Opening the Door to Teacher Education for Paraprofessionals: Building District IHE Partnerships in Utah


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Presentation from the 2011 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by Marilyn Likins & Kit Giddings.

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Opening the Door to Teacher Education for Paraprofessionals: Building District IHE Partnerships in Utah

  1. 1. 5/13/2011 Best Practices Revealed:School/University Preparation ProgramPartnerships that Address LocalPersonnel Needs 29th National Conference for ParaprofessionalsPersonnel Improvement Center US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)-funded for five years. In Year 3 now– work has been ongoing with UT for 2 1/2 years. Housed at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Personnel Preparation Program Partnerships is one of three services provided to selected states and their local school districts. 1
  2. 2. 5/13/2011Multiple Levels of Collaboration • Personnel Improvement Center (PIC) National • National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP) • UT Department of Education/State Personnel Development State Grant (SPDG) • UT Professional Development Center • LEAs -Districts and charters Local • IHEs – 2 and 4 year colleges and universitiesPresentersMarilyn LikinsNational Resource Center for ParaprofessionalsUtah State UniversityKit GiddingsUtah Personnel Development Center 2
  3. 3. 5/13/2011Peggy Milligan –State Leadership TeamAssistant Director of Special Education ServicesBruce Schroeder– State Leadership TeamDirector – UT Personnel Development Center /SPDGState Leadership Team MembersA State Perspective:Overview of the Utah State PerformancePlan (SPP)With the reauthorization of IDEA 2004, stateswere required to: • develop a six-year State Performance Plan (SPP); • submit the plan to the Secretary of Education and • report progress on each of the key indicators to OSEP in an Annual Performance Report (APR). 3
  4. 4. 5/13/2011Analysis of UT’s APR IndicatorsUnsatisfactory or Significant Issueswith: • Student achievement levels • Student behavior & school discipline • Graduation ratesUT’s State Professional DevelopmentGrant (SPDG) designed to address:• achievement gap between students with/without disabilities;• shortage of qualified special education teachers• preparation of unlicensed special educators;• support and utilization of research-based instructional practices;• recruitment of new special educators;• retention of highly qualified special education teachers and• knowledge and skills of school personnel to meet the needs of students with disabilities. 4
  5. 5. 5/13/2011 Lisa Churchill Personnel Improvement Center State Service ProviderPIC Goal in UTAH Increase state’s capacity to create opportunities for LEAs/local programs to partner with community colleges and four year institutions of higher education (IHEs) Focus on paraeducator-to-teacher programs to increase accessibility to four year institutions for community members in high need areas of the state 5
  6. 6. 5/13/2011UT Partnerships Plans Developed targeted strategies for increasing accessibility to IHE coursework for paraeducators in partnering districts. Consolidated resources at all levels to provide support, funding and TA. Increased awareness of need and opportunities. Designed to meet the needs of state, districts, IHEs, and paraeducators.Partnership Plan Activities Paraeducator survey Paraeducator appreciation/celebration event IHE information event Paraeducator website "Pathways to Becoming a Special Educator” brochure for each IHE program Financial aid resource chart Smooth segue into IHE application and admission Collaborative supports from both district and LEAs for paraeducators in programs 6
  7. 7. 5/13/2011 Marilyn Likins NRCP Director State Leadership Team MemberNRCP Role in Partnership WorkProvide resources to the partnership,including: building state website to support work; posting a link to the Paraeducator Survey on that website and providing information about needed paraeducator supports to both IHEs and LEAs. 7
  8. 8. 5/13/2011District/IHE PartnershipsDISTRICTS IHE Granite Utah State University University of Utah Davis Weber State University Weber Utah State University Ogden 8
  9. 9. 5/13/2011Granite School District Located in Salt Lake City, Utah • 61 elementary schools • 6 junior high schools • 8 high schools • Other special schools Additional Information:  Largest school district in Utah  Boundary includes 257 sq. miles  7,500 full & part-time employees  68,310 students (2009)Paraeducator SurveyCONDUCTED TWO SURVEYS : April 2009 (700 paraeducators surveyed, 370 responded):  to determine those who were interested in a teacher certification; 166 expressed interest. March/April 2010 (166 paraeducators, 52 responded):  to determine the current status, level of interest, and needs of this focused population segment. 9
  10. 10. 5/13/2011Paraeducator Survey Results What additional support and/or information do you need in the application process?  Computer literacy/application process 5.8%  Financial aid 36.5%  Entrance test requirements 19.2%  Meet w/counselor to evaluate transcripts 15.4%  All of the above 38.5%  None of the above 21.2% Paraeducator Appreciation & Career Opportunity Night  January 21, 2010, 5:00-8:00pm  Created special invitation for each paraeducator, hand-delivered.  Celebration with food, prizes, personal recognition, with a program presentation.  University of Utah and Utah State University presented information on their special education programs.  135 paraeducators attended. 10
  11. 11. 5/13/2011 University Counseling EventDistrict Paraeducator Support Two district specialists provided individualsupport to paraeducators regarding the teachercertification process. Encouraged the universities to design andimplement a simplified process for deliveringprogram application and financial resourceinformation to these prospective students. 11
  12. 12. 5/13/2011OUTCOME: University Acceptance19 Granite paraeducators were admittedto 2 universities for the 2011 school yearfor the special education teachercertification program! USU U of U 19 Granite 10 9 paraeducators Dept of Special Education & Rehab 12
  13. 13. 5/13/2011 Paraeducator Applicants to On-Campus Program Number of appreciation 2010-11 events Number of paraeducator applicants2009-10 (O Events)2008-09 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Paraeducator Applicants to Distance Program Number of appreciation events 2010-2011 Number of paraeducator applicants (O Events)2008-2009 0 10 20 30 40 50 13
  14. 14. 5/13/2011Ongoing State Partnership Needs Increase capacity of IHE programs to accept more qualified applicants. Continue to increase accessibility of coursework through additional online and on-site course offerings. Funding to provide tuition assistance.Contact Information  Lisa Churchill Personnel Improvement Center,  Marilyn Likins National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals,  Peggy Milligan Utah State Office of Education,  Robert Morgan Utah State University,  Jerry Purles Granite School District,  Bruce Schroeder Utah State Office of Education, 14
  15. 15. 5/13/2011RELATED WEBSITES 15