Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Paraeducator Certification & Information

Prairie Lakes AEA is an approved provider of the Paraeducator Generalist Certification. This certificate requires successful completion of 90 clock hours of training plus 10 hours of observation.  This is a voluntary program supported by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and the Iowa Department of Education.  The paraeducator course was collectively developed by the area education agencies offering paraeducator certification programs in Iowa in response to the guidelines developed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BoEE). It is designed to build the competencies of people interested in becoming paraeducators in Pre-K through 12 classrooms.  The six competencies that will be covered include:  Ethics and Professional Practice, Foundations, Emotions and Behaviors, Professional Relations, Learning Environment, plus Content and Instruction.  Each competency has objectives, lessons, activities, assessments and requirements provided and are completed through face-to-face meetings and online moodle units.

The Paraeducator Generalist I certificate program is delivered in three 30-hour courses, Introduction, Instructional Support and Behavior Support.  The three classes will be delivered through face-to-face sessions and/or completion of online moodle units.

The Paraeducator Generalist I Certificate may be issued to an individual who:

  1. Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Generalist I program including the 10 hours of experience (observation).
  2. Has achieved a high school diploma or graduate equivalent diploma.
  3. Has attained a minimum age of 18 years.
  4. Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check.
  5. Has successfully completed a National Criminal History background check.

Dates and locations of the Paraeducator Courses currently offered in Prairie Lakes AEA can be found on the Professional Learning webpage or click here.

Participants must complete all three courses (minimum of 90 clock hours) plus submit documentation of 10 hours of experience (observation) to apply for the Iowa Paraeducator Generalist Certificate. The total fee for this five year certificate is $118 ($40.00 for the application and $75.00 for the background check plus $3 if paying for the application with credit card).

Paraeducator Generalist 1 Certification is active, meaning from this point on, all applications for these licenses will need to be made on-line.  Click here to view information regarding the online process for applying.  Updated 4/17/2019

Online Application for Paraeduator Certification - Go to BOEE, click here

For information regarding the Generalist II Certificate, Renewal and Sub Authorization, click here.

Paraeducators as Substitutes: Paraeducators that hold a Generalist I Certification AND hold a Substitute Authorization License can substitute teach in the special education classroom to which they are assigned. The special education classroom may be on the elementary, middle, junior high or high school level.


Prairie Lakes AEA Contact:

Linda Ankeny, License Renewal Coordinator
712-262-4704, ext. 2019

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