Under Project PreP (Preparation of Paraeducators), the PAR²A Center in collaboration with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) received funding for this project from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) through the Paraprofessional Pre-service Program Improvement for personnel development to improve services for children with disabilities. This project addressed the preparation and training of paraeducators to serve students with special needs in grades K-12. Project PreP enhanced collaboration among community colleges in the Colorado Community College system, based on commonly recognized training needs and issues for paraeducators. Project PreP redesigned certificate and associates degrees programs offered at Colorado Community Colleges by using the Paraprofessional Standards as established by the Council on Exceptional Children to incorporate evidenced based and competency-based practices and content in special education into each course, and include a practicum in a program that serves children with disabilities grades K-12.
The project had five main objectives:
- Objective 1: To align curriculum of the existing paraeducator pre-service programs in the Colorado Community College system to national standards.
- Objective 2: To train community college faculty and existing trainers to deliver / implement the revised program, as well as, in paraeducator supervision techniques.
- Objective 3: To utilize current networks accessed by community college admissions and recruitment specialists to recruit pre-service paraeducators into the new programs.
- Objective 4: To train mentor teachers in paraeducator supervision techniques.
- Objective 5: To create career pathways for paraeducators to the teaching profession by articulating the revised curriculum with four year college and university special education teacher preparation programs.
For more information on this project please contact: Ritu Chopra.