The General Paraeducator Certificate (GPC) is the only required certificate, if funded, in the Paraeducator Certificate Program. To earn this certificate a paraeducator must complete an additional 70 clock hours of training. The district is responsible for ensuring all employed paraeducators meet the requirements of the certificate (as of 10/12/21, the Paraeducator Board removed the requirement that paraeducators must earn the general certificate within three (3) years of completing the Fundamental Course of Study).
Note: If you hold a valid education certificate (Teacher, CTE, First People’s Language/Culture, Educational Staff Associate (ESA) or Administrator), you do not need to complete the General Ed or Subject Matter Certificate programs. You are considered to have met the requirement for 70 continuing education credit hours. If you hold a limited certificate (such as conditional, emergency substitute, intern substitute teacher, transitional or substitute), you do need to complete the General Ed certificate program (and Subject Matter Certificate program, if interested).
While working on your GPC, you may, as an option, also choose to work on the Subject Matter Certificates (ELL and/or Special Education). Each course, ELL or Special Education, is a 20-hour course and count towards the General Certificate. These are optional courses.
How to Attain:
Training to meet the requirements of the GPC is broadly conceived: any training that will assist the instructional practice of a paraeducator may count towards the completion of this certificate.
- A great source of training might be training which is already provided to teachers. You are welcome and encouraged to attend BPS offered trainings which offer clock hours. Please let your building principal know if you would like to participate. Any credits or clock hours completed after July 1, 2019, may be applied to the General Certificate, however, any course taken to satisfy any part of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) may not be used towards the GPC. HRMplus Professional Development site for course completion documentation.
- 1 Quarter credit = 10 clock hours
- 1 Semester credit =15 clock hours
- If you choose to take courses outside of the district, please refer to OSPI’s approved clock hour provider list. All clock hour eligibility courses must be through an approved clock hour provider and requires the employee complete the evaluation form for course credit.
- If you attend a district training, you must register for the course through HRMplus. Be sure to sign in each time you attend and fill out the online evaluation form at the conclusion of the course. Once you have submitted the evaluation, you can download the Clock Hour form for that course in HRMplus (under My Records/My Reports). Send a copy of the Clock Hour form to the Human Resources Department. Retain the original and upload the information into your eCert account under PD Hours.
- If you are interested in completing one or both of the Subject Matter courses, please contact Human Resources for the link to the online training program. This training program is self-paced and free.
Once the 70 General Certificate hours have been earned, the following fees will be assessed when a paraeducator applies for a certificate in eCert — do not apply for the certificate until you complete the required hours. (The certificate processing fee is the responsibility of the paraeducator and not the district.)
- General Paraeducator Certificate – 70 clock hours (lifetime) $74
- ELL Subject Matter Certificate – 20 clock hours (valid for 5 yrs) $54
- Special Education Subject Matter Certificate – 20 clock hours (valid for 5 yrs) $54
- Advanced Paraeducator Certificate (Optional) – earned after General Certificate/additional 75 clock hours (valid for 5 yrs) $54