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Special Education Degree - Paraprofessional Pathways

DID YOU KNOW? Fontbonne University produces more K-12 cross categorical special education teachers than any other college or university in the state of Missouri?

“Earn While You Learn.”

The online Paraprofessional PathwaysSM program offers teacher certification coursework for the adult learner who is currently working in a school setting and wishes to gain certification as a special education teacher, as well as complete a bachelor’s degree. Students will earn their Bachelor of Science in Special Education, along with certification in K-12 mild/moderate cross-categorical.

If you are employed as a paraprofessional, teacher assistant, or other school employee working with children, this program could be your pathway to a career as a special education teacher.

Due to the unique structure of the Paraprofessional PathwaysSM program, you will be able to continue working while you complete your degree and certification. Your classmates will be “job-alike” peers who are also making a difference in the lives of children with special educational needs. Our faculty members are educational practitioners with significant school-based experience.  Their expertise will allow you to acquire the skills and knowledge you need in an interactive and supportive learning environment.

Paraprofessional PathwaysSM Program Formats

Paraprofessional PathwaysSM coursework is available in an online format.  

  • The online format offers two 16-week online courses in the fall and spring, along with two 10-week online courses in the summer. The two clinical/practicum experiences must be completed on-the-job.

The clinical experiences are a part of the degree and certification requirements. These are completed on-the-job, so students may continue to work throughout the entire program. All clinical experiences include a component of university supervision.

Students usually complete the program in nine semesters or three calendar years, but the actual length of time required is based on your transfer credits and the pace at which you complete requirements. It is possible to accelerate your program by taking additional courses each semester. We will work with you to chart an educational path consistent with your personal needs.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduates must have approximately 60 credit hours that can be accepted in transfer from a recognized two-year or four-year institution. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above is desired for entry.

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid will work with the University’s financial aid office after being officially admitted to the program. The first step is to complete the FAFSA form at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Fontbonne University's school code is 002464. You must be registered for a minimum of six credit hours per semester to receive financial aid. For more information, contact financial aid at (314) 719-3576.

Educator’s Tuition Discount

Students enrolled in the PathwaysSM Program may receive a 22% discount on undergraduate tuition, if employed at least half-time.

Find out More
Please contact Alexandra Gwydir at (314) 719-4358, fax (314) 719-8002 or pathways@fontbonne.edu.

At this time, the Special Education - Paraprofessional PathwaysSM program is only available to residents of certain areas within Missouri and Illinois.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education      NCATE accredited institution

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has designated Paraprofessional PathwaysSM as an approved Innovative Program.  All education programs at Fontbonne University are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 466-7496.