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ERIC Number: ED551213
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-5450-9
More than Just a Whistle: Paraprofessionals' Perceived Competency
Trahms, Cindi Jo
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Federal and state mandates requiring accountability for the achievement of all students--including those with disabilities--coupled with tight budgetary restraints has led to the steady rise in the employment of paraprofessionals in P-12 educational settings. The emergence of the paraprofessional system has led to several challenges. While several states have delineated competencies in the standards they believe paraprofessionals should demonstrate, the problem exists in that it is unknown whether paraprofessionals possess these competencies. The purpose of the two-phased, sequential mixed method study was to explore the perceived competency of paraprofessionals in an educational district in a Midwestern state using their own voice. The first, quantitative phase addressed the significant difference in perceived competency based on years worked as a paraprofessional through data analysis of survey. The second, qualitative phase further investigated the survey results by interviewing several survey respondents to probe the significant quantitative results. Based on the data, there was a significant difference in competency based on years worked. Paraprofessionals with 6 or more years of service recognized and were competent in the professional nature of their work. Overall, they viewed themselves as somewhat competent in all nine core competencies, but believed their supervising teachers, special education directors, and administrators were not aware of the core competencies and their administrators were not aware of what paraprofessionals do each day. Not being viewed as a professional makes the job they perform less effective and results in school districts not investing needed resources in their training. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A