For educational paraprofessionals, Michigan's Department of Education follows the federal requirements relating established with the No Child Left Behind bill signed by former President George W. Bush in 2002. Such paraprofessionals assist a teacher in writing, reading, or math instruction, including school readiness activities. In Michigan, a paraprofessional, or teacher's aide, must meet one of three criteria: possess at least 60 credit hours toward a college diploma; possess an associate's or higher degree; or pass a formal academic or local assessment approved by the state.
In Michigan, paraprofessionals need to pass one of the following tests in order to fulfill federal requirements to be a qualified paraprofessional: the Basic Skills test of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC), the ACT WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants (PCTA), or the ParaPro assessment by Educational Testing Services (ETS).
Certificate of Completion
If a paraprofessional candidate chooses the 60-credit-hour option, she might enroll in a paraprofessional program offered at many Michigan community colleges. The paraprofessional certificate of completion, usually 19 credit hours, focuses solely on the paraprofessional industry. Michigan's Department of Education does not, however; have the authorization to issue any certificates for paraprofessionals.
Michigan School Readiness Program (Preschool)
The Michigan Department of Education's Michigan School Readiness Program has special criteria for paraprofessionals who want to work in a preschool program. An individual should have an associate's degree in early childhood, preschool education, child development or child care; or have a Child Development Associate credential from a community college or equivalent continuing education experience approved by the state's board of education. A third option is to complete 120 hours of documented formal child care education offered by state board-approved training organizations, such as a college or university, community college, or high school vocational education department.
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