ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : LS-06-053

Date Created : 11/18/2005


Co-op Directors
other: All Principals
LEA Supervisors
EC Coordinators

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   Learning Services - Dr. Diana Julian, Assistant Commissioner
Special Ed Programs: Paraprofessional Stipend Awards

Regulatory Authority:
20 U.S.C. §1400-1487

Contact Person:
Ms. Susan Branon

Phone Number:


In September 2003, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education, was awarded a federal State Improvement Grant (SIG). The focus of the SIG’s Goal Three is to support efforts to recruit and retain qualified, fully licensed special education personnel 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 with interest in advancement toward earning a special education teaching license.

SAU-Tech in Camden has developed a program of study for paraprofessionals interested in pursuing an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT). The following AAT courses are available online in the spring:

ED 1023 Educational Technologies
ED 2003 Intro to Education & ED 2001 Field Experience (must be taken together)
ED 1303 Child Development
ED 2343 Diverse Populations

To assist 25 paraprofessionals in the cost of tuition and books at the SAU Tech AAT program, the ADE will pay up to $600 per semester, per paraprofessional, 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 25 paraprofessionals that are awarded this stipend.

Paraprofessionals interested in pursuing this program are to complete the attached application and submit it to Susie Branon, 1401 W. Capitol, Suite 450, Little Rock, AR 72201 no later than December 2, 2005.

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. In addition, paraprofessionals that are registered in the ADE paraprofessional registry and have completed at least the Core Training Module will have priority. Students must satisfactorily complete each course.

Classes for SAU Tech spring semester begin January 16, 2006. Individuals will be responsible for registering for each course to be taken and completing all necessary SAU Tech enrollment procedures. Awardees must begin courses in January for the Spring Semester.

In order to take coursework, new students 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 the local special education supervisor. Registration must be completed at SAU-Tech no later than January 11, 2006.


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