A teacher works with two students at a dry erase board

Foundations of Teacher Education - Associate Degree

As an educator, you will work directly with students under the supervision of a licensed teacher. Your education will prepare you to fulfill multiple roles such as assisting students with assignments, guiding behavior, supporting students with special needs (including personal hygiene), and clerical tasks related to instruction. You may work with children from pre-kindergarten through age 21 during the traditional school day and year. Your career opportunities exist in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Graduates with the Foundations of Teacher Education Associate Degree may also work as a substitute teacher.

Program Code: 105222
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Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

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Offered At:

Follow Your Path

All credits from the following technical diploma(s) apply toward this associate degree:

Paraeducator, 315222

All of the credits from the following certificates apply toward this associate degree:

Introduction to Paraeducator Careers, 615221

Supporting Children's Learning, 905221

Some credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this associate degree:

Special Education Certificate, 905224


  • Day
  • Full-time
  • Online: Some courses include practicum hours which must be completed in person at a work site.
  • Part-time

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Submit the following:
  • High school transcript (or GED/HSED transcript).
  • College transcript.
  • It is necessary to show good health as evidenced by a medical examination within 90 days prior to beginning practicum classes.
  • To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
  • You will need to complete a Caregiver Background Check prior to being placed into Practicum courses. A fee is charged for this service.
  • Attend mandatory program orientation.
  • Tip! Our admission advisors will assist you through every step. Have questions? Connect with NWTC Admissions at start@nwtc.edu or 920-498-5444.

What are my courses?


Students following the study plan below will complete the Foundations of Teacher Education 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. Four program courses are offered in-person each semester. Below is a suggested timeline:

Total Credits 61
  • Curriculum Note: Required 90 practicum 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 background check required annually. It is necessary to show good health as evidenced by a medical examination including having a TB screening administered within 12 months before practicum placement. 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 www.viewpointscreening.com/nwtc. A fee is charged for this service. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. 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.
  • 10-804-134, Mathematical Reasoning, may not transfer to a four-year college. See a counselor for math options.
  • The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.
  • Students must earn a "C" or higher in all 10-522-XXX courses to successfully graduate the Foundations of Teacher Education Associate Degree Program. A student must repeat the particular course with a "C" or better final grade to continue in or graduate from this program. If the course is sequential, the successful retake must occur before continuing the sequence.

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate instructional support strategies for content areas.
  • Implement developmentally appropriate practices to foster learning.
  • Adapt instruction to meet the diverse needs of all learners.
  • Use proactive classroom management techniques.
  • Incorporate the reflective process to promote professional growth.
  • Perform professional responsibilities.

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 56% in field


Median Starting Salary

Source: NWTC Graduate Outcome Survey

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

  • 615221, Introduction to Paraeducator Careers Pathways Certificate
  • 905221, Supporting Children's Learning Certificate

Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment as an educational paraprofessional or paraeducator in schools from the pre-kindergarten through high school level. Paraeducators work with children in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Paraeducators can also work with children with special needs. Most job opportunities in this field coincide with the public school system with regard to workdays, holidays, and summers.

What's next after graduation?

Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.

What else do I need to know about the program?


  • Completion of a Wisconsin Technical Skills Attainment (TSA) portfolio is required to graduate from this program.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.

Learn more about upcoming study abroad opportunities.


Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.