Organizational Development
Paraprofessional Requirements 

TITLE I

What is the No Child Left Behind Act?
It is a Federal Education Act, which is intended to improve the quality of educators by addressing the qualifications for employment of paraprofessionals and teachers with particular emphasis on reading, writing, and mathematics.

What is the new criteria for employment as a paraprofessional in a Title I school or Bright Beginnings Program hired prior to January 8, 2002?
Paraprofessionals must meet ONE of three options:

  1. Complete 2 years (48 semester hours) of college credit at an institute of higher education (IHE).
  2. Obtain an Associate's Degree from an IHE.
  3. Complete 96 hours of continuing education before January 8, 2006 (or two, 3 semester hour courses), meet rigorous standards of quality, and demonstrate through formal assessment the knowledge and ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics. There are two routes for the assessment:
    1. The Community College System offers three placement tests for paraprofessionals who are going to pursue a four-year or an associate's degree: COMPASS, ASSET or the ACCUPLACER. Those not pursuing a degree are encouraged to complete the WorkKeys Occupational Profile Assessment for Teacher Aides.
    2. Intense professional development and course work through the NC Department of Labor Teacher Assistant Apprentice program or the NC Assistant Teacher Association Professional Development Plan.

What is the NC Association of Teacher Assistants Paraprofessional Development Plan?

  • Open only to those employed prior to January 8, 2002
  • Instructional Associate Certificate Level I
  • 288 continuing education units or 18 semester hours
  • Specific community college courses in English, math, reading/writing, and public speaking
  • A competent rating documented by the principal on a checklist
  • A Professional Development Plan completed
  • The list of designated courses is attached.

What is the NC Department of Labor Teacher Assistant Apprentice program?

  • Open only to those employed prior to January 8, 2002
  • 288 continuing education units or 18 semester hours
  • 6 community college courses as outlined in the Instructional Guide
  • Currently CMS has no PD courses that would apply
  • A competent rating documented by the principal on the NC Dept. of Labor Teacher Assistant Certification Program Competency checklist (See attached checklist.)
  • The list of designated courses is attached.

What are COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER tests?

  • Open only to those continuing their formal education toward an AA degree or 4-year transfer program
  • Community college placement tests
  • Reading, writing, and mathematics (through pre-algebra) assessment
  • Minimum community college cut scores must be met
  • 48 hours of continuing education earned in year 1
  • 48 hours of continuing education earned in year 2
    > These credits may be earned by completing one, 3-semester hour course at an IHE or through 48 contact hours of professional development training.
  • If hired prior to January 2002, you have until January 8, 2006 to meet the requirements of earning a total of 96 hours continuing education for the 2 year requirement or completing two, 3-semester hour courses at an IHE.

What is the WorkKeys Occupational Profile Assessment?

  • Open to all paraprofessionals
  • Reading for Information, min. score 4
  • Applied Math, min. score 4
  • Writing, min. score 3
  • 48 hours of continuing education earned in year 1
  • 48 hours of continuing education earned in year 2
    > These credits may be earned by completing one, 3- semester hour course at an IHE or possibly through 48 contact hours of professional development training.
  • If hired prior to January 2002, you have until January 8, 2006 to meet the requirements of earning a total of 96 hours continuing education for the 2- year requirement or completing two, 3-semester hour courses at an IHE.
  • Training must be focused in areas of instructional methodology

Do all paraprofessionals in CMS have to meet these requirements?
No, currently requirements only apply to any paraprofessionals with instructional duties in Title I schools or the Bright Beginnings Program.

Can I transfer to a school that does not have the requirements?
Teacher assistants can apply for transfer through the normal transfer process conducted during the spring each year. It is possible, however, that these requirements may eventually apply to all teacher assistants throughout the district.

What will happen if I choose not to complete the requirements?
If requirements are not completed by January 8, 2006, you will no longer be eligible to be employed in a Title I or Bright Beginnings school in CMS.

What degrees meet the requirements?
Degrees meeting the requirement are an Associate's degree or higher from an IHE.

Can the No Child Left Behind Act requirement deadline be extended past January 8, 2006?
No, this deadline was imposed by the Federal Government.

If I have questions, whom can I call?
If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the Title I office.