Paraprofessional Education (486)

Southern State Education Banner, Paraprofessional Education

This program can be completed entirely Online.

Nature of Profession

Paraprofessionals work in schools and districts and serve a critical role in supporting the delivery of high-quality instruction for all children (preschool through grade 12), especially those students considered at risk. Today's paraprofessionals (which may also be known as instructional assistants, special education aides, teaching assistants, or teaching/classroom aides) work alongside a professional under the direction of licensed teachers, as part of instructional teams, to support individual students and small groups of students to access and progress through challenging curricula. Paraprofessionals/teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.

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  • Reinforce lessons by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Follow school and class rules to teach students proper behavior
  • Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as taking attendance and calculating grades
  • Get equipment or materials ready to help teachers prepare for lessons
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom, such as between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips
  • Assist teachers in the classroom
  • Provide administrative support for teaching
  • Help students understand and complete assignments
  • Work with students who have special needs
  • Assist in managing the classroom
  • Provide instructional assistance in a library
  • Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to be clear and concise in discussing student progress with teachers and parents.
  • Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants must be able to develop relationships with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators.
  • Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds may be difficult. Teacher assistants must be understanding with students.
  • Resourcefulness. Teacher assistants must find ways to explain information to students who have different learning styles.

In addition to general and technical education courses, the student will participate in field placements in the public schools. The degree will also provide a pathway to baccalaureate level education, if the candidate desires. Teacher assistants may become a kindergarten and elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, high school teacher, or special education teacher upon obtaining additional education, training, and a license or certification.

This program is being offered online through Canvas. Students in the program will meet the course objectives by participating in various learning activities specifically designed for an online environment. These activities include but are not limited to the following: discussion boards, videos, video lectures, chapter writing assignments, work projects, research papers, and group exercises. Online quizzes and exams may be used as appropriate to the course objectives and online supplemental instruction. Course content will be laid out in Canvas using Weekly Modules. Students will have access to faculty through email and phone calls. A minimum of 4 Zoom meetings will be held.

Employment of teacher assistants is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 136,400 openings for teacher assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Quick Facts: Teacher Assistants

2020 Median Pay $28,900 per year
Typical Entry-Level Education Some college, no degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2020 1,306,300
Job Outlook, 2020-30 9% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2020-30 116,000

After obtaining their Paraprofessional degree, graduates may wish to move forward with a bachelor's degree in an educational field. Graduates could also decide to work in PK-Grade 12 classrooms in a school district. After working in several grades, graduates could determine the grade level they wish to teach. They could then move toward obtaining a bachelor's degree in education.


Fall Semester | First Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 1145 Observation / Assessment of Children 3
EDUC 2234 Technology in Education 3
PSYC 1110 Principles of Psychology 3
EDUC 1101 Introduction to Education 3
ENGL 1101 English Composition I 3

Spring Semester | First Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 1102 Foundations of Education 3
ENGL 1102 English Composition II 3
EDUC 1118 Guiding Children’s Behavior & Learning 3
EDUC 2243 Individuals With Exceptionalities 3
EDUC 1000 Introduction to Child Development 3

Fall Semester | Second Year

Course # Course Title Credits
FNAR 1104 Introduction to the Fine Arts 3
EDUC 2220 Foundation of Literacy 3
PHYS 1104 Physical Geology 4
COMM 1115 Fundamentals of Effective Speech 3
EDUC 2260 Teaching in a Diverse Society 3
MATH 1115 Math for the Business & Social Sciences 3

Spring Semester | Second Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 2228 Families, Communities & Schools 3
PSYC 2241 Educational Psychology 3
EDUC 2225 Paraprofessional Seminar 3
EDUC 2224 Paraprofessional Practicum 3
BIOL 1060 Environmental Science 3
Program Total: 64

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