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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.

Northwest AEA Professional Learning Courses

Professional Learning Catalog

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.

Browse the catalog and register using these instructions:

AEA Learning: Course Registration

AEA Learning Online offers educators a wide array of facilitated and personalized online learning options focused on some of the most pressing professional development areas.

  • Facilitated, online courses give learners the opportunity to interact with an instructor and colleagues from across the state. Courses are available for license renewal or graduate credit.
  • Self-paced modules, are inexpensive, flexible solutions that allow users to complete mandatory trainings or meet license renewal, sub-authorization, or paraeducator certificate renewal requirements.

Evaluator Training Approval

The Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with AEA Learning Online, offers evaluator approval training through iEvaluate. More details can be found on the Iowa Department of Education website. To register, visit the AEA Professional Learning Registration System and search the course tab to for iEvaluate 1.2.

True North Logic: Instructor Help Center

Instructors teaching a licensure renewal or graduate credit course must hold a valid teaching license and a master’s degree with exceptions based on experience in a specialty area. If there are multiple instructors for a course at least one of the instructors must hold a master’s degree.

The link to the Instructor Center can be found at Once logged in, the Instructor Center is one of the links in the menu.


Visit the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website for information about the licensure application and renewal process.

Mandatory/Non-Mandatory Trainings

The AEA Learning Online System offers mandatory and non-mandatory training online. Training available through this system include Mandatory Reporter: Child and Dependent Adult Abuse, Bloodborne Pathogens Training, medication administration training and other non-mandatory training.

There is a $25 fee for the Mandatory Reporter training for all users. The other offerings are available to all employees in participating districts for no cost.  Use of this system is intended for employees of Iowa Area Education Agencies, employees of the public and private school districts they support, and other authorized users. Unauthorized use or distribution of passwords is prohibited.

A district password is required when registering into the system with a district or when changing districts.  District passwords can be obtained from your district system administrator.  If you are already registered into the system, but have forgotten your login information, your principal or district system administrator may be able to assist you. AEA Learning Online System Site directions sheet

Paraeducator Certification

Paraeducator certification programs are specifically designed for paraeducators already employed by a school district. Individuals interested in becoming a paraeducator in order to obtain a school district job should contact their local community college to enroll in their program.

Professional Learning Archives

Here you will find an archive of trainings provided by Northwest AEA:

EdInsight Training, Fall 2020
VideoSlide deck

FastBridge Training, Fall 2020
VideoSlide Deck

Intro to Panorama, Fall 2020
VideoSlide deck

Return to Learn Academic Standards, Fall 2020
VideoSlide deck

Return to Learn Leadership & Infrastructure, Fall 2020
VideoSlide Deck

Return to Learn SEBH, Fall 2020
VideoSlide Deck

Return to Learn Special Ed, Fall 2020
VideoSlide Deck

Transition Training for New Providers, Fall 2020
VideoSlide deck

Transition Training for Returning Providers, Fall 2020
VideoSlide deck

Quick Bite: Health & Safety, Fall 2020
VideoSlide Deck

Substitute Authorization

The Substitute Authorization course includes components on ethics, diversity, instructional strategies, and behavior management.The 15-hour course is designed to meet the requirements for the Substitute Authorization License. You can receive a Substitute Authorization License if you successfully complete the Substitute Authorization course, have earned 60 credit hours from an accredited institution of higher learning, or an Associates Degree or higher. There is no age requirement. Once you receive your substitute authorization, you are limited to teaching 10 days in a row in a 30-day period in the same assignment. You cannot fill open positions.

Paraeducators who hold a paraeducator certificate with the limited substitute authorization may serve as a substitute only in their own special education classroom. If the paraeducator holds a full substitute authorization, they may serve as a substitute teacher in any classroom except driver’s ed.

Holders of a career and technical authorization with at least one year of experience may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver education) as long as they hold the substitute authorization license.

You can take the course virtually, via Zoom, or as a self-paced course. When you are ready to register, for the virtual course options:

Log into the AEA Professional Learning Registration site (use the same login information as you do for Bloodborne Pathogens, Mandatory Reporter, etc). If you do not have an account, create an account at AEA Learning Online. The next business day, log into our statewide AEA Professional Learning Registration site  using the same username and password you used on the AEA Learning Online site. On the courses tab, you can type in the course or section number or search for substitute authorization.

For the self-paced option, go to AEA Learning Online. It's the same username and password. In the course search bar, type in "substitute authorization". Choose "Iowa Substitute Authorization Course (Initial Authorization)". For further questions, please contact Dr. Judy Sweetman ( or 712.222.6088) or Penni Kistner ( or 712.222.6083).

Coaching Authorization

Here is a link to the coaching authorization website and here is a link to start the application process.

Here is the updated CPR list with a few more providers.  Please review the list to determine what works for you. You can take online CPR from an approved provider.

For renewal, one of the requirements is to complete Mandatory Reporter Training.  Please read the directions.  You need to take DS 168 Dependent Adult Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training and DS 169 Child Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training.  It is important for coaches to understand refresher courses (170 & 171) are only taken in certain situations.

Here are the reviewed requirements for Activities Administrator Authorization and the coursework that is required according to code.  This authorization is for someone who does not hold a teaching degree but would like to work as an activities administrator in a school setting.  A baccalaureate degree or higher in athletic administration or related field is required.

The following are the links of the providers:

Activities Administration Authorization:


Transcripts are available within the AEA Professional Learning Registration System.

My Courses > My Transcript > Search >  Print Official Transcript / Email Official Transcript

Professional Development Advisory Committee

The Northwest AEA Professional Development Advisory Committee includes agendas, meeting minutes, annual reports, and other pertinent information about our License Renewal program.

Important contacts

Staff Directory
Image thumbnail for Judy Sweetman

Judy Sweetman

Educational Consultant

712-222-6088 Email Judy Sweetman
Image thumbnail for Penni Kistner

Penni Kistner

Professional Learning Specialist

712-222-6083 Email Penni Kistner