school libraries play in improving student achievement, literacy, and lifelong learning.
f. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues related to school libraries, such as copyright, plagiarism, privacy, diversity, confidentiality, and freedom of speech.
g. Assist in the daily operations of the school library program, such as shelving, working with volunteers and student helpers, inventory, materials repair and maintenance.
h. Exhibit welcoming behaviors to all library patrons and visitors to encourage use of the library and its resources.
i. Demonstrate knowledge of the school library collection and the availability of other resources that will meet individual student information or research needs.
j. Demonstrate a general knowledge of basic technology skills and assist in troubleshooting basic hardware and software problems.
24.4(6) Speech-language pathology (SLP)—prekindergarten through grade 12. The speech-language pathology paraeducator shall successfully complete the following list of competencies so that, under the direction and supervision of a qualified speech-language pathologist, the paraeducator will be able to:
a. Understand the roles and responsibilities of the speech-language pathology paraeducator.
b. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the four areas of communication, including articulation, language, fluency, and voice, and how they occur through typical development.
c. Demonstrate an understanding of articulation/phonological disabilities.
d. Demonstrate an understanding of language disabilities.
e. Use appropriate instructional procedures and reinforcement techniques when working with children with articulation/phonological disabilities.
f. Use appropriate instructional procedures and reinforcement techniques when working with children with language disabilities.
g. Gather information as directed by the speech-language pathologist regarding the performance of children, including recording and charting responses.
24.4(7) Vision impairments—prekindergarten through grade 12.
a. Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of vision loss on learning and concept development for students who are blind or visually impaired.
(1) Demonstrate introductory knowledge of expanded core curriculum (ECC) and the ability to support ECC skills as directed by the supervising professional.
(2) Demonstrate introductory knowledge of functional vision assessments (FVA) and learning media assessments (LMA) of students who have vision impairments.
b. Demonstrate knowledge of and skills in technology appropriate to the needs of students with vision impairments.
(1) Operate and use assistive technology that supports students who have vision impairments.
(2) Support and strengthen each student’s capability to access and utilize assistive technology.
c. Demonstrate introductory knowledge of instructional strategies unique to students who have vision impairments.
(1) Demonstrate the ability to adapt educational materials by using varied learning media as determined by student needs.
(2) Demonstrate an introductory knowledge of Braille in relation to identified or expressed student needs or both.
(3) Demonstrate introductory skills in operating transcription software and equipment.
d. Demonstrate introductory knowledge of motor skills, movement, orientation, and mobility for students with vision impairments.
e. Demonstrate knowledge of the role of paraeducators in student plans including individualized education programs (IEPs) and individualized family service plans (IFSPs).
f. Demonstrate knowledge about and skills in fostering independence, self-determination, social skills, self-advocacy, and appropriate behaviors for students with vision impairments.
g. Demonstrate professionalism and ethical practices, including appropriate communication skills in relation to students with vision impairments and the students’ service providers and families.

 

Paraeducator Program Offerings & Direcotry