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Paraeducator Program

Professional Learning US (PLUS) is proud to partner with Washington State’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to offer the following Paraeducator Certificate Program Components through our On-Demand System.

Program Components

The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers statewide standards-based training for all paraeducators in Washington State, and supports a career growth ladder for those who wish to advance their career as a paraeducator or pursue a teaching profession.

The training currently offered through PLUS On-Demand are:

Note: If you are not from the Washington State, you may still participate for a Certificate of Completion, however if it can be used for your Certificate is up to your state system.

On-Demand Opportunity Registration

To register for any of the Paraeducator Program On-Demand Opportunities, click the corresponding buttons below. This will take you to a simple form where you may register yourself or if you are a school district, you can register your staff. Once registered you will be given an access link from that form. Use this link to access the course and begin. If you registered for your staff, please copy the link and get it to them. PLUS staff will also be monitoring registration and will manually add Paraeducators we notice have not accessed their On-Demand Opportunity.

To Register, select from the following On-Demand Opportunities:

If you run into any trouble with registering or accessing the Paraeducator On-Demand Opportunities, email:

OnDemand Opportunities Information

Note: The following information was taken directly from PESB’s Paraeducator Program Informational pages. The following are related to the On-Demand Opportunities we offer at PLUS. For General Paraeducator Certificate information please visit PESB’s Paraeducator Program Website. We are showing the Advanced Paraeducator Certificate Information on our website, because our partnership with PESB has opened all PLUS OnDemand Opportunities to Paraeducators in Washington State. Paraeducators can participate in anything we offer at no cost. This means you can work towards the optional Advanced Paraeducator Certificate through PLUS, inquire using the HelpDesk email.

Fundamental Course of Study – Paraeducators: What We Do Matters

How does a paraeducator receive FCS training?

It is the responsibility of a paraeducator’s school district to provide the FCS training to their paraeducators. Paraeducators should not independently seek out training to meet the FCS requirements. If paraeducators are unaware of training as of yet, please contact the human resource office of your school district.

District responsibility

A school district is only required to provide training on the FCS when the Legislature provides funds.

School districts may partner with a provider to ensure that this training is met. If this option is chosen, it is the district’s responsibility to ensure that the training provided meets the standards and learning objectives written in the FCS outline.

Training components

All FCS training must meet the learning objectives and standards in the course outline and curriculum. Developed from the paraeducator standards of practice, the FCS is organized into 12 units and provides paraeducators with 28-hours of professional development.

School districts are responsible for choosing what training and units to provide to their paraeducators.

In-person training requirement

Seven of the twenty-eight hours must be provided in-person (i.e., paraeducators and trainers are physically in the same room). To support schools as they navigate in-person and hybrid learning, the Paraeducator Board has extended an emergency rule providing districts with continued flexibility to meet Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) in-person training requirements for paraeducators. The emergency rule expires on September 1, 2022. Learn more about the emergency rule.

FCS curriculum

The FCS curriculum is designed for school districts and other providers who are implementing the training. This is not independent online training, and paraeducators cannot complete this training without a facilitator.

The curriculum includes presentations, facilitator guides, and handouts, and is intended to be used for in-person FCS training. The curriculum provides a strong foundational starting point for districts to provide training, however, many units require customizing the content with district-specific information (e.g., mission and vision statements). These areas of needed customization are clearly marked throughout the materials.

This curriculum was developed with the partnership of many school district leaders, with both their time and content guidance. Using the curriculum is optional. Districts are still welcome to use their own training materials.

Online course

The online course “Paraeducators: what we do matters” was created to help meet 13 hours of FCS training. Paraeducators should not complete this online course independently of their district’s training plan. Each of the modules in the online course is equivalent to one hour of training. Districts interested in exploring this option must review the crosswalk (document) between the FCS and the online course.

All the videos from the online course are uploaded to YouTube for districts to use as supplemental material.

Subject Matter Certificates – ELL Certificate and Special Education Certificate

Subject matter certificates are for paraeducators who wish to further their skills in English Language Learner (ELL) or special education instruction. These certificates are optional and are not requirements.

To earn a subject matter certificate, a paraeducator must complete 20 hours of professional development in the subject area of the certificate. The certificate expires after five years, and it is not a prerequisite to work in any program. A paraeducator can only earn a subject matter certificate if they have completed their FCS training. A paraeducator may allocate completed subject matter certificate hours towards their general certificate hours.

The subject matter certificates have specific standards, learning objectives, and course outlines that must be met to receive the certificate.

ELL certificate

Special education certificate

Online courses

Two online courses are available to help paraeducators meet the requirements of these subject matter certificates.

Each online course meets the 20 hours of training required to earn the certificate.

Advanced Paraeducator Certificate

A paraeducator may attain the advanced certificate once they have completed the general certificate and an additional 75 clock hours of professional development. This is an optional certificate.

This certificate expires after five years, and it is not a prerequisite for a paraeducator working in any program.

What are the duties of an advanced paraeducator?

  • assisting in highly impacted classrooms
  • supporting specialized instruction
  • mentoring other paraeducators
  • acting as a short-term emergency substitute teacher*

* A school district must consult with the paraeducator and apply for the emergency substitute certificate as required in chapter 181-79A WAC.

The advanced certificate must include training competencies that align with the standards of practice of an advanced paraeducator.


School districts are required to:

Click the video to watch an overview of the paraeducator certificate program.

It is the responsibility of the school district to provide the FCS and general certificate training to their paraeducators. Paraeducators should not independently seek out training to meet training requirements. If paraeducators are unaware of training, please contact the human resources office of your school district.

The available list of training and certificate components included in the certificate program provided by Professional Learning US are listed above along with registration.

Paraeducator Standards of Practice

The standards of practice make up the foundation of the certificate program.

The five standards are:

  1. Supporting instructional opportunities;
  2. Demonstrating professionalism and ethical practices;
  3. Supporting a positive and safe learning environment;
  4. Communicating effectively and participating in the team process; and
  5. Demonstrating cultural competency.

Learn more about the standards.

Additional Resources

Registration and On-Demand Access Help Desk

If you are struggling with registration, accessing your Paraeducator On-Demand Opportunity, would like information about other On-Demand Opportunities currently being offered, or need certificate support after completing an opportunity, feel free to email our PLUS Help Desk and we will assist right away.

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