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Para Training and Certification

The Paraeducator Certificate Program was created through the state legislature to provide paraeducators with professional development opportunities and training to support successful academic outcomes for our students. The Paraeducator Certificate Program is made up of the following:

  • The training begins with the 28-hour Fundamental Course of Study (FCS), a course focused on the new paraeducator standards of practice.
  • Following the completion of the FCS, a paraeducator then has five years to complete an additional 70 hours to earn the General Paraeducator Certificate which will be a requirement for continued employment. (Timeline requirement is dictated by State Funding and is subject to change)
  • Optional Subject Matter Certificates can be earned by completing 20 hours of training in the subject of the certificate. There are two Subject Matter Certificates:
    • English Language Learner (ELL)
    • Special Education
  • These optional certificates expire after five years of attainment, are not prerequisites for employment in any program, and once attained can be used to help meet the requirements of the General Paraeducator Certificate. 
  • Paraeducators may begin working towards these certificates upon completion of the FCS
  • Finally, a paraeducator may attain the Advanced Paraeducator Certificate once they have completed the General Paraeducator Certificate and an additional 75 hours of advanced professional development. The advanced certificate expires after five years and it is not a prerequisite for employment.

Newly hired Paraeducators begin with the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS). The FCS follows a very specific course outline with outcomes focusing on key competencies and skills. The courses included in the series are listed below and may be attended in any order. Courses may be offered during early release days, Parent-Teacher Conference days, after school or in August prior to the start of a new school year.

Mead School District provides these courses to all newly hired paraeducators. Registration for
Mead Paraeducators for these courses is through the MEAD catalog on PDEnroller. Paraeducators must sign the attendance roster to receive credit for a course.
Additional information regarding this topic can be found here: Current LOAs and MOUs.

Paraeducator Certificate Course List

Paraeducator Certificate Program Course List