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Instructional Assistant Program Code 105222

Associate Degree

Offered at the Green Bay campus. For information: (920) 498-5444. Toll-free: (888) 385-6982.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

The Instructional Assistant Degree is an Associate of Applied Science Degree, which prepares qualified individuals to work directly with students under the supervision of a licensed teacher. The duties include assisting children with math, reading, and writing assignments as well as handling classroom management, supporting students with special needs, clerical and other tasks related to instruction. This program meets Title I and No Child Left Behind paraeducator requirements.

Duties may also include monitoring student activities, assisting with reading or math, correcting papers, tutoring, one-on-one activities and small group facilitation. In addition, instructional assistants work on classroom displays, assist children with computers and media, provide educational and personal hygiene support to meet individual student needs, and supervise various classroom and other school events. Instructional Assistants may be hired to provide instructional services to students from pre-kindergarten through age 21, however, the focus of this program is on preparing graduates to work primarily in elementary and middle level schools.

Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment as an instructional assistant or educational paraprofessional in schools from the pre-kindergarten through high school level. Instructional Assistants work with children in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Instructional assistants work with children with special needs.

Most job opportunities in this field coincide with the public school system with regard to workdays, holidays, summers and many positions are part-time.

Graduates Work As: Teacher assistants, instructional assistants, paraeducators, paraprofessionals, specialized aides in reading, math, computers, or special education, and autism therapists.

Typical Activities Include: Preparing classroom displays, using computers, supervising classroom and playground activities, giving tests, monitoring students, reading and telling stories, assisting with small and large group activities, managing student behavior, supporting individual needs of all students, following teacher lesson plans, and supporting individual personal hygiene needs.

The following certificates/technical diplomas may be applied toward this program:

. 905222, Intro to Instructional Assistant Careers Certificate
. 905221, Supporting Children's Learning Certificate
. 905224, Special Education Certificate


. Wisconsin Caregiver Law
NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (2009 WISCONSIN ACT 76). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through A fee is charged for this service. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students accepted into this program must complete a Background Information Disclosure form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry and annually for the remainder of the program. The information provided in the Background Information Disclosure form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.
. Completion of a Wisconsin Technical Skills Attainment (TSA) portfolio is required to graduate from this program.

Program Outcomes

. Support all learning based on knowledge of subject matter.
. Identify developmentally appropriate child/adolescent physical, social/emotional, intellectual, and language characteristics and their developmental and environmental impact on learning.
. Adapt instruction to meet the diverse needs of all learners.
. Utilize a variety of instructional strategies, media, and technology to foster the development of critical thinking and problem solving.
. Use proactive classroom management techniques to promote a positive class climate, intrinsic motivation, and optimal learning.
. Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication in working collaboratively within the school setting and interactions with students and families.
. Assist in planning and implementing instructional strategies that reflect the learning cycle.
. Utilize informal assessment strategies to collect data for the support of student learning.
. Incorporate the reflective process to promote student learning and professional growth.
. Assume professional responsibility for ethical, moral, and legal policies and procedures.
. Provide for health and safety needs of students.

Requirements for Program Entry

. Completed application.
. High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
. Demonstrated proficiency in basic skills through a course placement assessment.
. It is necessary to show good health as evidenced by a medical examination within one year prior to beginning practicum classes.
. Students should have mastered basic math before entering this program. For a description of basic math, see the Basic Education section of this catalog.
. As a requirement for program entry, an Academic Skills Assessment (Accuplacer) with appropriate benchmark scores is necessary. Program Benchmarks are Arithmetic, 65; Reading Comprehension, 55; Sentence Skills, 75. Students not meeting these benchmarks or the equivalent will be required to establish an individualized academic plan. Students may have the opportunity to enroll in selected program core courses while completing their individualized plan. Upon completion of the plan, students will be eligible for all program courses. However, higher test scores will lead to greater success in core program courses. To learn more about these assessments and program benchmark scores, please contact a counselor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
. Complete Caregiver Background Check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.


Students following the study plan below will complete the Instructional Assistant associate degree in the number of semesters shown. Courses are offered online, and may be taken in any order as long as prerequisites are met. Two program courses are offered in person each semester. Below is a suggested timeline.


10-522-103 IA: Intro to Educ Practices
10-522-104 IA: Technology/Media Rsrces
10-801-198 Speech
10-809-188 Developmental Psychology
10-809-195 Economics
* 10-890-101 College 101

10-522-102 IA: Techniques/Readg/Lang Art
10-522-106 IA: Child & Adolescent Devel
10-522-107 IA: Overview of Special Ed
10-522-111 IA: Guiding & Mnging Behavior
** 10-522-129 IA: Practicum 1
10-809-196 Intro to Sociology

10-522-101 IA: Teamwork in School Setting
10-522-118 IA: Techniques for Math
10-801-136 English Composition 1
10-809-172 Intro to Diversity Studies

10-522-120 IA: Techniques for Science
10-522-122 IA: Adv Readg/Language Arts
10-522-124 IA: Support Students w Disab
** 10-522-131 IA: Practicum 2
10-522-132 IA: Positive Classrm Mgmt Tech
***10-804-107 College Mathematics


Curriculum Note
*The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements.
** Required 108 hours in classroom under supervision of K-12 teacher. NWTC Faculty arranges practicum settings for/with students. Students are required to achieve a grade of “C” or higher in the practicum courses to continue in or graduate from this program. Completed criminal record check and medical exam are required prior to starting the practicum courses.
*** This course does not articulate to a four-year college. Seek assistance from counselor for math options.


These courses provide an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding required for employment in this field.

