How Can You Get a Paraprofessional Certification?


Quick Answer

Paraprofessionals must pass a test before receiving certification. Education Testing Service puts out a nationally recognized test called the ParaPro Assessment. Some states use their own tests based on educational requirements.

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How Can You Get a Paraprofessional Certification?
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Full Answer

Paraprofessionals work in the classrooms with teachers on a variety of duties such as supervising students, helping with school work and grading duties. States and even school districts set their job requirements. Educationally, potential paraprofessionals may be required to have an associate's degree or just a high school diploma.

Not all states require paraprofessionals to become certified, though those with certification are often given job priority over candidates without. Standardized testing, whether through ETS or the state, is typically a first step in certification. Other requirements include taking college courses in classroom instruction and completing specialized workshops.

Some paraprofessionals specialize, which typically requires passing assessments or earning college credits. For instance, paraprofessionals working in schools with a high proportion of low-income students often have to earn an education-centered associate's degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Paraprofessional Education. Paraprofessionals who want to work with special needs children often need specialized training and have to pass a certification test.

ETS Paraprofessional testing assesses the reading, writing and math competencies of candidates. Some state-based assessments also test the ability of potential paraprofessionals to apply reading, writing and math skills during classroom instruction.

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