With increased accountability due to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), the provision of services to children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment is necessary to ensuring an inclusive, free appropriate public education. Paraprofessionals are increasingly utilized as service providers for children with disabilities in the schools. In fact, there are over a million paraprofessionals jobs nationally according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) and the upward trend is steadily rising. Yet, the role of the paraprofessional is not well defined, nor agreed upon by school personnel. The Paraprofessional Survey of Expectations Tool (P-SET) was developed to investigate the job expectations for paraprofessionals within central Iowa, according to principals, special education teachers, and paraprofessionals themselves. Results of the survey suggest relative agreement overall between respondents (principals, special education teachers, and paraprofessionals) for job expectations; however, results confirm that ambiguity exists in regards to supervision and job descriptions for paraprofessionals. The need for professional development and training opportunities is discussed.


Daniel Houlihan

First Committee Member

Andrea Lassiter

Second Committee Member

Kathy Bertsch

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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