Paraeducator Renewal

How do I Renew My Paraeducator Generalist Certification and/or Add an Area of Concentration?

Paraeducator Certification Renewal

The Paraeducator Generalist Certificate is valid for five years and expires five years from the date of issuance by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Application fees are paid to the BOEE during the application process.

Required Documents for Renewal

  • Official Transcript(s) showing completion of coursework totaling three (3) credits. Courses should be completed between the issue date and the expiration date of your certificate, or be no more than five years old.
  • Valid Certificates of Completion for the Mandatory Reporter: Child Abuse training and Mandatory Reporter: Dependent Adult Abuse training.

Coursework to Obtain Credits

You may use classes from any Iowa AEA or accredited college or university. Coursework should be related to education or duties performed and can be taken in any combination of the following areas:

  • Area of Concentration not currently held (see below)
  • Content that will assist a paraeducator in supporting students in reading, writing, or mathematics
  • Content that supports either the building’s or district’s career development plan
  • College credit earned for each semester hour
  • Substitute Authorization course (see below)

For a list of Heartland AEA classes and to register, visit:

Heartland AEA Quick Search Catalog


Paraeducator Generalist Certification – Level II: Adding an Area of Concentration

Prerequisite

You must have been issued your Paraeducator Generalist Certificate by the BoEE prior to completing an Area of Concentration course in order to receive a Level II certification (Area of Concentration) or use the credit from that course to renew your Paraeducator Generalist Certificate.

Paraeducator Area of Concentration Courses

Area of Concentration courses are 3 credits each. Any of these courses can be used to receive a Level II certification (Area of Concentration) and  you can use the 3 credits to renew your Paraeducator Generalist Certificate.

HL – Paraeducator Area of Concentration:  Special Needs

Participants will gain an understanding of the nature of serving students with special needs.

HL – Paraeducator Area of Concentration:  Early Childhood

Participants will gain knowledge, skills and strategies to assist, support and maintain the positive social, emotional and behavioral development of early childhood students and early childhood students with special needs (birth to grade 3 with an emphasis on ages 3-5).

HL – Paraeducator Area of Concentration:  English as a Second Language (ESL)

Participants will gain knowledge, skills and strategies to assist and support ESL students.

HL – Paraeducator Area of Concentration:  Library, Media & Technology

Participants will gain knowledge, skills and strategies in library, media and technology to support the K-12 school teacher-librarian in the operation of the school library.

For a list of Heartland AEA classes and to register, visit:

Paraeducator Quick Search Catalog


Substitute Authorization

This is a 1-credit course. You will need to take an additional course(s) to obtain your 3 credits needed to renew.

A Substitute Authorization will authorize an individual who holds a Paraeducator Generalist Certificate, without a bachelor’s degree, to substitute ONLY in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed for no more than five consecutive days and no more than 10 days in a 30-day period. (See Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency signed July 17, 2020, for temporary changes in authorization.)

The Substitute Authorization will be added as an Area of Concentration and will automatically renew with the Paraeducator Generalist Certificate.

HL – Substitute Authorization: Fostering Student Learning as a Substitute

This is a 1-credit course that meets for 20 hours and addresses the four components required by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners: Classroom Management, Strategies for Learning, Diversity, and Ethics.

For a list of Heartland AEA classes and to register, visit:

Substitute Authorization Quick Search Catalog


Mandatory Reporter Training

The AEA Online Learning System provides employees of participating Iowa school districts the Mandatory Reporter: Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporter: Dependent Adult Abuse trainings at no charge. 

Visit the AEA Online Learning System