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Department of Teacher Education
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 244
Phone: 785-628-4204
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Para Pathway

Teacher-kids-classroomIn addition to our traditional program, we offer a pathway to licensure specifically for working para-professionals in Elementary Education. Students pursuing the Para Pathway complete an immersive hands-on educational experience while maintaining their employment with their local school district. Our Para Pathway combines the very best of traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs. Students work with mentor teachers, receive intensive coaching, collaborate with other para professionals in the field and gradually assume more teaching responsibility over time. By the end of the experience, students possess both a strong foundation of pedagogy and content knowledge along with the ability to maintain control of a classroom, manage behaviors and achieve positive impact on student learning.

Students are required to complete the Elementary Education Major (Para Pathway) Program as well as the General Education Program or Transfer & Articulation Agreement in order to earn the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.


Eligibility Requirements
Benefits of the Program
Steps for Getting Started


Eligibility Requirements

  • Declared major of Elementary Education K-6
  • Secured job placement as a para-professional in a K-6 classroom setting

Benefits of the Program

For Students:

  • Opportunity to earn credit for your classroom experience by applying for the Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), and thus accelerating degree completion time.
  • Opportunity to complete field requirements as a para professional in an approved elementary classroom setting.
  • Opportunity to participant in an innovative two-semester student teaching experience while maintaining employment. Experience an immersive curriculum during these two semesters tailored specifically to para professionals.


For Districts:

  • Consistent source of well trained and motivated future teachers, already immersed in school culture.
  • Better long term retention of new teachers.
  • Teacher preparation program tailored to meet the unique needs of districts.
  • Opportunity to identify and train future teachers who are already committed to the students, school, and community.

Steps for Getting Started

  1. Apply for Admission to FHSU
  2. Send all official transcripts to FHSU
  3. Apply for Federal Financial Aid and scholarships
  4. Indicate interest in the Para Pathway on New Student Information Form provided by the Department of Teacher Education
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