Paraeducators are school employees who assist teachers or other licensed professionals by performing a variety of tasks that enhance learning. They work under the supervision of teachers or other professionals who are responsible for the education, design, implementation and assessment of instruction. Paraeducators may also be referred to as paraprofessionals, teacher associates or teacher aides.
Iowa has three levels of paraeducator certification: Generalist, Area of Concentration and Advanced. Kirkwood offers courses that meet state requirements for all three levels.
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Paraeducator Course Schedule
Fall 2018 Schedule | Spring 2019 Schedule
Find out which courses fit best into your schedule. A grade of at least a ‘C’ is required in each course. Please note, certification is issued by the state, not Kirkwood.
To see the breakdown of course type and location by semester, check out the Semester by Semester Course Offerings.
Paraeducator Advising Sessions
All students should speak with Education Professor Doug Van Oort to discuss their goal(s) relating to obtaining state paraeducator certification. Students will also receive assistance registering for courses to meet the student’s certification goals. Professor Van Oort can be reached by phone at 319-398-4936 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for paraeducator certification classes:
Apply for Admission to Kirkwood if you have not already done so. Note: If it has been more than a year since you have taken Kirkwood courses, you will need to fill out a Major Change/Re-Apply form. You will not be able to register for classes until this step is completed.
- Apply online at www.kirkwood.edu/apply
- If your goal is to earn the paraeducator certification only, on the application under Academic Program select "Not Seeking a Kirkwood Degree." Note: Financial aid can only be applied to students seeking a degree.
- However, if your goal is to earn a degree while also pursuing your paraeducator certification, you should select Liberal Arts (AA).
- In the event you change your mind, you should update your major by visiting www.kirkwood.edu/majorchange.
- Write down your k-number (assigned to you when you apply) and keep it where it is easily accessible. You will need it to register for classes, to access your grades, etc.
Registering for Courses: Go to www.kirkwood.edu/eaglenet, click EagleNet for Students, then click on the link for "Register for Courses in EagleNet instructions."
If you need assistance call One Stop at 319-398-7600 and choose option three from the automated list. Provide your k-number or Social Security number, course title and course number (such as Exploring Teaching EDU-110).
Requirements for meeting Iowa's three levels of certification are described in the links below.
Generalist | Area of Concentration | Advanced (PK-12)
State Certification Renewal
Paraeducator Renewal Application
Criminal History Issues: Can You Be Employed?
Students who have criminal backgrounds, records of child or dependent adult abuse, and/or appear on the sex offender registry may not be able to pass the background check required to receive state paraeducator certification, or be employed by school districts as a paraeducator.
Career Ladder to Teaching
All paraeducator certification courses at Kirkwood lead toward bachelor degree in education.
Sign up for our email list, or download the paraeducator newsletter.