This course provides students with an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the educational paraprofessional. Learning outcomes are based on levels one and two of the National Paraprofessional standards, and include information on behavior techniques, communication, legal issues, instructional strategies, and roles and responsibilities. Students will be provided with numerous modes of learning, including lecture, group discussion, application activities and classroom observations to assist them in learning and demonstrating the content of Introduction to Paraprofessional.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of a paraprofessional
- Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of a paraprofessional and reflect on your skills through observations, interviews, and journal entries.
- Identify legal requirements in performing duties as a paraprofessional.
- Identify how the role of a paraprofessional differs from the role of the teacher.
- Describe how to provide supports, find resources, and participate as a valuable member of an educational team.
- Recognize the responsibilities of working in an educational team.
- List the various roles of educational staff.
- Recall the legal requirements that relate to paraprofessional responsibilities.
- Effective communication with adults and students
- Model and use active listening skills.
- Identify non verbal communication.
- Recognize impact of non verbal communication.
- Recognize effective conflict management.
- Demonstrate written communication skills.
- Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Paraprofessional Responsibilities
- Describe guidelines for health, well-being and safety.
- Know when and how to report suspected child abuse.
- Understand and apply procedures as they relate to special education/section 504.
- Describe issues of confidentiality and appropriate responses.
- Summarize your observations of the responsibilities of the paraprofessional in a reflection paper.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of including students with disabilities in the general education classroom.
- The Exceptional Learner
- Name the five principles of Individuals with Disabilities Act.
- Identify the characteristics of the exceptional learners described in IDEA.
- Explain three strategies a paraprofessional can use when working with an exceptional learner.
- Effective Classroom Management Techniques that Support Student Learning
- Identify the paraprofessional’s role in supporting student behavior.
- Describe how behavior is relationship driven.
- Identify proactive and reactive responses to behavior.
- Explain how to work in a team to enhance student behavior.
- Relate how effective behavior management helps to maintain a supportive, learner-centered environment.
- Describe how the paraprofessional can contribute to effective behavior management as a member of the instructional team.
- Effective Instructional Strategies that Support Student Learning Part 1
- List six personal communication skills that enhance collaboration in instructional teams.
- Describe the seven skills needed to prepare for instruction.
- Identify communication and team skills.
- Describe how to promote student independence
- Recognize types of questioning techniques
- Effective Instructional Strategies that Support Student Learning Part 2
- Identify procedures to implement during instruction.
- Identify learning accommodations.
- Arrange an effective learning environment.
- Recall the three components of a lesson plan.
- Summarize why background and prior knowledge is important to learning.
- Understand differentiated instruction, discuss why DI is important.
- Construct a tool box of effective instructional strategies.
- Describe and compose accommodation and modification.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Discipline Search.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Quizzes (Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6)
Classroom Observation, verification & reflection (Week 5)
Paraprofessional Interview, verification & reflection (Week 7)
Final Case Study Report (Week 8)
Note: Students will need to obtain the course materials through the respective publishers. We apologize for any inconvenience but this is the most cost effective method for students.
- Dover, Wendy. The Personal Planner and Training Guide for the Para Educator. 2nd ed. The Master Teacher, 2002. ISBN-10: 1589921275 or ISBN-13: 978-1589921276
Students may purchase The Personal Planner here: http://www.masterteacher.com/Online-Store/Books_2/141030
- Compass: Basic Modules Workbook, CREC, 2016.
Students may purchase The COMPASS by contacting Tom Sullivan at CREC by email or phone (860) 509-3681. Cost is $20.00
- National Resource Center for Paraeducators Website: http://www.nrcpara.org. Students are encouraged to sign up for the free mailing list on this page.
This textbook is an additional cost to the student and is not required.
- Turnbull, Ann. Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's Schools. 6th ed. Prentice-Hall Inc., 2009.
Readings and Exercises
Topics: Roles and Responsibility
Topics: Ethics and Legal Issues
Topic: Exceptional Learners
Topic: Managing Behaviors
Topic: Instructional Strategies, Part 1
Topic: Instructional Strategies, Part 2
Topic: Culminating Assignment and Discussions
You are required to make one observation of a paraprofessional working in an educational setting and submit a signed verification form from the teacher and or paraprofessional that you did an observation and also submit a reflection form in week 5 of this course. You are also required to interview a paraprofessional and submit a verification form and reflection form on week 7 of this course. Because it does take time to make arrangements to observe in a school setting, you are required to begin making arrangements for these visits in week 1. You can contact the school of your choice. We have provided letter of introduction to assist you in arranging for the visit.
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies and the “Course Policies” link for specific policies related to this course. COSC Resources information regarding available COSC academic support services and resources.