Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. x
Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Strayer University

Associate Programs
Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Southern New Hampshire University

Associate Programs
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Capella University

Bachelor Degrees
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Colorado Christian University

Associate Programs
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Walden University

Bachelor Degrees
Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Purdue University Global

Associate Programs
Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Grand Canyon University

Bachelor Degrees
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Baker College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Baker College

Bachelor Degrees
Baker College responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Online Education Paraprofessional Certification Programs

Explore the top schools that offer online education paraprofessional programs. Learn what these programs consist of, such as specific courses and length, as well as what the duties of education paraprofessionals include.

Top Schools for Online Education Paraprofessionals Programs

To decide on the best schools for online education paraprofessional programs, you should consider things like admissions requirements, program flexibility, cost and program length. The top schools for online education paraprofessional certification programs are listed below.

1. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fairbanks, AK $7,080 84%

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks is home to almost 4,000 fully online students and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU). The school offers an online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education that consists of 60 credit hours and has a tuition rate of $234 to $1,079, depending on student residency and course level. The program prepares students for entry-level roles in early childhood education and takes around 2 years to complete. Students take courses in child development, curriculum, culture, family dynamics and inclusion.

2. Genesee Community College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Batavia, NY $4,840 89%

Genesee Community College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers a primarily online Teaching Assistant Associate of Applied Science that allows students to select one of three concentrations: developmental disabilities, generalist or learning strategies and technologies. The program consists of 60 credit hours of coursework, including courses in child development, educational methods and sign language, and has a tuition rate of $2,175 to $2,475 for full-time students taking more than 12 credits. Students can also earn a teaching assistant certificate through a 30-credit program that also prepares them for paraprofessional roles.

3. College of Southern Idaho

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Twin Falls, ID $3,360 81%

The College of Southern Idaho is accredited by the NCCU and has close to 1,000 students enrolled in completely online programs. The school offers an Education Assistant Program that prepares students for paraprofessional roles and can be completed online. The program consists of 32 credits of coursework, including classes in curriculum development, technology in education and individualized learning programs. Students have a tuition rate of $140 to $285 per credit, depending on residency, and complete a paraprofessional Praxis Exam at the end of their program (necessary for licensure).

4. Chippewa Valley Technical College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Eau Claire, WI $4,433 76%

Chippewa Valley Technical College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers two online associate's degree programs for education paraprofessional students, which each consist of 60 credits and have a tuition rate of $139 to $208 per credit hour.

  • Foundations of Teacher Education - Classes include behavior management, classroom management, special education and development.
  • Early Childhood Education - Includes courses in development, nutrition, familial relationships and behavior. This program requires four in-person practicums.

5. Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Granite Falls, MN $5,846 90%

Minnesota West Community and Technical College has more than 800 students enrolled in 100% online programs and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers an online Education Paraprofessional Certificate program that consists of 12 credit hours of coursework and has a tuition rate of $189 per credit. The program consists of core courses in special needs, child development and behavioral management and allows students to select elective courses such as nutrition, sign language and family relations.

6. Southern Regional Technical College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Thomasville, GA $3,002 95%

Southern Regional Technical College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school offers two online programs for students interested in becoming paraprofessionals in early-childhood settings, each of which has an extremely affordable tuition rate of $100 per credit hour.

  • Early Childhood Care and Education, Diploma - 56 to 57 credit hours, including classes in psychology, classroom management and curriculum
  • Early Childhood Care and Education, AAS - 65 credits with three concentration options:
    • Paraprofessional
    • Exceptionalities
    • Program Administration

7. Spokane Falls Community College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Spokane, WA $3,634 61%

Spokane Falls Community College is accredited by the NCCU and has more than 1,100 entirely online students. The school offers two online programs for paraprofessionals; these have a tuition rate of $110 to $158, depending on student residence.

