If you are interested in working in the mental health field or with individuals with a developmental disability, then qualifying and finding a paraprofessional special education job is one of the first steps for entering the special education or social work career paths. Paraprofessionals get a diverse range of experiences in working hands on with multiple clients and people with a wide variety of disabilities. There are multiple levels of certification for paraprofessional special education jobs in the state of Kansas.
Paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, paraprofessionals must also have completed at least 48 hours of college or university education or pass a state approved assessment where the applicant can demonstrate knowledge and ability to assist in teaching reading, writing, and mathematics. The following is a list of state approved assessment tests: ParaPro assessment, WorkKeys test, and the ParaEducator Learning Network test.
Most paraprofessional jobs will provide all necessary training to meet all state and national training requirements. However, if you already have CPR and first aid certifications then you will look better than many other applicants. Also if you have previous medical job experience, then having received training in the areas of HIPPA information protection and confidentiality will also be an added benefit for an applicant.
While each school district may have different regulations and laws regarding paraprofessional requirements, generally a minimum of 20 hours of development and training time is required for the job. Additionally, paraprofessionals must also attend an orientation training session for the job.
The state of Kansas is one of the few states that has adopted a certification program for special education paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals must maintain a current certification by renewing it annually.
Level two special education paraprofessionals must have completed over 450 hours of in-service as well as having at least two years of experience as a level one paraprofessional. Level three special education paraprofessionals must have completed 60 semester hours of college education, over 900 hours of in-service experience logged, and have at least three years of experience as a level two paraprofessional.