Online Course for Paraprofessionals:
Autism Spectrum Disorder for Paraprofessionals: Providing Effective Instruction and Supports

Upcoming offerings:

Dates   Registration
March 6 - 31, 2017

Course Information Contact:

Technical Support:  Andy Grizzard, (804) 827-1434 or

In response to the need for comprehensive training for individuals working with students with ASD in Virginia as well as House Bill 325 and the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) Training Standards for Paraprofessionals Assigned to Work with a Teacher Who Has Primary Oversight of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDF) , VCU-ACE has developed online training opportunities for paraprofessionals. The training is provided through the use of online technology. Our online training activities offer high-quality, intensive training on aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To participate, you need a computer with internet access (preferably high-speed), Adobe Flash Player software within your browser, and a sound card with speakers in order to listen to the lectures (full text transcripts are provided for all lectures and multimedia).



Video transcript:   Plain text

Although training is an important element in learning and developing successful skills and strategies for working with individuals with ASD, it is imperative that training be followed by support, coaching, and mentoring to ensure successful implementation of skills and proficiencies. Local educational agencies are strongly encouraged to follow ACE training activities with support to assist the paraprofessional with implementation in the school setting.

Paraprofessionals have provided very positive feedback about the course. Here are just some of their comments:

  • "This was so complete. I did not even feel like I was learning. I'm just so glad to have had the opportunity to take this course. It was wonderful!"
  • "I enjoyed the course. The information will be invaluable with my interactions with my students."
  • "I did enjoy this course. I learned a lot of new information and plan to implement a few of the strategies with the help of my supervisory teacher!"
  • "I really enjoyed taking this course, it was very helpful and I enjoyed sharing this with my leading teacher. We shared many great discussions about the materials in this course. Thanks again for the opportunity to take this course."

To see more about what paraprofessionals who have taken the course think about it, please see the course feedback page.

Course Overview


Course Requirements


Learning Objectives

Certificate of Completion from Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence

Participants can earn a Certificate of Completion if they have reviewed all content, have scored a minimum of 80% on each of the five quizzes, and answered the required discussion board questions. Certificates will be made available to participants who successfully complete the course after the completion of their section.

Many school divisions use the VCU-ACE Paraprofessional online course to meet the requirements of HB 325, which requires training for paraprofessionals. You may be asked to provide a copy of your certificate to the school division where you are employed.

In addition, a school division may ask VCU-ACE for the names and/or certificates of participants who have registered for or completed the course. To assist school divisions in accurate record keeping, VCU-ACE will provide the names and/or certificates of participants who registered and/or completed the course to their school divisions if requested.

If you, as the participant, do not wish to have your name or certificate information shared with a school division, you may opt out in writing by contacting Dr. Selena Layden at

Accessing the Course

To participate, you need a computer with (preferably high-speed) internet access, Adobe Flash Player software within your browser, and a sound card with speakers in order to listen to the lectures (full text transcripts are provided for all lectures and multimedia).

Participants will be able to access course materials on VCU's "Blackboard" website. Each participant is provided the course URL, a unique username, and a password on the first day of class for the section that they have registered. Please note that each participant must have his or her own email address that is not shared with other individuals.