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ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : IA-05-013

Date Created : 07/21/2004


Co-op Directors
other: All Principals
LEA Supervisors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Internal Administration - Dr. Bobbie Davis
Special Ed Programs: Arkansas Paraprofessional Stipend Program

Regulatory Authority:
Public Law 105-17

Contact Person:
Cindy O'Riley

Phone Number:


In September 2003, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education, was awarded a federal State Improvement Grant (SIG). The focus of Goal Three of the SIG is to support efforts to recruit and retain qualified, fully licensed special education teachers to work in Arkansas’ public schools. One objective for this goal is to recruit paraprofessionals working in Arkansas school districts interested in earning an associate’s degree and, hopefully, advancing to a teaching license in special education.

SAU-Tech in Camden has developed an online program of study for paraprofessionals. At the present time, the following courses are available:

ED 1333 -- The Role of the Paraprofessional (prerequisite to all courses in the Paraprofessional Track)

ED 1223 -- The Role of the Paraprofessional in the Elementary Classroom

ED 1233 -- The Role of the Paraprofessional in the Secondary Classroom

The previously developed ADE Paraprofessional Training Modules were used as the basis for these courses. Each course equals three credit hours. The courses are part of an Associate of Arts Degree-Inclusive Paraprofessional Track that is available totally online.

To assist in defraying the cost of tuition and books, the ADE will pay up to $600 per semester for 50 paraprofessionals currently employed in an Arkansas school district and/or educational cooperative to take necessary coursework. The ADE, through an agreement with SAU Tech, will pay tuition for the above courses for a maximum of 50 paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals that have already been a part of this program have priority for continuation in this program. Students must satisfactorily complete each course.

Interested paraprofessionals are to complete the attached Application and submit it to Susie Branon, 1401 W. Capitol, Suite 450, Little Rock, AR 72201 no later than August 16, 2004.

Priority will be given to eligible individuals currently employed by school districts and/or educational cooperatives that agree to work in an Arkansas school district at the completion of coursework for a period of time not less than the same length of time tuition was paid through this program.

The next semester at SAU Tech begins August 25, 2004 with registration for courses scheduled for July 26 – August 22, 2004. Individuals will be responsible for registering for each course to be taken and completing all necessary SAU Tech enrollment procedures.

In order to take coursework, persons must complete an application at SAU-Tech at the following website: For assistance with the SAU Tech registration, applicants can contact Lisa Oden, Instructor, or their local special education supervisor. Registration must be completed at SAU-Tech no later than August 22, 2004.


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