How to Obtain a Texas Paraprofessional Certificate

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A paraprofessional is a teacher's assistant who has a state certification. After the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2002, the rules governing certification of paraprofessionals in Texas changed. Under the requirements in place since then, an aspiring paraprofessional must seek higher-education accreditation. The only exceptions to these rules are for those who are acting in a role that does not require teaching a student. For example, translators or parental liaisons are not required to meet these standards or obtain certification.

Assessment Test

  • Register for the ParaPro Assessment test at the ETS testing organization's website. As of 2012, the exam cost $50.

  • Prepare for the assessment test. The ETS website has a free test overview and a link to buy a study guide for $22.95. The exam measures basic reading, writing and math skills.

  • Take the ParaPro exam online or at an ETS testing center.

  • Submit your test score report to the school district when you apply for a job. Passing scores for the ParaPro Assessment are left to the discretion of the school district. In Texas, these range from 455 to 467. The maximum score for the test is 480.

Certification

  • Obtain a job with a Texas school. You will need a school to enter you as an educator with the Texas Education Agency before you can apply for certification.

  • Go to the TEA website and select "Educator Login" then "New User? Create New Account" and follow the instructions to create your account.

  • Log in to your account and follow the instructions to apply for your paraprofessional certification.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ParaPro Assessment is not required if you have either 48 hours of higher education credits or an associate degree. Contact your school district before you take the test, as some districts prefer to do their own assessment instead.
  • Paraprofessional certification in Texas no longer requires educational work experience, but many school districts require it.
  • In Texas, you can also apply as an educational aide which has lower educational experience but higher work-experience requirements.

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