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ParaPro Testing
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ParaProfessional Information (NCLB)

*If you are interested in taking the paraprofessional exam please call 1-800-772-9476.  The "paper version" of the test is no longer being offered so you must go to a testing center to take test.

West Knoxville Sylvan Learning Center does administer these tests on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  You must call first to set up a time.  The phone number for Sylvan is 865-675-7323 and the cost is $100 per test.

The requirement that paraprofessionals be highly qualified applies only to instructional paraprofessionals who work in programs supported by Title I funds (school-wide or targeted assistance). However, all Title I paraprofessionals must, at a minimum, have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
Paraprofessionals who provide instructional services must have done one of the following to meet the highly qualified requirements--

•  Completed two years of study at an institution of higher education; or
•  Obtained an associate's or higher degree; or
•  Passed a test that demonstrates knowledge of and the ability to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and mathematics.

Timeline for Compliance

• Instructional paraprofessionals newly hired after January 8, 2002 who work in programs supported by Title I funds (school-wide or targeted assistance), must meet these requirements upon employment.

• Instructional paraprofessionals who were hired on or before January 8, 2002 and who work in programs supported by Title I funds (school-wide or targeted assistance), must meet the requirements by January 8, 2006.

Guidelines and Definitions for Highly Qualified Paraprofessional Requirements

• The state equates 48 semester hours (excluding remedial courses), as the equivalent of two years of college. Developmental courses may count toward the 48 hours.

• The state does not require that the coursework or associate's degree be in any specific subject or field. The nature of the coursework or degree is left to the discretion of the school system. However, the coursework must have been obtained from an accredited institution of higher education.

• The SDE has collaborated with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) in the development of an on-line associate's degree program for paraprofessionals. Information about the on-line degree is on the TBR web site at

• Tennessee has adopted the ParaPro Assessment as the statewide test for paraprofessionals.
The ParaPro was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to satisfy the test option for paraprofessionals. Information about this test is available on the ETS web site at

• The Tennessee passing score for the ParaPro Assessment is 456.

• All instructional paraprofessionals newly hired after January 8, 2002 who have not completed two years of college or do not hold an associate's degree or higher, must pass the ParaPro test prior to being hired in a Title I school or program.

• The highly qualified status will be portable across school systems.