College of DuPage Offers New Paraprofessional in Education Certificate


By Brian Kleemann

The new Paraprofessional in Education certificate program at College of DuPage prepares students to become teaching assistants in K-12 schools.

Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the certificate can be obtained by students who want immediate employment or who want to transfer to a four-year institution and pursue a bachelor’s degree in education. Courses in the 24-credit hour program also can be used toward the Enhanced 2+2 agreement that COD has with Lewis University for a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.

“This certificate is useful in many different ways, such as a stepping stone to a four-year degree,” said April Zawlocki, Assistant Professor of Teacher Preparation at College of DuPage. “We also know that many people want to be in a classroom but don’t want to earn a four-year degree. This certificate program also fills that gap.”

Teaching assistants undertake a variety of tasks, such as working with small groups, designing instructional aides and activities, helping with technology tools, and supporting students with special needs. Upon completion of the certificate, students can apply for the Paraprofessional License through the state of Illinois.

Zawlocki said that the teaching field was once oversaturated, so licensed teachers were accepting paraprofessional positions in order to get into the classroom. But that is no longer the case, and school districts are in need of teaching assistants.

“The Paraprofessional in Education certificate is a great option because it can be used as a gateway to a career in the classroom, whether you want to be a paraprofessional or continue toward a bachelor’s degree,” Zawlocki said.

College of DuPage is an accredited community college that serves more than 29,000 students each term. The College, which grants nine associate degrees and more than 170 certificates in 100 areas of study, is the second largest provider of public undergraduate education in Illinois.

For more information about the Paraprofessional in Education certificate, visit, email or, or call (630) 942-3383 or (630) 942-3014.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

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