Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Krstine Reed, Karen Card


The need for more paraprofessionals is growing due to the increasing number of students who are qualifying for specialized educational support. In addition, paraprofessionals have been called upon to provide support in the general education setting in schools. This research study was designed to determine the impact of online paraprofessional training on paraprofessionals’ knowledge and perceived knowledge around supporting students with disabilities. The paraprofessional toolkit was first developed by using survey data and feedback from districts and building administrators, special education and general education teachers, and paraprofessionals. This study helped identify what numerous content areas that resulted in paraprofessionals knowledge and perceived knowledge increasing, which will lead to improved training for paraprofessionals. Findings showed that participants had significant growth in knowledge and perceived knowledge on each tool within the paraprofessional toolkit. Looking at the mean scores, the largest growth of knowledge occurred with Tool 7: Monitoring and Managing behaviors, while the lowest growth was Tool 2: Roles and Responsibilities. Furthermore, this study found that regardless of years’ experience, grade level, location, and size of district the participants had significant knowledge and perceived knowledge growth after completing the training. This study was important because of the implications around effective training for paraprofessionals and the delivery of this training, which will hopefully impact paraprofessionals abilities in supporting the learning needs of all students, including students with disabilities.

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


Online Training, Paraprofessional, Professional Development

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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