Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2021

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jed Locquiao


Paraprofessional, Professional Development, Special Education, Resource, Educational Research, Virtual Clearinghouse



Paraprofessionals are an integral component to the learning and growth of students with unique needs. While paraprofessionals are heavily relied upon to provide guidance, communication, instruction, and behavior management amongst other things, studies have found that many individuals working within this field feel underprepared expressing lack of training necessary to carry out the duties to which they are assigned. Professional development for paraprofessionals is limited, and the acknowledgement of such training lacks attention. Research shows that the roles, duties, and responsibilities of paraprofessionals are blurred and often overlooked. This literature review aids in defining the needs of paraprofessionals to diligently carry out the tasks of which they are assigned. Perspectives are also addressed with differing viewpoints and theories shedding light on the unique position in which paraprofessionals are placed. Development of a virtual clearinghouse for paraprofessionals is shared within the latter portion of this paper providing a description of the layout, importance of the creation, and benefits of such a resource in supplying applicable training as well as establishing expectations of professionalism for paraprofessionals.



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