What Does it Mean to Be a Highly Qualified Paraprofessional?
Both targeted assistance and schoolwide Title I programs require paraprofessionals to be highly qualified. To meet the highly qualified requirements, a paraprofessional must have a high school diploma or equivalent plus one of the following:
- An associate degree (or higher); or
- Documentation of at least 48 semester hours or 60 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university; or
- Meet a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing*, as appropriate -
- Reading/language arts, writing, and mathematics; or
- Reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness.
- In Utah, passing scores on the following Board-approved assessments are accepted (please contact your Local Education Agency (LEA) for additional details/requirements):
- ParaPro Assessment by Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a score of at least 460
- ParaEducator Assessment by Master Teacher – a score of at least 70% on Academic Application (reading, writing, math) and 65% on Knowledge of Supporting Instruction
- Project PARA Assessment by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – a score of at least 116
Exceptions to the Title I Highly Qualified Requirements:
- A paraprofessional who serves only as a translator;
- A paraprofessional who only conducts family engagement; or
- A paraprofessional who only provides personal care services or other non-instructional services to students with disabilities.
What Types of Instructional Support May a Paraprofessional Provide as Part of a Title I Program?
- Tutoring eligible students, if the tutoring occurs at a time when a student would otherwise not receive Tier 1 instruction from a classroom teacher;
- Classroom management, including organizing instructional materials;
- Managing a computer lab;
- Assisting with parental engagement activities;
- Providing support in a library media center;
- Translating for parents or families; and
- Instructional services to students under the supervision of a licensed teacher.
Documentation of Highly Qualified Status
Note: Documentation of the highly qualified status of a paraprofessional is the responsibility of the LEA and is not posted in Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS). Paraprofessionals should refer to the LEA’s Title I Director or Human Resources Department for more information.
Acceptable forms of documentation to be submitted to LEA:
- Post-Secondary Transcript showing a minimum of 48 academic semester hours at an accredited institution of higher education;
- Post-Secondary Transcript; certificate; or diploma indicating an associate degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education; or
- A high school diploma or its equivalent AND evidence of a passing score on one of the three Board-approved assessments (ParaPro, ParaEducator, or Project PARA)
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