Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Charles Reavis

Committee Member 2

Abebayehu Tekleselassie

Abstract

As more and more paraprofessionals are hired in order to maintain or achieve the required educational benchmarks, the need for researchers to explore the field of paraprofessionals has greatly increased. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates have brought about increased requirements and certification for all paraprofessionals. Although these mandates have undergone extensive study, very little research has been conducted on how paraprofessionals feel this legislation has impacted them. The use of paraprofessionals in classrooms has grown substantially in recent years. Paraprofessionals assume a variety of roles, both in classrooms and in schools, as well as in special education and regular education. The procedures for this study included the use of a survey that was sent through interoffice mail to all certified paraprofessionals in the school system. Surveys were collected and analyzed using SPSS to create percentage and frequency tables, and chi-square tests were performed to discover if there was significance between the proportions of responses. This information thus supports the conclusion that the requirements of NCLB mandates have not had any major impacts on the roles of paraprofessionals in the selected school system. Similarly, paraprofessionals have not seen changes in their duties and 2 responsibilities, training, professional development, supervision/evaluation, support, and/or respect from the education community since these laws were enacted. Thus the answer to our overarching question is that the NCLB requirements did not impact the prevailing role of the paraprofessional. This research points to a lack of significant change in the role of the paraprofessionals studied as a result of NCLB.

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