Professional learning opportunities are available to enhance educator skills and practices to improve student learning. These include licensure renewal and graduate credit courses, paraeducator certification; substitute authorization training, and informational classes held face-to-face, virtually, and in a blended environment.
The Professional Learning team serves as liaisons, collaborators, creators, and coordinators of professional learning opportunities for stakeholders that are accessible, equitable, relevant, and evidence-based.
Are you a Master's level educator? Want to develop a course or micro-credential? Check out our Instructor's Toolbox to find everything you need to get started!
Evaluator Approval Training
The Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with AEA Learning Online, offers evaluator approval training through iEvaluate. More details can be found on the Iowa Department of Education website. To register, visit the AEA Professional Learning System and search the course tab for iEvaluate 1.2.
Mandatory & Non-Mandatory Training
The AEA Learning Online System offers mandatory and non-mandatory training online. Training available through this system includes Mandatory Reporter: Child and Dependent Adult Abuse, Bloodborne Pathogens Training, medication administration training, and other non-mandatory training.
There is a $25 fee for the Mandatory Reporter training for all users. The other offerings are available to all employees in participating districts for no cost. Use of this system is intended for employees of Iowa Area Education Agencies, employees of the public and private school districts they support, and other authorized users. Unauthorized use or distribution of passwords is prohibited.
A district password is required when registering into the system with a district or when changing districts. District passwords can be obtained from your district system administrator. If you are already registered in the system but have forgotten your login information, your principal or district system administrator may be able to assist you. AEA Learning Online System Site directions sheet
The Paraeducator Generalist Certification courses were collectively developed by the agencies offering paraeducator certification programs in Iowa in response to the guidelines developed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BoEE). It is designed to build the competencies of people interested in becoming paraeducators in Pre-K through 12 classrooms. The six competencies defined by the BoEE cover the vital skills needed for a paraeducator to be successful in the classroom.
Prerequisites for Obtaining Paraeducator Certification
- Minimum of 18 years of age
- Verification of high school completion or equivalence (See Step 2 below for more information)
- Participants must have access to a computer/internet in order to take the courses
Step 1: Complete Paraeducator Courses I, II, and III
To obtain a Paraeducator Generalist Certification, you must successfully complete the following three courses in order:
- GH – Paraeducator Generalist Certification Program: Ethical & Professional Practice/Professional Responsibilities
- GH – Paraeducator Generalist Certification Program: Learning Environment/Content & Instruction/Ethical & Professional Practices
- GH – Paraeducator Generalist Certification Program: Emotional & Behavioral Needs/Professional Responsibilities/Ethical and Professional
Each of the three Paraeducator Generalist Certification courses involves virtual meetings and the completion of online units. Participants need to have access to a computer and the Internet to complete these courses.
Fee for each course: $120 (Total $360)
Step 2: Submit Application to the Board of Educational Examiners
The application directions and assistance will be provided during Course III. The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ application system is entirely online at the BOEE website.
Verification of High School Completion
As part of the online application process, you will need to upload verification of High School completion. This may be a scanned or electronic copy of a diploma, transcripts, letter from the school district on school letterhead, or verification of GED completion. Accepted forms of verification include:
- High school diploma
- High school transcripts with graduation date
- Certificate of GED completion
- Letter on school letterhead from school district individual graduated from with year graduated listed
- Letter from program GED was completed from including year completed
- Letter from State Department of Education verifying graduation or GED completion
Background Check and Fingerprinting
As part of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ application process, a background check and fingerprinting are required for all new applicants for Iowa licensure.
Application Fee (subject to change by the BOEE): $115 ($40 Application Fee; $75 Background Check Fee)
Term of Paraeducator Certification
A Paraeducator certification is valid for five years.
Renewal of a Paraeducator Certification
You will need transcript(s) showing three (3) renewal credits, and the certificates of completion for Mandatory Reporter: Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporter: Dependent Adult Abuse trainings.
For renewals, the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners accepts licensure renewal credits from an approved Iowa provider such as the AEA system, ISEA, or PEI or undergraduate or graduate college credits from a regionally-accredited institution. If you choose an out-of-state program, college semester hour credits must be earned (not CEUs or staff development). Credits need to be earned after the issue date of the current license, or be no more than five years old if the license is expired. Credits should be relevant to education.
- Substitute authorizations have a day limitation for serving in one assignment (10 days in a row in a 30-day period); however, a district may request a waiver of the day limitation.
- The degree requirement to obtain a substitute authorization is an associate’s degree or 60 semester hours through a college or university accredited through an institutional accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The substitute authorization course is still required, unless an applicant is enrolled in a teacher preparation program and can provide transcripts showing how the course requirements have been met.
- Substitute authorization holders must be at least 21 years of age.
- Please refer to this document from the BOEE for further clarification.
Certified Paraeducators must also have a substitution authorization license to serve as a substitute teacher.
- If the paraeducator holds a regular substitute authorization, they may serve as a substitute teacher in any classroom except driver’s ed (this is not a change).
- If the paraeducator holds the limited substitute authorization to serve as a substitute teacher only in their own special education classroom they are currently assigned in.
- Holders of a career and technical authorization with at least one year of experience may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver education) as long as they hold the substitute authorization license.
- Please refer to this document from the BOEE for further clarification.
The course includes components on ethics, diversity, instructional strategies, and behavior management.
*Changes to the day limitation, degree requirement, and allowing persons with additional authorizations allowed to serve as substitute teachers are proposed as permanent rule changes and are awaiting final approval. The proposed permanent changes do not include the above temporary changes to the age requirement or the authority of a paraeducator.
When you are ready to register:
- Log into the AEA Professional Learning Registration site (use the same login information as you do for Bloodborne Pathogens, Mandatory Reporter, etc)
- If you do not have an account, create an account at AEA Learning Online. The next business day, log into our statewide AEA Professional Learning Registration site using the same email and password you used on the AEA Learning Online site.
- On the courses tab, you can type in the course or section number or search for substitute authorization.
Transcripts are available within the AEA Professional Learning Registration System.
Access your transcript electronically at any time!
- Log in to your account in the AEA Professional Learning Registration System.
- Click on the Home button
- Scroll to the bottom right-hand side of the page to the “My Courses” heading
- Click on “My Transcript”
- Click on the “Print Official Transcript” button (cumulative transcript)
To request ASL interpreter services for any GHAEA-sponsored professional learning opportunity, please submit this form at least two weeks prior to the start date of the workshop/course. Thank you.
GHAEA Professional Learning Interpreter Services Request Form
If you have questions about professional learning, please call 712-308-7610 to reach Michelle Lidgett or 712-308-7611 to reach Michelle Catterson.