The COMPASS is a comprehensive job embedded professional development curriculum
developed specifically for paraprofessionals. This series of modules, aligned with National Paraprofessional Standards, has been designed to enhance the paraprofessional’s skills in working with students in educational settings.
The COMPASS College Credits
Roles & Responsibilities
Understand the roles and responsibilities of the paraprofessional, teacher, and administrator as partners of an educational team. Strategies to work effectively as a member of the instructional team
Explore various aspects of collaboration and communication including relationship building and effective problem solving.
Learn strategies for managing and supporting students in small and large groups and one-to-one learning situations. Emphasis on proactive environmental and instructional supports and behavioral record keeping.
Ethics and Legal Issues
Understand current information on the special education laws and regulations and school-based practices. Review Individualized Education Plan components and procedures.
Practice research-based strategies to help students achieve. Collaboration and communication skills will enable the paraprofessional to be an effective, contributing member of the instructional team.
Gain knowledge about the many types of disabilities and learn behavioral and instructional supports for working with special needs students. Common terms and acronyms of the special education process are also identified.
Teaching Students with Autism
Learn and apply strategies that enhance social, behavioral, and communication skills in students with autism. Social stories and other techniques are provided.
Creating Independent Learners
Improve student independence by learning how to assess a student’s abilities, analyze tasks, and fade instruction to promote student independence.
Advanced Instructional Strategies
Practice research-based strategies to provide accommodations and modifications to help students achieve independence in reading, writing, and studying. Learn and apply critical instructional behaviors at the start, during, and after a lesson
Assistive Technology to Support Student Learning
Gain an understanding of assistive technology and how to utilize a variety of assistive technology tools used to promote student independence and learning in the school setting. Learn about the continuum of low to high-tech assistive technology and its applications.
Teaching English Language Learners
Understand the roles, responsibilities, and skills required of the paraprofessional who works with students who are English Language Learners? Become aware of and practice skills to teach social language and academic language through speaking/listening/reading and writing.
Advanced Behavioral Strategies
Learn and practice behavior strategies for effectively working with challenging student behavior. Utilize a collaborative approach and Response to Intervention model to decrease development of new behavior problems, prevent worsening of existing problems, eliminate triggers through redesign learning/teaching environment, and teach, monitor, & acknowledge pro-social behavior.
Understand the roles, responsibilities, and skills required of the paraprofessional who is working with students in a vocational setting.
Supporting Literacy Instruction
Explore commonly used techniques and strategies that support reading development in students. Specific techniques that are commonly used in effective reading instruction are highlighted.
Health and Wellness for the Effective Paraprofessional
Explore the physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental aspects. Create a wellness “toolbox” for paraprofessionals and students. Take action and become a model for students by creating your own personal wellness plan.
Supporting Math Instruction
Support students as they become mathematicians by understanding how they learn math. Explore specific math pedagogy including fact fluency and problem-solving strategies.
Effective Paraprofessional Supervision
Learn how to effectively supervise, support, and direct the paraprofessional in the classroom and gain strategies on how to deal with difficult paraprofessional situations.
Scientific Research Based Intervention and the Role of the Paraprofessional
Learn what SRBI is and how paraprofessionals can support instruction in each of the three SRBI tiers.
Supporting Secondary Literacy Instruction
Learn the characteristics of students with reading problems and the strategies to help promote student learning at the secondary level. Identify ways to extend student learning and techniques that help to promote comprehension.
School Climate: Creating Environments That Are Safe for All
Paraprofessionals will learn about school climate and how to teach children to avoid bully behaviors. Paraprofessionals will also learn their responsibility in reporting bully behaviors, about the school climate committee and about bullying legislation, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying laws.