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Paraeducator Technical Diploma

Program Code: 315222

As a paraeducator (instructional assistant), 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.


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.

Graduates Work As: Paraeducators, paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, instructional assistants, specialized aides in reading, math, computers, or special education, and autism line 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:

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


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
• It is necessary to show good health as evidenced by a medical examination including TB test within 90 days 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.
• 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.
• Complete Caregiver Background Check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Program Availability

FULL TIMESummer 2018Fall 2018Spring 2019
Green Bay ---
Marinette ---

Application Checklist

Students following the study plan below will complete the Paraeducator Technical Diploma 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:
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
10-522-101 IA: TEAMWORK IN SCHOOL SETTING ...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.
10-522-103 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.
10-522-107 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.
10-522-102 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 paraeducator. 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.
10-522-104 IA: TECHNOLOGY/MEDIA RESOURCES ...develop knowledge and skills in the area of media and computer resources as it relates to the paraeducator. 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.
10-522-118 IA: TECHNIQUES FOR MATH ...techniques for the paraeducator 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.
10-522-129 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. 90 hours in the classroom is under supervision of K-12 teacher. (Corequisite: 10-890-101, College 101)
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: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
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 techniques 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)
10-522-131 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. 90 hours in the classroom under supervision of K-12 teacher. (Prerequisite: 10-522-129, IA: Practicum 1; Corequisite 10-890-101, College 101)
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.
10-804-134 MATHEMATICAL REASONING ...This course provides an alternative pathway to earning credit for a college level liberal arts mathematics course. All college students, regardless of their college major, need to be able to make reasonable decisions about fiscal, environmental, and health issues that require quantitative reasoning skills. An activity based approach is used to explore numerical relationships, graphs, proportional relationships, algebraic reasoning, and problem solving using linear, exponential and other mathematical models. Students will develop conceptual and procedural tools that support the use of key mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts. This course is not designed for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) students and/or others who require calculus. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 2400; OR Accuplacer Arithmetic score greater/equal to 65 AND Reading score greater/equal to 50; OR ACT Math score greater/equal to 15 AND ACT Reading score greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact an academic advisor 920-498-5444)

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.



• Required 90 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 practicums.
• 10-804-134, Mathematical Reasoning, does 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.


• 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.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.