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Instructional Assistant

Program Requirements: 

If you love working with school-aged children and feel a career in education is calling you, the Instructional Assistant associate degree program at Gateway Technical College is right for you. The two-year program is offered online. The typical instructional assistant or paraprofessional will work under the supervision of a licensed teacher, performing a variety of tasks in the classroom including monitoring student’s activities, tutoring, correcting papers, facilitating small groups and supervising various classroom and school events. Gateway’s Instructional Assistant degree program is convenient, affordable and flexible. The online classes make it easy to perform coursework whenever it is convenient. Students will benefit from instructors who currently work as regular or special education teachers. Students will gain practicum experience and training at area public schools. By graduation, students will have a unique portfolio, outlining professional history and academic growth. Gateway’s Instructional Assistant program meets Title I requirements and fulfills the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act) for paraprofessionals.

What does an instructional assistant do?

Graduates of the Instructional Assistant program at Gateway are qualified for jobs working with students in kindergarten through high school, though the primary focus is to prepare graduates to work at the elementary and middle school levels. Teaching assistants usually work under the supervision of a licensed teacher, performing a wide variety of classroom duties including; assisting with basic homework assignments, correcting papers, tutoring, clerical tasks, monitoring student activities and creating classroom displays.

Additionally, a Gateway degree will equip graduates with helpful techniques to perform the above duties. Graduates will be prepared to implement instructional strategies to support student learning, assist students in maintaining appropriate behaviors, carry out school and classroom procedures, utilize a variety of instructional media and technology, and provide for the health and safety needs of students.

Learning by doing

Throughout coursework, Gateway students will have the opportunity to work hands-on with students of all ages to complete required activities and assignments. The program provides students with opportunities to apply what they have learned by completing projects mimicking activities in the classroom. By graduation time, students will have a unique portfolio, outlining professional history and academic growth.

During the third and fourth semesters of the program, students will gain practicum experience at area public schools. During practicum work, students will have the opportunity to learn through observation and by completing one-on-one activities in an educational setting. Depending upon practicum placements, Instructional Assistant students could be using educational technology such as iPads, interactive whiteboards, and laptops.

Gateway's Instructional Assistant program is offered fully online. Complete the Smarter Measure Assessment to assess your strengths and weaknesses related to online learning before starting the program.

Job and salary outlook

The job outlook and income potential for instructional assistants looks positive, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for entry-level paraprofessionals was $23,220 annually in 2010. The position is expected to grow by 15 percent from 2010 - 2020.


Additional Requirements

After Acceptance

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact the Admissions Office at​

Program Administration

Terry Simmons, Dean