The PAR²A Center was formed in 1994 as a national research and development center to explore training and supervision systems for paraprofessionals and their impact on paraprofessional employment conditions and student achievement. The PAR²A Center, a national leader in supporting paraprofessionals, is involved in numerous initiatives such as transition-to-teaching programs, supervision academies, and much more
The PAR²A Center developed the CO-TOP Model for delivering training and continues to refine and improve the CO-TOP Curriculum. Ongoing research explores the effectiveness of the CO-TOP Curriculum. Learn more about specific funded CO-TOP projects that provide CO-TOP Training or explore CO-TOP Curriculum.
Paraeducator/Development Intervention (DI) Assistant Training
In addition, The PAR²A Center houses a variety of projects funded from national, state, and local sources. These projects consider policies and practices regarding the employment of paraeducators and Developmental Intervention (DI) Assistants in regular education, special education, linguistically diverse education, Title I programs, and early intervention services for families with infants and toddlers with disabilities. Paraprofessionals who work with families with infants and toddlers with disabilities providing early intervention services are titled Developmental Intervention Assistants (DI Assistants) in Colorado. Look at our Our Projects page to explore the projects housed here.
The Paraeducator Supervision Academy (PSA)
The PAR²A Center has also developed and field tested training for teachers and administrators in the supervision of paraeducators in schools. The Paraeducator Supervision Academy (PSA) has been delivered in 32 states and in the US Department of Defense Schools. To learn more about paraeducator supervision and the PSA class for teachers, look at the section on Supervising Paraeducators. Recently, we have adapted the PSA to address the supervisory skills of the early intervention licensed professionals who will supervise Developmental Intervention Assistants (i.e. the paraprofessionals who work with families of infants and toddlers, birth through two years of age, with disabilities and developmental delays). This adapted course is titled Developmental Intervention Supervisor Academy or DISA.
The PAR²A Center has also conducted research on career pathways for paraeducators into educational professions. Several projects support paraeducators and non-traditional students such as mid-career changers, recent college graduates, and non-educational school personnel who seek careers in linguistically diverse education, math, science and special education. Look for the Career Ladders button on Our Projects page to learn more about these projects.
The PAR²A Center works collaboratively with local education agencies, Community Centered Boards, Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), institutions of higher education (community colleges, four year colleges and universities) and the state education and human services agencies to seek solutions to the ongoing challenges of paraprofessional employment, career development and training in Colorado and beyond. In Colorado, anyone interested in paraprofessional training, supervision, employment, career development, research and/or policy issues is welcome to contact Ritu Chopra.