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ESP Professional Growth

To ensure a great public education for every student, education support professionals (ESPs) want and deserve high-quality professional development and supports at every stage of their careers.
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Education support professionals (ESPs) play a key role in ensuring student success, and their impact is even stronger when there are clear expectations, when they are valued, and when they have opportunities for professional growth throughout their careers.

NEA’s ESP Quality (ESPQ) department develops, implements and promotes policies and professional supports that enhance the effectiveness of ESPs in meeting the needs of every student. These association-convened and educator-led programs support ESPs throughout their careers to build a culture of professional excellence and student success in public education.


The NEA ESP Quality Department offers a wide variety of webinars through the ESP Learning Network to support the professional growth of ESPs.

Professional Learning Programs

ESP Professional Growth Continuum (PGC)
Grounded in eight universal standards of professionalism, the PGC provides ESPs with clear pathways for continuous professional learning and growth. Learn more>>

NEA ESP National Conference
This annual conference provides opportunities for ESPs to develop the knowledge and skills to build strong internal and external relationships, organize members, and enhance their ability to support student and school success. Learn more>>

ESP Peer Mentorship
ESPs: Supporting Our Own Through Mentoring is a training that guides local association teams in developing effective ESP mentoring programs in their school districts or universities. Learn more>>

Paraeducator-Teacher Teams 
Building Winning Teams: Effective Paraeducator-Teacher Teams is a training package focused on developing strong paraeducator-teacher partnerships critical for student learning and success. Learn more >>

ESP Leadership Institute (ESPLI)
ESPLI is a program that trains both current and future leaders in leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge that will enhance their ability to be visible, vocal advocates at the local, state, and national levels of the NEA. Learn more >>

ESPQ provides supports for affiliates with ESP members facing the threat of their jobs becoming outsourced, also known as privatization. Learn more >>

NEA Micro-credentials
A micro-credential is a short, competency-based recognition for educators, including ESPs. Learn more>>


To supplement our programs, we offer a variety of resources to support ESPs on their professional learning journey. View our publications page to access digital copies or request hard copies of these resources.

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Member Matthew Powell
At the end of the day, if ESPs increase their skills and knowledge, it’s students who ultimately win.

ESP Publications

We offer a variety of resources designed to support and elevate the professional excellence of Education Support Professionals in all career families.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.