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Substitute Authorization

The Iowa Substitute Authorization allows an individual to substitute in a PK-12 classroom. If you are a Certified Paraeducator, this assigned special education classroom may be at the elementary, middle school, junior high school or high school level.

The four core components of the course are Classroom Management, Strategies for Learning, Diversity, and Ethics. Upon successful completion of the program the participant may apply to the Board of Educational Examiners for a license, ($85 issuance fee). A state and federal background check is required ($75 background fee) (also a $3.00 credit card user fee).

Local districts have the option of hiring individuals with the Substitute Authorization. It does not guarantee employment. Please check with your local district.

Anyone who meets the following five criteria is eligible to receive this new authorization:
1. Has achieved at least one of the following: (1) holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, OR (2) has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification Program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
2. Has attained a minimum age of 21 years.
3. Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check.
4. Has successfully completed a National Criminal History background check.
5. Has successfully completed all the requirements of an approved Substitute Authorization course.

Renewal of Authorization
The period of renewal for this authorization is once every five years. At the time of renewal you will need to submit verification of two 15 contact hour courses taken within the five year period from the date your Authorization was issued, the renewal application form, documentation of Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse training and the renewal fee.


In Elkader: Due to low enrollment the Substitute Authorization course scheduled for October 19-21 has been cancelled.
The Substitute Authorization course is 20-clock hour training.
The course dates are October 19-21, 2018
(Friday, October 19 – 5:00-9:00 pm; Saturday-Sunday, October 20-21 – 8:00 am-5:30 pm.)
Keystone AEA, 1400 Second Street NW, Elkader, IA 52043-9564.
The section number is 250411 – Elkader AEA Office
The deadline to register is October 15, 2018.


A minimum of 10 participants is required to make the course a “go”. Participants must attend all sessions. Course fee will be $115.00. Keystone AEA reserves the right to cancel the program due to low enrollment. Notification of cancellation will be made to those registered.


To Register for the class go to: 
Visit the AEA Professional Learning Registration System. If you’re a first time user, select ‘Create Account’.  Fill in the information as requested.  When it asks for your BoEE folder number—select NA.  (The system updates new accounts during the night. This means you'll need to register for the course the following day.) Once you’re logged in, select 'Courses' on the menu bar. In the Course Search box, enter 250411.  Now you'll see the Substitute Authorization course listed, select the ‘Register’ button for the appropriate date and location.Once you’re logged in, select Courses on the menu bar. In the Course Search box, enter 250411. For the Substitute Authorization course listed, select the ‘Register’ button for the appropriate date and location.

Once you have successfully completed the Substitute Authorization class
An online application must be submitted to the Board of Educational Examiners
If you have any questions, contact Kathy Wessel at 1-800-632-5918, ext 1320, or kwessel@aea1.k12.ia.us during regular business hours.