Step 3—General Certificate

Exemptions & Requirements

• If you hold a valid education certificate (Teacher, CTE, First People's Language/Culture, Educational Staff Associate (ESA) or Administrator), you do NOT need to complete the General Certificate program--you are considered to have met the requirement for 70 continuing education credit hours. Limited certificates are not eligible for this exemption.

• All other paraeducators are required to complete the General Certificate.

What is the General Certificate?

• The General Certificate is an additional 70 clock hours of training beyond the FCS (the 28 hours completed for the FCS do NOT count towards the 70). The 70 hours must be completed within 5 years after completing the FCS (14 clock hours per year), but you may take classes that qualify while doing the FCS.

What counts for the 70 clock hours?

• Any clock hours or credits earned (100 level or above) after July 1, 2019 can count towards the General Certificate.
  o 1 Quarter College Credit= 10 Clock hours
  o 1 Semester College Credit= 15 Clock hours

How can I complete the 70 clock hours?

• Paraeducators may complete the training modules during their contracted/paid time on early release Fridays or conference days as scheduled on the district calendar. Additional pay is available (up to 14 hours) if you are unable to complete the training during your regular work day. Please work with your supervisor regarding your schedule.

• You can complete clock hours or credits for the General Certificate while you are completing the FCS. However, you may not apply for the General Certificate until you have completed the FCS.

Options for clock hours

• The following is a list of options, but any training that will assist the instructional practice of a paraeducator, and OFFERS CLOCK HOURS or COLLEGE CREDIT, can count.

  o Preferred: Participate in training that is offered by the Arlington School District or at your building. NOTE: any credits or clock hours completed after July 1, 2019 may count for the General Certificate! You must register for these classes in the ProDev system. Check with your building principal for training options at your building.

  o Complete online training for Special Education or ELL through the Paraeducator Standards Board. Scroll down to the appropriate location on the website. These trainings are free. Please note that while these courses can count for the General Certificate they also count for the Subject matter certificates (the District does NOT reimburse for the subject matter certificate fees).

  o Complete other training through college courses or other clock hour provider that relates to improving the instructional practice of a paraeducator.

• Paraeducators are responsible for registering for the courses or training you are using to satisfy the 70 hours and meeting all attendance and evaluation requirements.

Applying for the General Certificate

• You need to keep the clock hour records and record your courses in e-Cert. Here is an instruction manual for e-cert. When you have completed the 70 hours, you need to apply for the General Certificate through e-Cert.  

• To apply, you will need to have your FCS clock hour form as well as documentation for the other clock hours or credits you are using for the General Certificate. These will need to be uploaded in the e-Cert system. If you earned the hours through the school district, you can print off a “transcript” in the ProDev system. Here’s a screenshot of where you will upload these documents:


• The District will reimburse you the $74 fee for the General Certificate. You need to submit the Reimbursement Form and a copy of your receipt. PLEASE NOTE THE DISTRICT WILL NOT REIMBURSE FOR THE SUBJECT MATTER CERTIFICATES AS THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED.