In the state of Illinois, all instructional teacher assistants (this even includes those designated to providing instructional support for students with disabilities) must request a Statement of Approval from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) by completing the Application for Paraprofessional Approval Form
To work in Non-Title I schools you need a completed paraprofessional approval form; a copy of your high school/GED records; and at least one of the following:
1) Completed 30 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Evidence is an official transcript, or
2) Completed a paraprofessional training program approved by ISBE or Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Evidence is an Illinois Community College Board transcript or certificate of completion, or
3) Passed the ETS Parapro Assessment, with 460 as the minimum passing score. Test fee is a non-refundable $45 and additional fees may apply. Evidence is an official score report, or
4) Acceptable Score on ACT WorkKeys assessments (Applied Mathematics – 4, Reading for Information – 4, Business Writing – 3, AND Acceptable on the Instructional Support Inventory which requires observation of an
applicant in a classroom setting). Evidence is the ACT WorkKeys “Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants.”
Teacher Assistant Requirements for State Approved and NCLB Requirements
To work in a Title I school you must be state and federally approved and meet at least ONE of the following four options:
Option 1) Completed 60 semester hours of college credit at a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Evidence is an official transcript, or
Option 2) Obtained an associates degree (or higher) at a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Evidence is an official transcript, or
Option 3) Pass a formal State assessment (ParaPro or WorkKeys), or
Option 4) Pass State Paraprofessional Approval (at least 30 semester hours of college coursework documented and completion of a ISBE paraprofessional training program) and earn 300 Professional Training Points.
Professional Training Points (PTPs) are earned from the following:
- Paraprofessional work experience (public or private): 1 year = 30 PTPs (maximum 150). Evidence is an official letter signed by the chief administrator or other designated official of the employing school or district.
- College credit beyond the 30-semester-hour state requirement: 1 semester hour = 15 PTPs. Evidence is an official transcript.
- ISBE/ICCB Paraprofessional Test Preparation Curriculum training = 15 PTPs. Evidence is a certificate of completion.
- Professional development activity/program related to assisting in the instruction of reading/language arts, writing, and/or mathematics: 1 hour participation = 1 PTP Evidence of this is a provider completion form and if available, a copy of the program.