Document Type

Special Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Professional Studies


Special Education

First Advisor

Jane M. Leatherman

Committee Members

Jane M. Leatherman, Jeong-il Cho, Rama Cousik

Date of Award



This Special Project focuses on professional learning paraprofessionals working in Special Education receive as well as need to maximize knowledge and understanding regarding students' individualized needs. Professional learning is a growing trend in the field of special education, however, paraprofessionals working in Special Education received limited professional learning. A needs assessment survey was given to current paraprofessionals and teachers working in Special Education to analyze what professional learning has previously been offered as well as possible future topics. The findings from the literature review and the needs assessment survey supported the needs for a handbook to be created. The handbook will better facilitate professional learning for paraprofessionals working in Special Education and assist in better understanding students' individualized needs.


paraprofessionals, special education, professional learning, needs assessment survey


Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Special Education and Teaching