Certification Resources

Certification Resources: Teachers/Paras

Please Note: The certificated professional is responsible for being knowledgeable about current and revised certification regulations and the status of their certificate. Certification requirements are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the district certificated professional to obtain and maintain valid Washington certification as a condition of employment with the Sultan School District.

Paraeducator Certification

The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers statewide standards-based training for all paraeducators, beginning with the 28-hour Fundamental Course of Study (FCS). The Fundamental Course of Study is the first step that paraeducators need to complete as they work towards certification. 

What do I need to become certified?

  • Complete the 28 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study.
  • Following the completion of the FCS, a paraeducator has three years to complete an additional 70 hours of training to earn the General Paraeducator Certificate.
  • A paraeducator may choose to earn a Subject Matter Certificate by completing 20 hours of training. There are two Subject Matter Certificates: English Language Learner and Special Education. These certificates expire after five years (may be renewed), and are not prerequisites for employment. A paraeducator may use their Subject Matter Certificate towards meeting the requirements of the general certificate.
  • Finally, a paraeducator may earn the Advanced Paraeducator Certificate once they complete the general certificate and an additional 75 hours of advanced professional development. The advanced certificate expires after five years (may be renewed) and it is not a prerequisite for employment.

*Training is required only if funded by the Legislature. If funded, school districts are responsible for ensuring all instructional paraeducators meet the requirements of the FCS and General Paraeducator Certificate (up to the funded amount).


See the Paraeducator training infographic from PESB by clicking HERE.

Q & A FAQs

  • Why do I need to complete the Fundamental Course of Study?  The 28 hour Fundamental Course of Study is the first requirement towards meeting the goal of obtaining the General Paraeducator Certificate.  The course covers standards of practice in the work that paraeducators do in the classroom.  The goal is to improve instructional practice and increase the quality of student learning.
  • How do I receive clock hours for completing the Fundamental Course of Study?  Following the completion of the 12 FCS modules (28 clock hours), Human Resources will send you the instructions for completing the OSPI clock hour form.  Complete the form and return a copy to Human Resources and keep a copy for your own records.  Clock hours are entered into Skyward for tracking by Human Resources.  
  • I would like to work on the 70 clock hours that I need to receive my General Paraeducator Certificate.  Can I take any classes that I would like to take?  The provider for the professional development that you select must be an APPROVED CLOCK HOUR PROVIDER for OSPI.   Sultan School District, all Educational Service Districts, accredited colleges and universities are some of the resources you may use for clock hours.  If you select another provider, make sure they are approved by OSPI to issue clock hours.  
  • Where do I get the clock hour form for the clock hours that I have earned towards my paraeducator certificate?  The clock hour provider will give you the clock hour form or a transcript that will have the following information on the form:  the provider's name, location of the class, dates of the class, class identification number and the number of clock hours available.  It must include the signature of the provider on the form.  All classes offered through the Sultan School District will have forms available through pdEnroller.  Contact Teaching and Learning for help with your pdEnroller account.
  • Why do I need a copy of the forms if Human Resources keeps track of my professional development?  Following completion of the Fundamental Course of Study, all paraeducators will create an account in EDS/E-Certification.  All clock hour forms will need to be logged and uploaded into E-Certification to track the hours earned towards the various types of certificates.