Paraeducator Certification Courses

Courses available through Great Prairie AEA

Cost Information and Requirements for Certification

To become a certified paraeducator in Iowa you must be at least 18 years of age, complete 3 Generalist Courses (90 hours) and Child/Adult Mandatory Reporter (4 hours), and apply through the Board of Educational Examiners for the certification upon completing the coursework. A 10-hour clinical experience in a classroom is also required. The cost of each course is $120.00 ($360.00 total for 3 courses). Additional fees include a $75.00 background check fee, $40.00 application fee, and $27.00 material fee. Fingerprinting fees vary by county but usually are between $15.00 and $25.00. 2 Southeastern Community College credits are available for elective transfer for an additional $40 per course. If SCC credit is not desired, choose "Renewal Credit" for $120.00 when checking out.

Why become a certified paraeducator?

Paraeducators are integral partners in the education setting so they need top-notch skills to provide the best academic and emotional support to students.

Paraeducator Course I

After completing Paraeducator Course I paraeducators will be able to:

  • Recognize and support the developmental stages of students.

  • Use accommodations to support unique learning needs.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the common core.

  • Work collaboratively and respectfully with teachers.

  • Ethically serve students and maintain confidentiality.

  • Collaboratively support IEP Goals.

Click here for Para I in Ottumwa or Virtual

This course will be held at the Ottumwa AEA or you can atttend virtually. Class dates are Tuesday, February 21, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, February 28, 202305:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, March 07, 202305:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM

Paraeducator Course II

After completing Paraeducator Course II paraeducators will be able to:

  • Follow the prescribed health, safety, and emergency school and classroom policy and procedures

  • Organize materials to support teaching and learning.

  • Promote a safe and positive learning environment.

  • Function in various instructional settings (e.g., large group, small group, tutoring).

  • Assist with learning activities and opportunities to accomplish instructional objectives.

  • Support high expectations that are shared, clearly defined and appropriate.

  • Abide by the Iowa code of ethics and professional practice rules of the board of educational examiners and rules of the Iowa department of education.

  • Demonstrate the ability to separate personal issues from one’s responsibilities in the workplace.

  • Share information regarding students’ performance, behavior, or program with students’ parents or guardians only as directed by the supervising teacher or educator.

  • Demonstrate ethical behavior when supporting students with graded activities, quizzes, and tests.

Click here for Para II in Ottumwa or Virtual

This course will be held at the Ottumwa AEA or you can attend Virtually. Class date are Tuesday, March 21, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, March 28, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, April 04, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM

Paraeducator Course III

After completing Paraeducator Course III paraeducators will be able to:

  • Effectively use verbal and nonverbal forms of communication with students.

  • Assist with the implementation and use of instructional and assistive technology.

  • Assist in modeling and teaching specific appropriate behaviors, social skills, and procedures that facilitate safety and learning in various environments.

  • Assist in the implementation of individualized behavior management plans.

  • Assist in modifying the learning environment to manage behavior and social skills.

  • Recognize that there is a cause or reason for misbehavior and assist in determining the cause or reason.

  • Recognize, address, and report bullying.

  • Recognize and report atypical emotional behavior.

  • Foster a professional and caring relationship with stakeholders ( students, families, colleagues, administrators)

  • Participate in ongoing professional development.

  • Accept and apply constructive feedback.

Click here for Para III in Ottumwa or Virtual

This course will be held at the Ottumwa AEA or you can attend Virtually. Class dates are Tuesday, April 18, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, April 25, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM Tuesday, May 02, 2023 05:00:00 PM - 10:00:00 PM


Michelle Dickey

ELL & Professional Development Consultant
Great Prairie AEA
3601 W. Avenue
Burlington, IA 52601


Great Prairie Area Education Agency works as an educational partner with public and accredited, nonpublic schools to help students, school staff, parents and communities. Great Prairie AEA provides professional development and leadership to promote school improvement, a variety of instructional services, special education support services, and technology and media services. It is the policy of the Great Prairie Education Agency not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Nathan Wood, 2814 N Court Road, IA 52501, (641) 682-8591 x5512, (employment practices) or Dr. Angelisa Fynaardt, 2814 N. Court Road, Ottumwa, IA 52501, (641) 682-8591 x5311, (educational programs).