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Paraprofessional certification brings almost-instant job

When people think of Whitewater Adult Education, they usually think of going back to school to earn their GED (now known as the HSE, or High School Equivalency diploma). While WAE most definitely can help adult learners to earn their HSE, the program can help people earn a variety of certifications as well.

Ashlyn Pope, a 2016 graduate of Richmond High School, came to Whitewater Adult Education this summer to realize her dream of becoming a teacher’s aide. Pope knew she wanted to try to become a paraprofessional but didn’t know how to go about it. Her sister saw an advertisement on Facebook about WAE’s paraprofessional course and sent Pope the link. She called Amy Engle, WAE coordinator, to enroll in the July class.

The two-week class prepares adult learners to take the paraprofessional exam. Once passed, this certification qualifies people to be a teacher’s aide in elementary, middle, or high schools. Part of the course also deals with learning about the job skills needed to be a successful paraprofessional and helping students develop their resumes on the Indiana Career Explorer website.

Pope took the paraprofessional test the day before Fayette County students started their first day of school and passed it with flying colors. With the course instructor’s assistance, she applied online on the Fayette County School Corporation website, for a few local teacher’s aides positions. She was soon contacted and scheduled for an interview with a staff member at Maplewood Elementary School. A week later Pope was notified that she got the job. She is now a Head Start nutrition/bus assistant at Maplewood.

Even though Pope is a very busy mother of a 9-month-old girl, she is ready to take on this challenge. She commented, “Don’t let life get in the way of making a life for yourself.”

Whitewater Adult Education’s paraprofessional course is offered monthly throughout the year. WAE also offers other courses in which certifications may be earned. They are welding, certified production technician, customer service and sales, CDL-A, and CNA.

Plans are in the works to add more certification classes in the near future. For more information about any of these classes, contact Engle at 765-825-9394 extension 6331.

Information provided by Whitewater Adult Education.