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School of Education

Para to Teacher Program

A flexible route to a master's in special education.

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Tara Brinkoetter

Director of Enrollment for Online & Graduate Studies & Student Services

Baker Online

Your Alternative Path to a Master’s in Special Education


Are you a paraeducator ready to take the next step in your career?

If you hold a bachelor’s degree and have one year of experience as a paraeducator in special education, our para to teacher program offers a flexible route to a Master of Science in Special Education—and a quicker path to your own classroom. You can earn your education degree online.

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Through this two-year program, we’ve streamlined the process for applying for the limited apprentice license. This license gives you the possibility of employment as a special education teacher—earning a teacher’s salary—while you finish our program. We partner with your school district to help support you in this process. Online education degree courses are offered in our accelerated seven-week format.

Contact Jacob Hemenway for information on how to enroll: jacob.hemenway@bakerU.edu
Phone: 913.344.6078 | Text: 913.357.8387


Para to Teacher Program Highlights

Our para to teacher program, which leads to an online master’s in special education program, offers these benefits:

  • Exceptional preparation. Our para to teacher program will provide you with the tools and confidence to empower students with high-incidence disabilities to thrive.
  • Coursework that counts. Courses connect theories and research with practical strategies in instructional methods, assessment, educating students with social and behavioral needs, communication and collaboration within the school setting, and negotiation and conflict resolutions in special education. Two field practicums will provide you with all the tools and experience needed to enter the field.
  • A path to full licensure. Graduates of the program will be prepared for a Kansas high-incidence special education K–12 teaching license.

Para to Teacher Program Details

With our para to teacher program, you’ll embark on a transformative journey to become a highly sought-after licensed high-incidence special education teacher:

  • To apply to this online teaching master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree (in any field) and one year of full-time experience as a paraeducator in special education.
  • You’ll need a form signed by your district’s superintendent acknowledging that you will continue to work—either as a paraprofessional or provisionally certified teacher—in that district with an assigned mentor.
  • After completing the first two courses in the para to teacher program, you may apply for a limited apprentice license for high-incidence special education and start teaching—and earning a teacher’s salary—before completing the full program.
  • With our 36-hour para to teacher program, you can complete your education degree online in about two years, preparing you for a Kansas K–12 high-incidence special education teaching license.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Special Education?

The U.S. Department of Education has recognized Baker University graduates as the most likely candidates in Kansas to secure jobs in the field. Not only that, but our alumni also enjoy the highest average salaries among graduates from Kansas universities.

The experience and knowledge gained in our para to teacher program—which leads to a Master of Science in Special Education—opens doors to exciting career opportunities as a K–12 special educator.

Financial Aid for the Para to Teacher Program

See how affordable your para to teacher program can be and discover the value of Baker’s highly ranked online education degrees. In fact, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (2022), Baker University boasts the highest return on investment among private universities in Kansas.

Financial Aid Options

Tuition & Fees

Adult learner with family.

Related Programs at Baker University

This program is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree who have been working as a paraprofessional in special education for a year. If you are looking for other options, please consider these:

If you are interested in the program but don’t have a bachelor’s yet, here are online programs you might consider: