Alternative Certification Teachers: Building Partnerships with Paraprofessionals

Belinda Dunnick Karge, Melinda Pierson, Suzanne Robinson


There were 282 special education teachers enrolled in an alternative certification program in education at a university in southern California who were surveyed over the course of two years to determine the extent of their training in working with paraprofessionals and the professional development they received on how to successfully work with the paraprofessionals. The survey revealed limited or no training in this area. In response to these findings, the university hired national experts to provide materials and supports and to conduct a trainer-of-trainer model that could be embedded in the university training program. This article gives practical suggestions on how to embed paraprofessional training into an alternative certification program.

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