Publication Date

Summer 2017

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Multicategorical Special Education

First Advisor

Philip Boudreau, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jose Perez, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Kerri Morris, Ph.D.


This action research project was designed to survey the perceptions of special educators and paraprofessionals on the various paraprofessional roles and levels of training offered. The most common paraprofessional roles and types and amounts of training opportunities available were analyzed so that school districts would have the essential data to make programming decisions regarding the effectiveness of the paraprofessional programs within their schools. By using a survey process, paraprofessionals and special educators were asked a series of questions pertaining to the frequency of participation in each paraprofessional role, levels of formal and/or on-the-job training provided, and how the paraprofessionals’ jobs impact the students and families they work with. The survey results revealed that the paraprofessional job roles in academics and behavior were most important areas. The importance of these job roles was established based on the highest levels of frequencies in each paraprofessional job role. Also, very little to minimal formal and on-the-job training was offered to paraprofessionals. This data will help school districts acknowledge the importance of planning for increased training opportunities.