Overview of the Project  
The goal of Kirkwood Community College's Heartland Early Childhood Paraeducator project is to educate a paraeducator work force who will be able to support the education of all children.  A major focus of The grant includes creating the infrastructure and policies to meet the goal.  The College engaged in an extensive review of the content of the programs and redesigning the curriculum to highlight the best practice concepts: Evidence-Based Practice, working with Culturally, Linguistically and Ability Diverse children, and Problem Solving. Faculty and community partners work together to educate the Kirkwood Early Childhood Graduate of the Future.
Objective 1 – Provide training to faculty to redesign program and implement new curriculum
Faculty members participate in small group activities and ongoing professional development. See Instructional Supports and Resource Links for examples of professional development materials.
Objective 2 – Redesign the paraeducator program to align with state and national professional organizations and standards.
During large and small group meetings, the faculty reviewed and compared the current program curriculum to state and national organizations. The redesigned curriculum meets the state and national standards.
Objective 3 –Prepare highly qualified paraeducators to serve children with disabilities and their families.
Faculty implemented the new curriculum and work with staff at  practica sites. Instruments for collecting data from students and practica supervisors are utilized to assess the effectiveness of the new curriculum.
Objective 4 – Disseminate project to other community colleges and other constituent settings.
The directors disseminate the project locally and across the state and at the national level. Faculty members at other community colleges are included in the project through the Iowa Community College Early Childhood Alliance. Community partners participate in ongoing professional development.
Executive Summary
   Year 1
   Year 2
   Year 3
   Year 4

"This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education."



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