10-522-101 IA: TEAMWORK IN SCHOOL SETTINGS ...working together is paramount in helping all children learn. This introductory course will define the role and responsibilities of the instructional assistant. School and educational policies, ethical and moral responsibilities, group dynamics and Wisconsin tribal rights will also be explored. Emphasis placed on collaborating with a team comprised of diverse members. Service Learning hours will be required for this course.

10-522-102 IA: TECHNIQUES/READING/LANGUAGE ARTS ...focus on best practices in working with children in their development of reading and language arts as well as the roles of the teacher and the instructional assistant. The student will gain an understanding of how to work with all children and reinforce instruction individually and in groups through questioning, listening and guiding, and scaffolding techniques. Current classroom materials plus enrichment and support activities will be examined and created.

10-522-103 IA: INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES ...fundamentals of teaching methodologies, history of education, issues in trends, learning styles, instructional cycle, characteristics of diverse classroom, questioning techniques and assessment practices.

10-522-104 IA: TECHNOLOGY/MEDIA RESOURCES ...develop knowledge and skills in the area of media and computer resources as it relates to the instructional assistant. Students will gain experience creating and using web tools including electronic portfolios.

10-522-106 IA: CHILD & ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT...growth and development birth through adolescence. Acquaints the learner with the fundamental tasks of physical, motor, perceptual, cognitive social/emotional and language development.

10-522-107 IA: OVERVIEW OF SPECIAL EDUCATION ...overview of the Special Education Law; special education classifications and associated causes and characteristics will be explored as well as state and federal qualification criteria will be examined. Societal responses to students with disabilities as well as the impact of a student with special needs on family dynamics will also be covered in this course.

10-522-111 IA: GUIDING & MANAGING BEHAVIOR ...proactive, preventive classroom management, research-based concepts and strategies used to prevent behavior problems, creating positive classroom climate, building student relationships, enhancing motivation, responding to inappropriate behavior will be emphasized.

10-522-118 IA: TECHNIQUES FOR MATH ...techniques for the Instructional Assistant in assisting the classroom teacher in group and individual tutoring activities in math; current practice including manipulatives, problem solving and assessment will be covered within the framework of state and national standards.

10-522-120 IA: TECHNIQUES FOR SCIENCE ...introduction to the content and processes of science. Strategies of teaching science will be studied and practiced and will prepare you in assisting the classroom teacher in group and individual activities in science. Current science processes, strategies, procedures, assessment options and factors affecting science learning will be explored.

10-522-122 IA: ADVANCED READING/LANGUAGE ARTS ...explore how to integrate reading and writing within the content areas. Students will also gain the knowledge and skills needed to support and encourage children as independent, strategic readers as well as techniqes to support children through the writing process. Children's and Young Adult literature, poetry and personal writing will be explored and integrated throughout this course.

10-522-124 IA: SUPPORT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES delivered to students with special education needs, supportive and related services, law, individual educational programs, various instructional formats, and alternative instructional techniques and programs. (Corequisite: 10-522-107, IA: Overview of Special Education)

10-522-129 IA: PRACTICUM 1 ...introduces the student to a diverse classroom setting at an elementary, middle or high school level. The student will observe children and practice techniques under the guidance of a DPI certified teacher. 108 hours in the classroom under supervision of K-12 teacher.

10-522-131 IA: PRACTICUM 2 ...apply the skills learned in previous program courses in a school setting while under the supervision of a DPI certified teacher. Students support children with special education needs and programming. Job search skills will be addressed and a professional portfolio will be completed. 108 hours in the classroom under supervision of K-12 teacher. (Prerequisite: 10-522-129, IA: Practicum 1)

10-522-132 IA: POSITIVE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES ...examines the impact of issues such as divorce, alcoholism, child abuse, youth suicide, stress, violence and gangs on behavior in the classroom. Conflict resolution techniques and de-escalation strategies and with an emphasis on prevention will also be examined.

10-801-198 SPEECH ...fundamentals of effective oral presentation to small and large groups: topic selection, audience analysis, methods of organization, research, structuring evidence and support, delivery techniques, and the listening process. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer- Reading =55 and Accuplacer Sentence Skills=60 OR ACT Reading =15 and ACT English=16 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-809-188 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ...defines human development; examines theories; heredity and environmental effects; prenatal development and birth; evaluates biosocial, cognitive psychosocial development through the life span; aging, death, and dying. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Sentence Skills= 60 AND Accuplacer-Reading =55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-809-195 ECONOMICS ...scarcity, resources, alternative economic systems, growth, supply and demand, monetary and fiscal policy, inflation, unemployment, and global economic issues. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Sentence Skills= 60 AND Accuplacer-Reading =55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...develops tools and strategies that support success in college. Focuses on study skills, college resources, goal setting, time management, and learning styles. Introduces concepts for self assessing learning and completing an Exit Assessment that provides evidence that learning took place. Students should take this course prior to or during the first semester of their programs. 1 cr.

10-809-196 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY ...the nature and variety of groups; inequality, race and ethnicity; family, population, social integration, and change; collective behavior; politics, economics, religion, education, and the effects of technology. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Sentence Skills= 60 AND Accuplacer-Reading =55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Sentence Skills =75 AND Accuplacer-Reading =55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-838-105, Intro to Reading and Study Skills with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Sentence Skills= 60 AND Accuplacer-Reading =55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-804-107 COLLEGE MATHEMATICS introductory level course designed to review and develop fundamental concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and statistics. Emphasis will be placed on computational skills and applications of rational numbers; problem solving skills with ratios, proportions, and percent; basic principles and application of algebra, geometry, graphing, and statistics; measurement skills in U.S. Customary and Metric Systems; and the use of calculators as a tool. (Prerequisites: Accuplacer-Arithmetic score=65 or ACT-Math score=15 or 10-834-109, Pre Algebra AND Accuplacer-Reading=55 or ACT-Reading=15 or 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

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