  • Certificate - Education Paraeducator - 45 credits, including courses in disabilities, psychology and behavior management
  • AAS - Education Paraeducator - 92 credit hours, including courses in curriculum, development and assessment. Students can choose from three options: School Library Technician, Special Education and Early Childhood.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
8 Dakota College at Bottineau Bottineau, ND $4,883 90%
9 Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, GA $3,126 92%
10 Northampton County Area Community College Bethlehem, PA $4,530 76%
11 State Fair Community College Sedalia, MO $3,240 91%
12 Lehigh Carbon Community College Schnecksville, PA $4,260 76%
13 Bay Mills Community College Brimley, MI $3,320 96%
14 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT $8,553 N/A

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2019-2020 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Schools with Online Education Paraprofessional Programs

The table below summarizes key information about the schools that offer online education paraprofessional programs.

School Name Location Programs Credits Required Per-Credit Tuition
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK AAS in Early Childhood Education 60 credits $234 to $1,079
Genesee Community College Batavia, NY Teaching Assistant Associate of Applied Science
Teaching Assistant Certificate
60
30
$2,175 to $2,475 per semester (12 or more credits)
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID Education Assistant Program 32 $140 to $285
Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI Foundations of Teacher Education
Early Childhood Education
60 credits (both) $139 to $208
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN Education Paraprofessional Certificate 12 $189
Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville, GA Early Childhood Care and Education, Diploma
Early Childhood Care and Education, AAS
56 to 57
65
$100
Spokane Falls Community College Spokane, WA Education Paraeducator Certificate
Education Paraeducator, AAS
45
92
$110 to $158

Online Educational Paraprofessional Program Comparison

There are different types of educational paraprofessional programs offered online, the key types of which are compared in the table below.

Degree Type Certificate Associate's Degree
Completion Time (full-time) 1 to 2 semesters 2 years
Core Courses Behavioral management
Child development
Family relations
Certificate courses plus
Classroom management
Teaching methods
Licensure Varies by state Varies by state
Salary (National Median, 2019)* $27,920 $27,920
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Overview of Online Education Paraprofessional Programs

Online education paraprofessional programs typically lead to a certificate or an associate's degree. Educational requirements for paraprofessionals vary by state, so students should check with their state's education board to ensure that programs meet the minimum criteria.

The Learning Experience

These programs are usually offered online, although some programs do include practicum experiences. Within the online coursework, students log in to one (or more) websites to complete required assignments and participate in class activities. If required by their programs, students will complete practicum hours in school settings that allow them to gain real-world experience by assisting teachers, communicating with students and utilizing their newly acquired skill set.

Program Length

Certificate programs like these can consist of as few as 12 credit hours or as many as 30 credit hours. Associate's degree programs usually consist of around 60 credit hours. Depending on the number of courses that students take each semester, they may be able to complete a 12 credit-hour certificate program in one semester and typically finish a 60-credit associate's degree program in two years. The two-year completion estimate usually consists of 30 credits taken each year: 15 in the fall and 15 in the spring. So students taking more courses or studying over summer semesters can complete their program even sooner.

Common Courses

Although the specific courses included in these programs vary by school, many online educational paraprofessional programs include some of the courses listed below.

  • Introduction to Education - Students learn about the history of education and the philosophical and social considerations of education, as well as current regulations and trends in teaching.
  • Exceptional Students - In this course, students examine characteristics of exceptional students and implications for teachers, such as specific policies and adaptive learning plans.
  • Guiding Students - This class explores various practices of guiding students based on their development; topics can include discipline, support, limitations and communication.
  • Sign Language - Sometimes offered as an elective choice, this course provides students with an understanding of American Sign Language (ASL) communication techniques.
  • Safety and Health - Students explore how to effectively offer safe and healthy environments for students, considering things like field trips, preventative measures and indoor safety.
  • Child Development - This class provides an overview of child development and related topics, such as influences of development, psychological effects and physiological changes.
  • Family and Community Relations - Students consider the influences and interactions of families and communities on students and their behavior, personality and academic performance.
  • Technology in Education - This course explores different types of technology that are available to educators in many classrooms, such as projectors, computers, online games, tablets and other interactive tools.
  • Curriculum Design - Students explore methods for creating curriculum for their students as well as practices for assessing curriculum effectiveness and modifying it as needed.
  • Behavior Management - This course provides an overview of strategies for managing student behavior as well as policies affecting conflict resolution and student discipline.

