Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Paraprofessional/Paraeducator Resources

Centers and Clearinghouses

WWW: Personnel Improvement Center

The OSEP-funded center focuses on recruitment and retention of special education and early intervention personnel and provides a career information page for paraeducators.

WWW: The National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals in Education and Related Services (NRCP)

NRCP provides a bibliography with a section on Training Materials including Early Childhood Resources and a national database of state paraeducator resources.

WWW: Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center (PAR2A Center)

The PAR2A Center provides a variety of resources for system development including PDF: A Manual for State or District-wide Adoption of CO-TOP: a Systematic, Comprehensive and Sustainable In-service Paraeducator Training Program (posted 2/23/23) and the PDF: CO-TOP Trainer Handbook (2005).

WWW: The Center to Inform Personnel Preparation Policy and Practice in Early Intervention and Preschool Education

This center was funded by OSEP to study certification, training programs and personnel supply and demand for the Early Childhood Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The PDF: Personnel Prep Briefing Book (2004) provides data on paraprofessional utilization by Part C.

WWW: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education (COPSSE)

The former OSEP-funded center developed an Issue Brief entitled PDF: Paraprofessionals (July 2003) and PDF: Executive Summary (2003) which continue to be available.

Professional Associations and Organizations

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) provides paraeducator preparation guidelines and standards. See their page for WWW: Paraeducators.

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. provides a PDF: Guide for Developing Paraeducator to Teacher Programs (2000).

State Paraprofessional Initiatives, Projects, and Resources


The WWW: Minnesota Paraprofessional Consortium provides resources and WWW: guidance to a variety of activities for the paraprofessional workforce including guiding principles, core competencies, skill assessments and training resources.

North Dakota

The Department of Public Instruction has developed a WWW: Resource Manual: The Implementation of Effective Paraeducator Practices in Educational Settings.


The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Special Education's WWW: Paraeducator Project has developed WWW: Special Education Core Competencies for special education paraeducators working in educational settings.


The Department of Public Instruction provides WWW: definitions, supports, and requirements and WWW: Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education Paraprofessionals. PDF: Paraprofessionals and Competencies and Professional Development Options (January 2006) provides a framework for professional development.

A bulletin collaboratively supported by DPI, DHS and the Waisman Center at UW at Madison features PDF: Paraprofessional: Roles for Assistants and Paraprofessionals in Birth to 3 and 3 to 5 (May 2007) including an IEP input form for paraprofessionals.

Institutions of Higher Education and Community College Resources


The California Department of Developmental Services sponsors the WWW: Community College Paraprofessional Preparation Project for persons interested in working with infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities.

The University of Southern California Rossier School of Education WWW: Latino and Language Minority Teacher Projects (USCLLMTP) is increasing the number of Latinos (as) and language minorities in the teaching profession by creating a career track for practicing language minority paraeducators.


WWW: Project PARA at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers training programs for paraeducators and the teachers who supervise them.


The WWW: Virginia Paraprofessional Early Childhood Project, an OSEP-funded personnel preparation project working with Virginia's Community College System to prepare paraprofessionals to work with young children with disabilities and their families in a variety of early childhood settings.

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • CB 8040
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email:

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

  • FPG Child Development Institute
  • OSEP's TA&D Network:IDEAs that Work