Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support
for Exceptional Student Educators

If you answered yes to all three questions above, the Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program can help make your dream of teaching become a reality. The Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program provides financial assistance for paraprofessionals who are currently working in Florida’s public schools to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education, deaf education, or visual disabilities. The program will provide up to $700 per course for tuition support through annual funding from the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services. Upon completion of the program, participants agree to fulfill a service obligation and teach students with disabilities in a Florida public school.

Prior to requesting tuition support, an applicant must enroll in a college or university of his or her choice. The applicant should follow the admission policy and course registration procedures for that institution. Upon successful completion of that institution’s registration process, an applicant may apply for the tuition support program. For questions regarding the Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program, contact Dr. Keri Fogle by email at kerifogle@uwf.edu or by phone at 850-474-3460.

Qualifications

To be accepted into the Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program applicants must meet all the following criteria:

  • be currently employed as a paraprofessional assisting students with disabilities in a Florida public or charter school
  • earned at least an Associate of Arts degree with an overall 2.5 GPA
  • passed all portions of the General Knowledge Test prior to applying
  • be admitted to a special education teacher preparation program (includes deaf education and visual disabilities) at one of the state approved colleges or universities

Note: This program is designed for those earning an initial bachelor’s degree and is not applicable to those seeking a master’s degree.

Florida Colleges and Universities Offering Special Education Degrees

Select an area on the Florida map to access links to colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s programs in special education.

Testimonials

The Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program removed the financial barrier that might otherwise have prevented me from pursuing my dream of becoming an ESE teacher.
Going to college as an adult can be a financial and time-consuming burden, but the Para-to-Teacher Program helps alleviate that.
The support I have received from this program has allowed me to continue my education without having to worry about finances. I am so grateful!”

Paraprofessional Resources

UWF FTCE Test Prep Resources

The University of West Florida offers a test prep course for those needing to take the General Knowledge Test. Email Russell Gremillion at rgremillion@uwf.edu to register for the course or access the UWF link for free test prep resources.

FDOE GKT Resources

Further resources to help you prepare for the General Knowledge Test and other certification exams are available through Pearson. Test prep strategies, tutorials, and sample questions can be accessed through the teacher certification examination website.

Paraprofessionals Supporting Students with Disabilities Course

This non-credit course provides paraprofessionals with information related to their roles and responsibilities, special education and the law, understanding of disabilities served under IDEA, Florida models of support in special education, the IEP process, student and behavioral challenges, and how to support the instructional process. You can register for free on the BEESS Portal site, under Independent Study courses.

State and National Resources

This site was developed through funding provided by the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under IDEA, Part B.