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What are the Requirements for Paraprofessionals?

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA), grants states and local education agencies the authority to determine the minimum necessary qualifications for teachers and paraprofessionals working directly with students.

Michigan paraprofessionals are required to hold a high school diploma (or equivalent), regardless of their assignment, under Michigan law. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) does not issue a certificate or license for paraprofessionals. Additional requirements for the employment of a paraprofessional may be determined by the employing school district, public school academy, or non-public school.

As partners in the instructional process, paraprofessionals who work in programs supported with Title I funds must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of two years of study or more at an institution of higher education (equal to 60 semester hours);
  2. Obtain an associate’s degree or higher;
  3. Meet a rigorous standard of quality and demonstrate, through a formal state or local academic assessment:
  • Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in, instructing reading, writing, and mathematics; 


  • Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in, instructing reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.

       4.  The Michigan Board of Education has approved the following formal assessments by which

            a paraprofessional can demonstrate knowledge to meet standard #3:

  • ETS ParaPro Assessment with a passing score of 460.
  • Michigan Test for Teacher Certification – Basic Skills (MTTC)
  • WorkKeys® through June 1, 2017. After June 1, 2017, MDE recommends the use of the other credit or assessment options. Anyone that has passed the Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Writing portions of the WorkKeys® prior to June 1, 2017 will still meet the state requirements

Please note these are minimum certification requirements and districts may have additional requirements as part of their terms of employment. Please contact the district directly to determine what requirements are needed for employment.


Paraprofessional Testing at the Macomb ISD Site

The Macomb Intermediate School District administers the ETS ParaPro Assessment to anyone wishing to fulfill the requirements of a Title I paraprofessional. The assessment measures the skills and knowledge in reading, writing, and math possessed by prospective and practicing paraprofessionals. It also measures their ability to apply those skills and knowledge when assisting in classroom instruction.

All portions of the assessment are computer based and administered on the same day. It takes approximately 2 ½ hours to complete the test. The test has 90 multiple-choice questions, approximately two-thirds of which focus on basic skills and knowledge. The remaining one-third focus on applying skills in the classroom. All test questions are in English.

The state of Michigan established a minimum passing score of 460; districts can require a higher passing score. 

Successful completion of these tests does not guarantee employment. Please check with your district or potential employer for additional information regarding hiring requirements.

When is the Test Given at the Macomb ISD?

Testing dates are held throughout the year. View the schedule of dates.

Registration and full payment for the ETS ParaPro Assessment is required prior to attendance.

You will receive an email confirmation outlining the testing guidelines. The Macomb Intermediate School District has the right to refuse admittance on the day of testing should a participant not adhere to the guidelines provided.

Those needing specific accommodations due to a disability or a health-related need will be responsible for contacting ETS to arrange for approved accommodations. The ParaPro Assessment Information Bulletin outlines the procedures for requesting accommodations in addition to important information for all test-takers. View the bulletin here.

ETS ParaPro Test At Home (Procured by ETS)

The launch of the ParaPro test at home is now offered through the ETS website. The ParaPro test at home is administered and monitored using ProProctor® software from Prometric®. As with our other at home solutions, candidates must meet equipment and environment requirements prior to testing. View a complete list of requirements, which includes software needs to test on a Mac® and PC.

Once candidates have confirmed that their computer and testing room meet the requirements, they can register and schedule their appointment directly with ProProctor. Appointments are available 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Additional information on the ParaPro test and the at home solution can be found on the ETS website.

What Can I Do to Prepare for the Test?

Free test preparation materials can be accessed directly from the ETS ParaPro Assessment website. A 90-day paid subscription to the practice test is available on the ETS ParaPro Assessment website for $19.95 (see access link above).