Date of Award



© 2019 Catherine D. Stieg

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Brandi Shatto

Third Advisor

Christopher Rohde


Researchers have identified educator concerns about inadequate paraprofessional training and supervision in PK-12 schools. Studies also show special educators are not adequately prepared to train and supervise the paraprofessionals. Additionally, the voices of special educators and paraprofessionals are narrowly represented in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to document the most effective methods of training and supervision, as perceived by special educators and paraprofessionals in the case study school district. This qualitative case study included two surveys which incorporated the Paraeducator Common Core Guidelines (PCCG) (CEC, 2015) and the concepts of adult learning by Drago-Severson (2015). The researcher framed the questions for the two interview protocols using the appreciative inquiry philosophy (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). The findings suggested that special educators and paraprofessionals perceived the training of paraprofessionals to be inadequate for their positions in special services. Participants indicated a desire for a professional development system specifically designed for paraprofessionals in special services including pre-service trainings for all new positions and more opportunities to attend a variety of on-going trainings that relate to paraprofessionals’ work in special services or their individual interests. Additionally, most respondents perceived the supervision of paraprofessionals to be adequate, although they desired improvements to the supervisory methods including scheduled and pre-designed meetings with supervising special educators and more interaction with administrative staff who provide evaluations. This study would be of interest to those responsible for paraprofessional training and supervision in special services.


Ed.D. Dissertation

Catherine’s presentation on this topic for the UNE CGPS Virtual Research Symposium 2019 can be found here: