The Pipeline for Paraeducator Conditional Loan Scholarship Program (Parapipeline Program) provides financial support to classified instructional staff, with at least three years of classroom experience, to pursue their Associate of Arts (AA) degree in order to qualify, enroll in, and complete a two-year Alternative Route 1 program at a participating university to obtain a residency teaching certificate. The AA degree must be direct transfer and be obtained through a community or technical college (CTC) in no more than two years from the first award disbursement date by the CTC.
This program is administered jointly by the Professional Educator Standards Board (responsible for selecting recipients) and the Washington Student Achievement Council (responsible for distributing awards). Funding for this program is dependent on annual budget appropriations from the Washington State Legislature. The state laws establishing this program include the RCWs on the Pipeline for Paraeducators (28A.660.042) and Conditional Scholarship Programs (28A.660.050).
Paraeducators must submit complete application materials to be considered for an award.
Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?
In order to qualify for a Paraeducator Pipeline scholarship, you must meet four criteria:
1. No college degree
You must not currently hold a college degree (AA or beyond).
2. Employment status and history
You must be employed as, and have a minimum of three years experience with successful student interaction and leadership while employed as, a classified instructional staff member. You will be required to provide district or building validation of these qualifications.
3. AA degree is awarded from a community or technical college
You must pursue your AA degree at a Washington Community or Technical College and complete the degree in two years or less from the date of first award disbursement by the college.
4. Intention to pursue residency certificate through an Alternative Route 1 program
You must describe your educational and professional plan for after you earn your AA degree, which should include pursuing a residency teaching certificate through an Alternative Route 1 program with an endorsement in a subject matter shortage area, including the following:
- Bilingual Education
- Computer Science Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- English Language Learner
- Environmental and Sustainability Education
- Special Education
- Other shortage areas as determined by PESB (applicants pursuing endorsements in areas other than those listed may be awarded on a case-by-case basis if the review committee determines that the applicant’s description of their school/district’s shortage situation is compelling).
Applicants will be required to complete a teaching service obligation in a Washington K-12 public school in their subject matter shortage area for two years for each year of award funds received. If you do not meet your teaching obligation you will be required to repay your funding (or remaining principal) as well as any interest and fees (more information can be found in the Promissory Note, below).
What does the scholarship cover?
Recipients are awarded up to $4,000. The scholarship is distributed through the community or technical college attended by the recipient and is to be used towards educational expenses for the AA degree, such as tuition for coursework and other educational expenses (e.g., books, supplies, transportation).
What is required of scholarship recipients?
Funding for this program is through the Conditional Loan Scholarship program. The conditional scholarship is a loan that is forgiven in exchange for teaching service in a Washington K-12 public school (partial assignments are allowed). The state shall forgive the loan obligation entirely if the recipient completes two years of teaching service (per scholarship); all teaching service must be completed in a Washington state K-12 public school after the residency certificate has been earned.
In order to avoid repayment of the remaining loan principal (plus interest and fees), recipients must:
- complete the requirements for their AA within two years, and
- complete their entire teaching obligation within the allowable time (see promissory note for details).
The promissory note (PDF) includes detailed information about what qualifies as teaching service in order to earn loan forgiveness. If you have questions about your particular situation, please contact WSAC.
How do I apply?
To apply for the Paraeducator Pipeline scholarship, you must complete and submit the following materials to PESB. Application instructions are provided in the documents linked below. Please click on each of the links and read the full instructions before applying.
Send your completed application materials via mail to:
Para Pipeline Scholarship Review Committee
Professional Educator Standards Board
PO Box 47236
Olympia, WA 98504-7236
We cannot accept emailed or faxed applications at this time. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
When should I apply?
Candidates may apply when their degree program is underway or when their program will start in the near future, with the understanding that they need to complete their degree within two years of the initial award date from their CTC. We do not specify when programs need to start, but once the recipient is awarded their first scholarship payment, they need to complete within two years, or run the risk of repayment. Scholarships will not be awarded for degrees that have already been completed.
Applications are reviewed four times a year:
- September 1, 2018
- December 11, 2018
- March 5, 2019
- May 7, 2019
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline in order to be considered for that round of funding.
How are applicants awarded?
Applications are reviewed three times a year, with applicants receiving notification of their award decision within six weeks of the application deadline. The Professional Educator Standards Board selects the recipients, and the Washington Student Achievement Council distributes the awards.
Scholarships will be awarded competitively based on the preferences outlined below and the quality of the information provided by the applicant, as evaluated by the Paraeducator Pipeline Scholarship Review Committee.
State law stipulates that PESB shall give preference to the following applicants when selecting recipients.
Among all applicants, preference will be given to:
- Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and
- National Guard members
- If you are a prospective applicant with questions about the Parapipeline program, please contact PESB@k12.wa.us.
- If you are a recipient with questions about your award and/or service obligation, please contact ALT@WSAC.wa.gov.