Education - Special Education Paraeducator

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Education & Academic Success
Degree awarded: Associate in Applied Science;
and Specialized Diplomas conferred

Special Education Paraeducator training at NCC video

Program Narrative
Special Education is an important and exciting career for persons interested in the education of children with disabilities! The federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and related state laws and standards require personnel working with children with disabilities to be appropriately trained and qualified. Northampton Community College's special education program prepares students with the competencies necessary to meet these requirements. Grounded in a philosophy that emphasizes family and disability perspectives, inclusive practices, and current educational approaches, NCC's special education program provides a valuable program of study.

Program Features
The Special Education Paraeducator (A.A.S.) degree is designed to prepare individuals to work with children with varying abilities in diverse educational classrooms, under the direct supervision of a certified teacher. A Special Education Paraeducator Specialized Diploma is also available. Students who successfully complete either option are considered "highly qualified" and satisfy the requirements for Pennsylvania's Credential of Competency for Special Education Paraeducators. NCC will assist students with the credentialing process.

Graduates are qualified to work as special education paraeducators, sometimes referred to as teaching assistants, in a wide variety of educational settings. Students are prepared to respect and value the unique perspectives of family and children with disabilities as well as the importance of building and maintaining collaborative relationships. To this end, NCC's curriculum offers a combination of special education coursework and field experience opportunities that integrate federal and state special education legal and professional competencies.

Special Education Courses are offered at the Bethlehem Campus during late afternoons and evenings. All special education courses are also offered online.  SPED160 is offered at the Monroe Campus.  Students must take other courses required for the AAS through day, evening, or online options.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Explain the philosophy, foundation, requirements, and current trends relevant to special education programs and practices.
  • Describe universally-designed and inclusive environments.
  • Apply appropriate instructional responses using multiple and varied assessments, technologies, strategies, and supports within a universally-designed and inclusive framework.
  • Discuss the role and nature of collaborative relationships between schools and families.
  • Define and use special education vocabulary, professionalism, and ethical practices, to support thinking and communicating in educational environments.
  • Act as a paraeducator in diverse learning environments.

Special Education Paraeducator,
Associate in Applied Science Degree

Course Code Course Title
Credits
First Semester
CISC 101 Intro to Computers

3

ENGL 101C English I
3
PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology (SSHB)
3
SPED 160 Introduction to Special Education
3
--------- Arts & Humanities Elective (AH) *
3
15
Second Semester
CMTH 102 Speech Communication
3
ENGL 151L English II (Literature)
3
EARL 106 Early Childhood Development & Learning
3
SPED 164 Introduction to the Special Education Paraeducator
3
SPED 175 Behavior Support
3
15
Third Semester
MATH 118 Foundations of Mathematics I
3
SPED 170 Instructional Strategies in Inclusive Environments
3
PSYC 251 Child Psychology
3
SOCA 103 Principles of Sociology
3
-----------
Elective *
3
15
Fourth Semester
SPED 205G Special Education Paraeducator Internship
3
----------- Science Elective (SCI)
4
----------- Social Science Elective: Societies and Institutions Over Time(SIT)
3
----------- Elective *
3
----------- Elective *
3
16
Total Credits
61


* Recommended Elective courses:
EARL 217 Child, Family & Community, EDUC 115 Education for All Students, MDLA 103 Elementary Spanish I, MDLA 113 Elementary Spanish II.

Special Education Paraeducator,
Specialized Diploma

Course Code Course Title
Credits
SPED 160 + Introduction to Special Education +
3
SPED 164 Introduction to the Special Education Paraeducator
3
SPED 170 Instructional Strategies in Inclusive Environments
3
Total Credits
9

 


+SPED 160 is a co- or prerequisite for SPED 164, and 170.
Career Potential: Paraeducator, teacher assistant

NCC students are employed by: Intermediate Units, Early Childhood Centers, School Districts

 

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