The Wagner Paraprofessional Certificate Program is an intensive two-year certificate program which trains human service volunteers to help children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, counseling centers, and community agencies. The program requires a two-year commitment of one full day per week for 30 weeks each year. In addition, during the second year students are required to do field work. Participants will be prepared to work as volunteer paraprofessionals, under the direction of professional staff in various community organizations.

Students in the program will be trained to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups in a variety of situations such as:

  • Parent-child relations
  • Marital relationships including intermarriage, blended families, and single parenting
  • Mid-life transitions
  • Divorce
  • Health and aging issues
  • Bereavement, death, and dying
  • Domestic Violence

Graduates of the Wagner Human Services Paraprofessional Certificate Program are encouraged to continue their volunteer work after completion of the two-year program.

For more information, please call (310) 440-1246, or contact the Director of the Wagner Certificate Program, Margaret Altschul.  She may be reached at wagner [at]

  • Tuition and Fees

    Tuition is $2,200 per year and is partially subsidized. Some scholarships are available through a special grant from the Wagner Program. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee. Enrollment is limited and a new cohort starts in Fall 2019.

    Upon completion of the intensive two-year Wagner Program, graduates earn a Human Services Paraprofessional Certificate.

  • Individual Goals

    The training process will encourage self knowledge and personal growth. As part of this process you will:

    • Learn more about yourself and how you relate with others
    • Explore and clarify interests in the field of human services
    • Identify your unique interpersonal skills
    • Develop and improve interpersonal communication skills
    • Learn group dynamics and the role of the facilitator in group process
    • Increase awareness and sensitivity
    • Understand how these needs and values affect your role in individual and group counseling
    • Explore contemporary life issues from both a secular and Jewish perspective.
  • Methodology

    This community service training program includes:

    • The human growth and development process, including the life cycle and life crises, and the Jewish approach to them
    • Basic listening and communication skills for individual counseling and group facilitation
    • Understanding group process
    • Identifying available resources in the community - Jewish and general - to help people in need
    • Evaluating an individual's or family's need for support - and how to refer the available assistance to them
    • Organizing, designing, and helping to implement Human Services Programs

    The method of instruction includes lectures, discussions, audio-visual aids, workshops, growth groups, peer counseling, supervision, and on-site field work.
    Professional staff will present course work and supervise student training.

  • Apply Now

    Click here to apply for the Wagner Paraprofessional Certificate Program.

  • Register for Fall

    Registration for the Fall 2019 cohort is complete. Please let us know if you’d like to join us next year by emailing our Wagner Program Director at

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