Iowa Western Community College
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Substitute Authorization

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Iowa Western offers the Board of Educational Examiner's approved Substitute Authorization course, which allows an individual to substitute in a K-12 institution for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment. An individual who holds a paraeducator certificate without a Bachelor's Degree and completes the substitute authorization program is authorized to substitute only in the special education classroom in which the individual paraeducator is employed. All students must complete two classroom observations after the two-day course is complete. Students are responsible for arranging the observations with the school of their choice. More information will be provided during the class.

A substitute authorization may be issued to an individual who:

  • Has successfully completed all requirements of a board of educational examiners-approved substitute authorization program totaling a minimum of 15 clock hours
  • Has achieved one of the following:
    • Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Completed an approved paraeducator certification program and holds a paraeducator certificate
  • Has attained a minimum age of 21 years
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa division of criminal investigation background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant through the BOEE application
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant through the BOEE application.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition for the course is $260, which includes course fee of $250 and AEA transcript fee of $10. Additional fees include the state fee of $85 and the background check of $75 which are paid to the Board of Educational Examiners through the online application. Applicants will need to request the fingerprint card from the BOEE through their online application. The fingerprint card will be mailed to the individual and can be taken to the local police or sheriff's station to be fingerprinted.  

Renewal Requirements

Renewal requirements for the substitute authorization consist of a minimum of two renewal units equivalent to 30-clock hours and completion of a child and dependent adult abuse training program approved by the state abuse education review panel. A waiver of the approved child and dependent adult abuse training requirement may apply under the following conditions with appropriate documentation of any of the following:

  • The person is engaged in active duty in the military service of this state of the United States.
  • The person is a practicing  licensed professional outside this state.
  • The person has previously renewed a license or authorization issued by the board of educational examiners and, at that time, reported the completion, within the past five years, of child and dependent adult abuse training approved by the state abuse education review panel.


For class schedule and to register, click on this link: Class Schedule/Registration