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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 Sites and Registration

As of September 1, 2022, the Macomb Intermediate School District will no longer be a test site for the ETS ParaPro Assessment. Prometric® will be administering the test and you may now take it at one of their approved sites or remotely at home.

Prometric® test sites in Michigan are located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Troy. Testing availability at each site is determined by the date you wish to test. The Prometric® site, https://www.prometric.com/ParaPro, has links that will help you identify open testing dates (remotely and on-site), locations, and registration information for first-time test takers and those looking to either retake or reschedule their test. 

To take the ParaPro test remotely at home, you must have a computer with a camera, an internet connection, and the ability to install a lightweight app (prior to the test event). You will be able to take the test online while a Prometric® proctor is overseeing the examination process remotely.

The ETS ParaPro website (https://www.ets.org/parapro/register/) will continue to operate and also provides links to register with Prometric® to take the test remotely at home or at a nearby test site. There, you will find the latest ETS ParaPro Assessment Information Bulletin (PDF format) which includes in-depth information regarding the test, registration, and how to apply for additional testing time if English is your second language or you need accommodations due to a disability or health-related need. Testing accommodations are available for those who qualify. Please note that it is recommended you apply for any accommodation(s) at least four to six weeks prior to taking the test. Additional information regarding testing accommodations can be found at https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/arrange-testing-accommodations or in the ETS ParaPro Assessment Information Bulletin.

For a list of frequently asked questions regarding Prometric® policies and the ETS ParaPro Assessment, please visit Prometric® at https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/frequently-asked-questions.


Test Preparation

You may still access test preparation materials on the ETS ParaPro website located at https://www.ets.org/practice.html