Education Paraeducator


The Lake Washington Institute of Technology Education Paraeducator program will prepare students for work as paraeducators in educational settings from preschool to 12th grade/adult transition and place them on a pathway to teacher certification if this is their ultimate goal.

Paraeducators are a large, often under-recognized employee group that fills numerous roles within school districts and early childhood education centers. Paraeducators provide general classroom support, assist lead teachers with classroom management, assist small groups of students with instructional lessons, monitor lunch hours and recess, and assist students with special needs. Depending on the district or center, schools usually assign paraeducators to one of two main groups—one supporting special needs students, and the other delivering general instructional support.

Through recent legislation, Washington State has acknowledged the important work done by paraeducators and demonstrated the need to professionalize this field by upgrading and standardizing the requirements for paraeducator certification. Many paraeducators fill this role to gain income and earn classroom experience on their way to teacher certification, and the design of a paraeducator to teacher pathway is one requested by the school districts in LWTech’s service area. For these reasons, the Education Paraeducator Associate of Applied Science Transfer (AAS-T) degree is designed to transfer to BAS programs such as LWTech’s Applied Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and university teacher education programs.

The Education Paraeducator AAS-T degree aligns with the WA State Competencies for paraeducators and includes a comprehensive overview of education services and strategies to effectively work with children of all abilities while fostering positive, safe, and inclusive learning environments. The engaging curriculum will be offered in a hybrid format and include a practicum component held at school districts and early learning centers. Course content includes an overview of child development, instructional support methods, learning theories, and positive behavior support strategies for application in educational settings. The courses also provide students with the training to excel in demonstrating the high standards necessary to be an effective paraeducator in schools by focusing on professionalism, collaboration skills, ethics, equity, diversity, inclusion, and current trends.

Additional Education Paraeducator Program Information

Entry into the Education Paraeducator program requires completion of LWTech's general online application.

Additional Admission Considerations

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Lake Washington Institute of Technology does not offer every course each quarter. It is the student's responsibility to consult the Class Schedule and work out an individual schedule with an advisor or counselor. Any developmental coursework a student might be required to complete may increase the program length.

See program course curriculum.

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To learn more about transferring to another college or university, please visit our Transferring from LWTech page.

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