Moving up the Paraprofessional Pathway


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Presentation at the 2011 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by Joy Kutaka-Kennedy and Melissa Ke.

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Moving up the Paraprofessional Pathway

  1. 1. Moving up the Paraprofessional Pathway<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />Joy Kutaka-Kennedy, Ed. D.<br /><br />Melissa Ke, M. S.<br /><br />National University, San Jose, CA<br />
  2. 2. National University<br />Background: NU received a federally funded grant (H325K070416), PSEP: Paraprofessional to Special Educator Pipeline, which assists paraeducators to either complete their bachelor's degree or their first teaching credential<br />the grant exceeds its target of training 30 paraprofessionals to become special education teachers through either degree or credential completion<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  3. 3. The Gift of Paras<br />Dedication<br />Expertise and flexibility<br />Skills<br />Dispositions<br />Job ready<br />Field tested, durable<br />School savvy, community connected<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  4. 4. Paras Make Excellent Teachers<br />“battle hardened”- <br />know what they’re getting into<br />know how to navigate school system <br />understand kids <br />experience with teaching<br />familiar with disabilities<br />Very low turnover rate<br />Smoother transition to career<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  5. 5. Moving up: Challenges Faced by Paras<br />Often have little experience with higher education<br />Frequently the first in family to attend college<br />Sometimes need a little or a lot of refresher on college skills<br />Many are working parents who start out with volunteer work at schools<br />Learn the job and develop skills as they go<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  6. 6. Supports Needed to Succeed<br />numerous challenges face paras wishing to move up the career ladder to a credentialed teacher position<br />completing their undergraduate bachelors degree <br />Learning how to access college resources<br />Time management<br />Tech challenges<br />Navigating college<br />Staying organized!<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  7. 7. Graduate Programs<br />Some states require credentialing or licensure at the graduate level<br />Completing graduate program<br />Credential/licensing program often offer an add-on masters degree<br />Masters degree will add $1000-2000 stipend each year, depending on district & union contract<br />Weigh cost/benefit for advanced degree<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  8. 8. Credential/Licensing Requirements<br />Varies state by state<br />Research programs offered<br />Compare time and cost to completion<br />Evaluate likely time to completion, course offerings, sequence restrictions<br />Know your state’s requirements<br />Keep abreast of changes in requirements<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  9. 9. Funding Resources<br />Funding sources:<br />Grants<br />Scholarships<br />Loans<br />Financial aid offices<br />Possible tax deductions of expenses (check with tax consultant)<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  10. 10. Education Journeyin California<br />Master Degree with Level 1 or Level 2 classes depending on school and particular program.<br />Salary Stipend/Pay Scale<br /> - Bachelors or Masters + graduate class units<br />State Requirement Changes<br /> - NCLB Requirements<br /> - Verification Process Programs<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  11. 11. Transition Perception and Differences<br />Smooth transition during first year of being a new teacher.<br />Good Teacher/Para relationships.<br />Good collaboration and relationships with Gen. Ed teachers.<br />Administration and Department expectations are higher.<br />Classroom Management (Nice vs. Fair)<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />
  12. 12. Post Credential Possibilities<br />Interview panel for new teachers at job site.<br />Evaluator/Mentor for student teachers.<br />Conference Speaker<br />Recommended for Observation and Job Shadowing.<br />Become a teacher trainer, conduct workshops<br />Work at the administrative/district level<br />Get your doctorate, write grants, help more paras get their credentials/licenses!<br />NRCP Conference, Hershey PA May 2011<br />