Capstone/Dissertation Title

Effective Support of Special Education Paraprofessionals to Improve Student Independence and Success

Term

Summer 8-15-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Laura Halldin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kathleen Mitchell

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Jodee Burkowski

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was: How can special education paraprofessionals be more effectively supported to increase the independence for career and college readiness and success of students in special education services? (2014). This capstone encompasses effective paraprofessional utilization in student learning and acclimation to district culture and expectations, a manual for the paraprofessionals and evaluation, and appraisal tools for the development of a strong working team. The capstone outlines current literature, a systematic research plan, results presented in an analytic manner, which encompass the methods for research and the development of a systematic and ongoing training schedule for all paraprofessionals. The motivation for this capstone comes from one teacher’s experiences and frustrations with underutilized paraprofessionals and a passion to improve the entire team for greater student success.

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