The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


Paraprofessionals are often hired to conduct one-on-one or small group support to students with disabilities within the K-12 school system. Existing literature illustrates a limited expectation that paraprofessionals in school districts receive training surrounding their job requirements. With the rise of students being identified for special education services and the lack of training often received by paraprofessionals, questions arise related to the training backgrounds and needs necessary for professionals to support students with disabilities in the classroom. This study sought to better understand the extent to which paraprofessionals believe they are trained to performed requisite job duties. In addition, participants identified the specific types of training they have received and would like to receive to improve their ability to support students with disabilities. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a cross-sectional survey. Findings show that most participants reporting general understanding of working with students with disabilities, but a split response on whether these participants had this knowledge prior to employment. Also, the results of the training section of the survey demonstrated that paraprofessionals would be interested in further training related to job requirements. Participants expressed a desire for training in a variety of areas, including culturally responsive pedagogy, evidence-based practices, and inclusive education.