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Utah: Working in Education in Utah

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Paraprofessionals in Utah Schools

The Utah Paraprofessional Consortium provides training and support for paraprofessionals. An annual paraeducators conference and Utah's Outstanding Paraeducator designation recognize the valuable role teacher's aides and other paraprofessionals play in Utah classrooms.

Introductory courses in paraeducation are designed to help students explore careers in paraeducation, special education, education, and other careers in disability services. The state is working on a handbook for instructional paraeducators and on career pathways for a para to teacher program.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual wage for teacher assistants in Utah in May 2008 was $22,060. The national mean was $23,560 at that time.

Technology Education

Utah has a number of technology education initiatives. According to the Utah Education Network and the U.S. Department of Commerce, 93 percent of Utah schools have Internet access in one or more classrooms, compared to the national average of 84.2 percent.

The Utah Public Education Technology Plan helps Utah educators teach students the technology skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century. It provides the vision for educational technology in Utah and guidance for local educational technology decision-making and planning.

The Utah Education Network is a consortium of public education partners committed to innovation in educational technology. It provides resources, technology, technical and instructional services, and professional development to Utah's schools, students, teachers, and administrators.

Utah's virtual academy started providing tuition-free online K-12 classes taught by state certified teachers in September 2009. Core courses include math, science, history, art, music, language arts, and physical education. High school students can take foreign language and Advanced Placement courses.

Utah's Electronic High School has been providing a wide variety of online courses to students around the world since 1994. Courses are added each year as resources and funding permit. A typical EHS student takes classes in order to make up failed classes or to graduate from high school early.

Utah's Distance Learning Network provides technology resources, infrastructure, and professional development for all teachers and students in Utah. Part of the National Education Technology Plan, it encompasses all aspects of the Utah education community.

As an example of technology integration in Utah schools, classes at Clearfield High School use computers and diagnostic equipment across the curriculum for authentic learning.

Curriculum and Instruction

Utah's core standards, the Elementary and Secondary School Core Curriculum, align with research and with national content standards. They establish comprehensive, consistent, high-quality instruction statewide.

The Utah State Office of Education provides an array of professional development learning opportunities for teachers, administrators, and other education personnel regarding the state's educational standards.

Educational Management

The estimated annual mean wage for administrators in preschool and childcare programs and centers in Utah was $36,840 in May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national mean for these positions was $46,370. For elementary and secondary school administrators in Utah the mean was $78,380; the nationwide mean was $86,060.

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