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Requirements to Be a Paraeducator in Illinois

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Paraeducators, or paraprofessionals as they are called in the state of Illinois, work as teacher aides. The Illinois State Board of Education and the State Teacher Certification Board require paraprofessionals to have a statement of approval to work in the public or private school system. Paraprofessionals support teacher interactions with students by providing tutoring, helping students learn curriculum, aiding in classroom instruction and organizing materials for classroom instruction.

Paraprofessional Requirements

All paraprofessionals must have an Illinois State Board of Education statement of approval, based on one of the following requirements, except for those who have special education designation. Approval requirements include at least one of the following: • completion of 30 credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university; • completion of an ISBE or Illinois Community College Board approved paraprofessional training program; • achievement of a minimum score of 460 on the ETC Parapro Assessment; • scoring an acceptable score on the ACT Workkeys Assessments and the Instructional Support Inventory.

State and No Child Left Behind Paraprofessional Requirements

All paraprofessionals must have an Illinois State Board of Education statement of approval and meet one of the following requirements: • completion of 60 semester credit hours at a regionally accredited academic institution, or have an associate`s degree or higher from an accredited college or university; • pass the ETS Parapro Assessment or the ACT Workkeys Assessments and the Institutional Support Inventory; • earn 300 professional training points via work experience as a paraprofessional, additional college credits, additional ISBE or ICCB curriculum training, professional development, or an academic assessment.

Obtaining Paraprofessional Approval

Paraprofessionals must submit a Request for Paraprofessional Approval/Approval for Paraprofessional Employment in Title I Positions application form to the ISBE. Applicants can find the form on the ISBE website, or contact the ISBE office to request a paper copy.

Required Documentation

Applicants must provide ISBE with proof of high school diploma or provide a copy of their general educational development certificate, in addition to official university or college transcripts, or a copy of their ETS Parapro Assessment score, WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants, proof of professional training points or a state-approved WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants.


Serena Cassidy has written reports, policies, and research documents since 2000 on community development and government policy issues, and she has been featured in "CIO Canada." She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Saint Mary's University and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She currently works as a government policy analyst.