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ParaProfessional Requirements

Paraprofessionals who provide instructional services at the elementary or secondary level are required to be highly effective according to ESEA guidelines.

All paraprofessionals must, at a minimum, have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and be at least 21 years of age or older. Paraprofessional (in this policy) does not include secretaries, bookkeeper, or data entry personnel.

Paraprofessionals who provide instructional services must have done one of the following to

meet the highly qualified requirements--
completed two years of study at an institution of higher education; or
obtained an associate’s or higher degree; or
passed a test that demonstrates knowledge of and the ability to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and mathematics;

Guidelines and Definitions for Highly Effective Paraprofessional Requirements
The state equates 48 semester hours (excluding remedial courses), as the equivalent of two years of college. Developmental courses may count toward the 48 hours. The state does not require that the coursework or associate’s degree be in any specific subject field. The nature of the coursework or degree is left to the discretion of the school system. However, the coursework must have been obtained from an accredited institution of higher education.

Tennessee has adopted the Praxis ParaPro Assessment as the statewide test for paraprofessionals. This test was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to satisfy the test option for paraprofessionals. Information about this test is available on the ETS web site at (This test is given at the Henderson County Board of Education for a fee of $55. Applicants who want to take the online test can call (731) 249-1215 and schedule a convenient test time. The test is 2 1/2 hours in length and contains 90 questions.)

A study guide for the ParaPro is available and can be ordered from the ETS web site above or by calling 800-537-3161. The cost of the study guide is $25.

The Tennessee passing score for the Praxis ParaPro Assessment is 456.

The highly qualified status will be portable across school systems.

By Henderson County BOE

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