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Paraprofessional Paths to Certification at Point Park University provide paraprofessionals the opportunity to complete fully online bachelor's and master's degrees while remaining employed. The goal of offering these pathways is to increase the diversity and quality of the teacher workforce by developing a sustainable pipeline of paraprofessionals prepared to meet the needs of students.

If you need to complete a bachelor's degree:

  • Our B.A. in Instructional Studies has been designed to allow online degree completion. With your University advisor's approval, students may complete 12 credits of graduate work that can be used toward the bachelor's degree completion as well as the beginning of an M.Ed. program leading to PA teacher certification.
  • Our Residency Program, powered by BloomBoard, provides on-the-job-based bachelor's degrees for pre-service teacher candidates working as paraprofessionals or support staff in schools. The Residency Program is currently only being offered in partnership with school districts, educational service centers, or other educational organizations. Prospective students must have been pre-selected by their employer and received an Invitation to Apply in order to apply to Point Park University’s Residency Program. For more details, contact Ashlee Geesaman, residency program coordinator, at

If you have earned a bachelor's degree:

The School of Education has several paths to PA Teacher Certification:

Key Benefits

As an institution of higher education, Point Park University recognizes its responsibility to create and maintain an environment that affirms the diversity of people and ideas.

Among the many advantages and benefits we offer to students in our Paraprofessional Paths programs include:

  • Cohort model with eight-week asynchronous courses
  • Small class sizes with personalized attention from faculty 
  • Highly-qualified faculty who possess many years of experience working in K-12 schools and are trained in research-based online teaching best practices
  • 98% Point Park graduate education student satisfaction rate 
  • Teacher preparation coursework that emphasizes culturally responsive practices at all times and high expectations for all students

Student Support Services

At Point Park University, we embrace, support and actively pursue a policy of inclusiveness that recognizes, values and reflects the diversity of the community we serve and the world in which we live.

Our key student support services include:

  • Library with individualized research consultations, as well as extensive print resources and online databases 
  • Accessibility Services
  • Financial aid services
  • Personalized advising
  • Opportunities to attend Pittsburgh sporting events, museums and theater productions at free or reduced rates
Point Park: A Pioneer in Culturally Responsive Curriculum
Before the Pennsylvania Department of Education mandated culturally responsive pedagogy into teacher certification requirements, Point Park University had already incorporated it into its curriculum.