AS programs in interdisciplinary studies can train students to become teacher's aides if they choose relevant coursework. The curricula usually offer students a strong foundation in a broad range of subjects and may include internships that involve experiential learning in real classrooms.
However, other associate's degree programs, such as education studies, early childhood education and elementary education, can prepare students as well. Usually only a high school diploma is required to enroll in these programs.
Associate's Degree for Educational Paraprofessionals
Interdisciplinary studies associate's programs require students to take several classes in math, sciences, humanities, literature and social studies. From there, students can choose courses specific to teaching children of a certain grade level or age. Popular courses may include:
- Childhood literacy
- Growth and development
- Observation and evaluation
- Teaching and diversity
- Tutoring strategies
Salary and Outlook Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2015, teacher's assistants earned a median annual salary of $24,900. According to BLS projections, employment opportunities for these paraprofessionals should increase by 6% from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as average. Some factors that keep teacher's aides in demand include higher overall enrollments leading to larger classroom sizes, as well as a growing number of special education students.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals can study to become licensed teachers through bachelor's or master's programs. Degrees are offered according to grade level: elementary education, secondary education or early childhood education. Those interested in teaching at middle or high schools can major in the subject they want to teach and complete a separate teacher-training program. Student-teaching internships are typically required. According to the BLS, some states require teachers to earn master's degrees within a certain amount of time after they begin teaching.
Despite the fact that there is no single associate's degree program aimed at educational paraprofessionals, there are multiple options, including interdisciplinary studies programs, that provide the broad educational background and teaching-focused training that students need in order to pursue this career.