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How to Become a Paraprofessional in Illinois

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A paraprofessional in education assists teachers and staff in schools by performing a number of tasks, such as tutoring students, assisting in special education classrooms and performing clerical duties. They help a school run smoothly and play an active part in the educational development of children. A paraprofessional in Illinois must undergo certification processes that ensure she meets criteria for qualified paraprofessionals.

Visit the websites of school districts in which you wish to work. Check the job vacancies section of the websites to search for paraprofessional positions. Also search the K12JobSpot website (http://k12jobspot.com/Paraprofessional-jobs-in-Illinois) for paraprofessional and other teacher’s aide positions in Illinois.

Ensure that you satisfy the certification requirements for a qualified paraprofessional in Illinois. There are several routes to receive this certification, including training or completing a certain number of college class hours.

Applicants for paraprofessional certification approval in Illinois must complete a secondary school education and submit any one of the following documents:

Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university showing the completion of at least 30 credit hours. A copy of the Educational Technology Services (ETS) ParaPro report, showing a score of 460 or higher. A copy of the WorkKeys' Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants, awarded by getting acceptable scores on the WorkKeys assessment. State approval and documentation of 300 professional training points. State approval and documentation of Assurance of Local Assessment for Paraprofessionals. Proof of completion of a paraprofessional training program approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) or Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

A list of approved training programs are available at www.isbe.net/certification/html/approved_paraprofessional.htm. For more information regarding professional training points, visit www.isbe.net/certification/pdf/professional_training_points.pdf.

Complete the application process for the paraprofessional jobs you wish to pursue. Be sure to meet all of the application requirements, including providing supporting documentation such as transcripts, if they are requested.

Tip

Connect with other paraprofessionals in Illinois by visiting the website at www.nrcpara.org/states/Illinois. This communication helps you learn more about the profession and the job outlook in the state.

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About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.