Staff Directory


Ritu Chopra PhD

Executive Director, The Paraprofessional Research and Resource Center


University of Colorado Denver | School of Education and Human Development PO Box 173364 | Campus Box 106 | Denver, CO 80217

Dr. Ritu Chopra, Ph. D. is the Executive Director of The Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center (The PAR²A Center) at the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) of the University of Colorado Denver. Since 1996, Chopra has been responsible for grant administration, training, research, and fiscal management of grant projects (over $38 million) at the PAR2A Center. She has served as the Principal Investigator/Project Director on grant projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Offices of Special Education Programs, Elementary and Secondary Education, English Language Acquisition) and state agencies (Colorado Department of Education - CDE, Colorado Department of Higher Education - CDHE, Colorado Department of Human Services – CDHS). Under Dr. Chopra’s leadership the PAR²A Center is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a premier source of information on paraprofessionals/paraeducators. She is the lead author of the Paraeducator Competencies and the e-learning series on Effective and High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) for Paraeducators recently published by Council for Exceptional Children. Prior to moving to the US in 1990, Dr. Chopra had worked for over 10 years in the capacity of a teacher, trainer, researcher and administrator in various educational institutions in her native country, India.

Areas of Expertise

  • Paraeducator professional Development and Supervision
  • Quality preparation for degreed and non-degreed personnel who serve children/youth from birth to 21 in a variety of settings
  • Teacher diversity
  • Collaborative practices among paraprofessionals, teachers, parents
  • Leadership in inclusive schools.


Recipient of the prestigious 2012 Excellence in Teacher Educator Award of the Teacher Education Division, Colorado Council for Exceptional Children.


  • Chair, Paraeducator Special Interest Group, Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • Treasurer and Executive committee member, CEC's Division of International Special Education and Services

CMS Login