professional learning

Professional Learning

Professional learning opportunities are available to enhance educator skills and practices to improve student learning. These include licensure renewal and graduate credit courses, paraeducator certification; substitute authorization training, and informational classes held face-to-face, virtually, and in a blended environment.


AEA Learning Online (Moodle)

AEA Learning Online offers courses featuring license renewal credit or graduate credit from Drake University, Morningside College, or Viterbo University. The site also has online self-paced trainings that help educators and schools meet mandates.

To search or register for an online course, visit the AEA PD Online "Moodle" course catalog.

If you have questions or need assistance with the site, please contact AEA PD Online at 1-800-255-0405 ext. 14668.

College Partnerships

Great Prairie AEA partners with the following post-secondary institutions to offer graduate credit for some of our Professional Development courses.

Drake University

You can continue your professional development and receive a Drake education regardless of your location through Drake’s Extension Education programs. All Extension Education courses are graduate-level offerings. Please visit  Drake's Extension Education website for more information.

For more information about requesting a transcript from Drake University, please click here.

Grandview University

Grand View University offers Professional Development and continuing education opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate credit. While centrally located in Des Moines, most of these programs can be completed entirely online if preferred. Individual courses that are not part of a degree program can be taken for GV graduate credit through the AEA or directly through Grand View. Learn more about Virtual Professional Development through Grand View at

Morningside University

To learn more about graduate education at Morningside University, please click here.

For more information about requesting a transcript from Morningside University, please click here.


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Instructor Requirements and Responsibilities

Great Prairie AEA requires all instructors to have a master's degree.  Individuals wanting to become an instructor must submit a VITA in the Statewide Registration System. Click on the Enter Vita tab to begin the process.

Please contact for assistance with setting up a Course Proposal.

Licensure, Authorization, & Certificate Information

Renew a Teaching License through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners:

  • Update My Information with the BOEE – update your current address and email address. This is essential so that you will receive important updates and expiration reminders.
  • The BOEE is no longer printing and mailing licenses. The new system will send you a color PDF of your license. You may also view your license at any time on our website under "search for a license". The website version of your license is considered your official license record.
  • Search for a license – view your current license type, endorsement, expiration dates, and if a pending transaction has been processed.

For more information regarding license renewal please visit the Board of Educational Examiners Website.


Paraeducators are integral partners in the education setting so they need top-notch skills to provide the best academic and emotional support to students. To become a certified paraeducator in Iowa you must be at least 18 years of age, complete 3 Generalist Courses (90 hours) and Child/Adult Mandatory Reporter (4 hours), and apply through the Board of Educational Examiners for the certification upon completing the coursework. A 10-hour clinical experience in a classroom is also required. The cost of each course is $120.00 ($360.00 total). Additional fees include fingerprinting and certificate processing fees. Fees paid directly to Fieldprint include $34.45 for fingerprinting, and fees paid directly to the Board of Educational Examiners when applying for the paraeducator certification include $40.00 for processing the application, $35.00 for a State Background Check, and $3.00 for a convenience fee.

Parareducator courses through Great Prairie AEA include face-to-face or virtual time with instructors and online assignments through the Moodle. Please contact for more information about the courses or visit the Board of Educational Examiners for certification and renewal information.

GPAEA has a number of courses available throughout the year. Learn more and register at

GPAEA offers Areas of Concentration for paraeducators such as Special Education, Early Childhood, ESL, and Substitute Authorization which apply to the renewal of a paraeducator certificate.

Please note the following if seeking Substitute Authorization with a Paraeducator Certificate:

24.4(9) An individual who holds a paraeducator certificate and completes the substitute authorization requirements set forth in rule 282—22.2(272) but who does not meet the degree requirement in 282—subparagraph 22.2(1)“a”(2) is authorized to substitute only in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed, unless emergency permission is granted by the executive director or designee based on documented need provided by the employer.

Click here for the complete rules 282-22.2(272) Substitute Authorization. (See Paraeducator Certificates and then Paraeducator Area of Concentration)

Self-Paced Courses & Mandatory Reporter

AEA Learning Online Learning System provides educators with access to hundreds of self-paced trainings and courses. Many of the opportunities are free to employees in a participating district. Self-paced courses offer educators affordable options for license renewal or graduate credit* with the added convenience of no deadlines, no waiting for a section to start, and no waiting for a class to finish in order to receive your grade. View the AEA Professional Development Online Learning System Site directions sheet.

*Only select courses

​Statewide Popular Trainings and Courses include:

  • Mandatory Reporter: Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporter: Dependent Adult Abuse
  • Bloodborne Pathogen Training
  • Overview of State Requirements Regarding Seclusion and Restraint: Chapter 103
  • Right to Know Training
  • Google Apps 101
  • Exceptional Learner
  • Digital Citizenship
  • The Practicing Educator

Substitute Authorization

Substitute Authorization Requirements

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners may issue a substitute authorization to an individual who:

Click here for the complete rules 282-22.2(272) Substitute Authorization

  • Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Substitute Authorization course.
  • Holds an associate’s degree or 60 semester hours or higher from a regionally accredited institute or has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check

Background Checks and Fingerprinting

  • All new applicants will need a full background check.
    • Beginning June 5th, 2023, the Board of Educational Examiners will be using Fieldprint to complete the federal portion of our required background checks for new applicants.
    • Fieldprint has locations across Iowa to allow individuals applying for their first license with the Board of Educational Examiners to be fingerprinted and have their prints submitted to the federal agency to complete this portion of the background check.
      • Within each application will be instructions to outline the procedures to make an appointment, secure fingerprints and submit the necessary information. YOU WILL NEED THE BOEE CODE FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS LINKED ABOVE BEFORE MAKING AN APPOINTMENT. The cost is $34.35. If you do not use the code the charge will be $50.00 and the BoEE will be unable to process the prints.
    • Individuals applying for licensure who live outside of Iowa have two options.
      • You may wait until you come to Iowa and complete the process through Fieldprint. We are receiving the final reports within one week for the majority of submissions.
      • You may also contact our office (515-281-3245) to request a card packet be mailed to you. There will be an additional fee added to your application, but no additional fee will be required with Fieldprint.

As a reminder, if you already have a license (Coaching Authorization, Paraeducator Certification etc.) you will NOT need a background check again as long as the license was issued after October of 2000.

Substitute Authorization Renewal

The Substitute Authorization is good for five years and may be renewed by taking two semester hours of AEA relicensure or college credit. Click here to find the renewal form on the BOEE website.


Great Prairie AEA Official Transcript

Print an OFFICIAL Transcript from the AEA Professional Learning Registration System. Simply login and scroll down to View and Print Transcripts.

Drake University

For more information about requesting a transcript from Drake University, please click here.

Grand View University

For more information about requesting a transcript from Grand View University click here.

Morningside University

For more information about requesting a transcript from Morningside University, please click here.


Student grade transcript requests or degree verification requests will be available from the University of Iowa upon receipt of a written request from the student. To request a copy of your Marycrest transcript contact:
Office of the Registrar
1 Jessup Hall,
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1316
At there is a request form that can be printed and mailed or faxed.

Julie Hannam
Professional Development Secretary
800-622-0027 or 641-682-8591 Ext. 5239 Ottumwa Office

Please contact Julie if you need assistance with:

  • Entering grades
  • Making a payment
  • Turning in Sign-In Sheets
  • Changing a credit type

Michelle Dickey
ELL & Professional Development Consultant
800-622-0027 or 641-682-8591 Ext. 1210 Burlington Office

Please contact Michelle if you need assistance with:

  • Registering for a course
  • Entering a Course Proposal
  • Transcripts