Become a Trainer

Why would I want to become a CO-TOP trainer?

CO-TOP trainers are paid to teach paraeducators and Developmental Intervention Assistants (DI Assistants). The amount of payment varies from location to location. In Colorado, trainers are hired as part-time instructors by the university and are paid $600 per course provided the PAR²A Center has grants to fund the training.

What’s in it for me?

CO-TOP Trainers have answered this question many times and in many ways. One group of trainers who were taking the TOPCAT Online course produced “So you want to be a CO-TOP trainer?” (PDF file).

What do I have to do to become a CO-TOP trainer?

First, CO-TOP Trainers are all linked to a school district, Community Centered Board or a consortium of districts. Generally, special education, Title I, or bilingual education program directors nominate district professionals to become CO-TOP K-12 trainers. Nominated individuals then take two courses. The two courses are titled “Paraeducator Supervision Academy” (PSA) and “Training of Paraeducators Academy” (TOPA).

In the case of Early Intervention (birth through 2 years) CO-TOP trainers work with Developmental Intervention Assistants (DI Assistants) and CCBs (Community Centered Boards) nominate who they want as trainers. The nominees are prepared to deliver training through two courses. The courses are titled “Developmental Intervention Supervision Academy” (DISA) and “Developmental Intervention Trainers Academy” (DITA). The trainers use the CO-TOP DI Assistant Curriculum – that consists of 15 academies.

District and CCB representatives make all decisions about who provides training to their paraprofessionals. The PAR²A Center only intervenes in the event of some unusual circumstance or at the request of the school district or Community Centered Board.

Successful completion of the PSA and TOPA or DISA and DITA courses results in a certificate that admits the new trainers to the Cadre of CO-TOP Trainers and makes them eligible to be selected by their district or Community Centered Board to provide CO-TOP Academies.

Trainers must agree to use the CO-TOP materials as recommended and are not authorized to provide CO-TOP training to paraprofessionals in districts or Community Center Boards outside participating CO-TOP Colorado districts.

For information on becoming a CO-TOP K-12 trainer please contact Veronica Marquez-Hepworth, K-12 CO-TOP Coordinator

For information on becoming a CO-TOP EI (Early Intervention) trainer please contact Ritu Chopra, CO-TOP EI Coordinator