Education Paraprofessional: Job Description, Salary and Outlook

Education paraprofessional is another name for teacher assistant, paraeducator, or instructional aide. They assist licensed regular teachers with a variety of tasks, often providing students with additional attention as necessary. Their duties can include reviewing lessons with students, ensuring students follow class policies, assisting teachers with grading and supervising students before and after class. They may also help teachers prepare for lessons and take attendance and sometimes provide additional feedback to teachers on student performance.

Work Environment

Some of these aides work in specific areas or with certain groups of students. For example, they may strictly work in a computer lab or with exceptional students. Those working in early-childhood settings often work with the primary teacher to lead activities, feed children and supervise playtime. In 2018, 69% of all teacher assistants worked in elementary and secondary schools (local), while 10% worked in child daycare settings and 8% worked in private elementary and secondary schools.

Salary

The annual median salary for all teacher assistants was $27,920 in 2019. The top-earning 10% had a salary of over $43,040 while the lowest-earning 10% made less than $18,940. Some teacher assistants, however, only work part-time; for example, they may supervise students exiting or entering buses prior to and after school.

All career data is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment, Earnings and Outlook by Industry

The percent of teacher assistants employed in each industry is shown below, along with the median annual salary and estimated outlook of each.

Industry % of Teacher Assistants Employed Median Salary (2019) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local 69% $28,520 2%
Child Day Care Services 10% $24,680 8%
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Private 8% $27,700 14%

How to Become an Educational Paraprofessional

The requirements for becoming a paraprofessional vary by state, but in most cases they need to obtain professional certification. Obtaining this certification through the state requires that candidates meet specific qualifications. Depending on their state, these may include one or more options, such as:

  • Hold an associate's degree in a related field
  • Have a specific number of college credits
  • Pass a knowledge assessment

Many online paraprofessional programs provide the coursework required by the state, and sometimes also include a knowledge assessment at the end of the program (such as the Praxis) in order to qualify graduates for the applicable certification. In addition, candidates can benefit from CPR and first aid certification, as they may be required by some employers.

Career Advancement for Education Paraprofessionals

There are a variety of careers that education paraprofessionals can advance to after graduation and beginning their careers in education; all of them will require at least a bachelor's degree. Each of the potential careers listed below require state certification, which can mean passing a licensure exam, undergoing a background check and taking exams in certain subjects if they intend to teach them (special education, math, social studies, etc). Education paraprofessionals will need to obtain a specific number of continuing education credits each year, whether through face-to-face seminars or online learning resources.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are licensed through their respective states and provide primary instruction to students from kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. Their duties can include developing lessons and assignments, grading students and providing feedback, enforcing class rules and talking with parents. As of May 2019, these teachers had a median annual salary of $59,420 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers provide instruction and assistance to students with disabilities, including mental, physical and learning disabilities. Their duties can include modifying lessons to meet student needs, developing activities for students, creating individual plans for learning and talking with parents. These teachers typically need to have a bachelor's degree in a field such as special education. BLS data from 2019 indicates that they had a median annual salary of $61,030.

Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers had a median annual salary of $59,660, according to the BLS's 2019 numbers, and they usually have a bachelor's degree. Their duties include providing instruction for students in grades sixth through eight (usually), preparing them for high school and beyond. They are responsible for creating and implementing lessons, guiding students, assessing students' strengths and weaknesses and communicating with parents.

High School Teachers

High school teachers typically instruct students in ninth through twelfth grades. Not only do they complete standard tasks of teaching specific content but they also help to prepare students for life after high school. Their duties can include planning and grading student assignments, collaborating with other teachers and working with students to help them learn the material. High school teachers usually have a bachelor's degree in the field that they teach (such as mathematics). According to the BLS, high school teachers had a median annual salary of $61,660 in 2019.