This course will focus on an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the educational paraprofessional/paraeducator. Learning outcomes are based on levels one and two of the National Paraeducator standards, and include information on behavior techniques, communication, legal issues, instructional strategies, and roles and responsibilities. (3 credits)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of a paraeducator
- Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of a paraeducator and reflect on your skills through observations, interviews, and journal entries.
- Identify legal requirements in performing duties as a paraeducator.
- Identify how the role of a paraeducator 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 paraeducator 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 Paraeducator 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 and section 504.
- Describe issues of confidentiality and appropriate responses.
- Summarize your observations of the responsibilities of the paraeducator 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 paraeducator can use when working with an exceptional learner.
- Effective Classroom Management Techniques that Support Student Learning
- Identify the paraeducator’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 paraeducator 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 and discuss why differentiated instruction 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)
Paraeducator Interview, Verification & Reflection (Week 7)
Final Case Study Report (Week 8)
- The course materials for this course consist of Compass Powerpoint lectures that have been embedded in the course. There are no additional materials that are required to be purchased.
- National Resource Center for Paraeducators Website: http://www.nrcpara.org. Students are encouraged to sign up for the free mailing list on this page.
Readings and Exercises
Topics: Roles and Responsibility
Topics: Legal and Ethical Issues
Topic: Exceptional Learners
Topic: Managing Behaviors
Topic: Instructional Strategies, Part 1
Topic: Instructional Strategies, Part 2
1E,2E,4C, 5C-5F, 7A-7C
Topic: Case Study Report
Students are required to complete one observation of a paraeducator working in an educational setting, where they will submit a signed verification form and reflection form in Week 5 of this course. Students are also required to interview a paraeducator, where they will submit a signed verification form and reflection form in Week 7 of this course. Because it does take time to make arrangements to observe in a school setting, students are required to begin planning for these visits in Week 1. Students may contact the school of your choice. The College has provided a letter of introduction to assist students 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 see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.