Teacher and Pupil

Target Audience

ParaEducators hired AFTER January 8, 2002 who provide instructional support for Title I students in a Title I Targeted Assistance program or all paraprofessionals in a Title I Schoolwide building. This includes all para's in General Ed and Special Education offering support to students. Exceptions are those who are strictly clerical, translators, or work only with parental involvement.

Section 1111 (g) (2) (J) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that the State educational agency will ensure that all paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under Title I, Part  A meet applicable State certification requirements. Additionally, Section 1111 (g)(2)(M) requires that the State has Professional Standards in place for paraprofessionals, "including qualifications that were in place on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act."  Therefore, school districts are required to have all instructional paraprofessionals in Title I schoolwide buildings and all instructional paraprofessionals who are funded by Title I and working in a Title I Targeted Assistance program meet hiring requirements. To meet the hiring requirements, paraprofessionals shall meet the following:

  • Have at least two years of post-secondary education that is equivalent to at least 48 semester hours from an accredited higher education institution, or

  • Have obtained an associate (or higher) degree, or

  • Have met a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics (or, as appropriate, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness) by taking and passing one of the Hiring Requirements Options.

    • If a district chooses to create their own local assessments, DPI has created the Paraprofessional Assessment Framework to guide the development of  assessments that meet the ESSA requirements.

For those paraprofessionals that will demonstrate their readiness through a local option, CESA #11 provides an opportunity to participate in the MasterTeacher ParaEducator Online Training proctored by CESA Title I staff. Participating paraprofessionals have access to the entire range of courses offered through the MasterTeacher website from October 1st through September 30th, allowing them to review and revisit the courses when needed.


MasterTeacher ParaEducator Online Training includes:

  • A wide variety of online courses that give paraprofessionals the specific training they need—with strategies they can apply immediately.

  • Training that’s organized into several units.

  • A 10-question test at the end of each course that is automatically graded to ensure understanding.

    • Participants participating in the CESA #11 proctored coursework are required to demonstrate their learning with a proficiency score of 80% on each quiz.

  • Unlimited testing and test prep to meet Title I requirements.

  • Assessments that make it easy to evaluate paraprofessionals on their current skill set prior to or after hiring.

    • Participants participating in the CESA #11 proctored coursework are required to demonstrate their learning with a proficiency score of 80% on each assessment.

  • Transcripts and course certificates that paraprofessionals can access to document their training.

    • Transcripts and a certificate of completion are provided for the paraprofessional and the school district.


The cost for paraprofessionals to access a MasterTeacher ParaEducator Online training license is $55.00 per paraprofessional.

Paraprofessionals in a Targeted Assistance Program:

Title I, Part A of ESEA/ESSA recommends that targeted assistance Title I programs utilize highly effective teachers to provide instruction to Title I students. While the preference for utilizing highly effective teachers is clear, Title I services may be delivered by qualified paraprofessionals. If this is done, a district must meet the following conditions:

  • Title I paraprofessionals must work under the direct supervision of a highly

qualified teacher. §1119(g)(3)(A). While “direct supervision” is not defined in the law it is generally interpreted to mean that the highly qualified teacher…

    • Plans the Title I activities for eligible students

    • Evaluates the Title I students’ work and assesses them for entry and exit into the Title I program

    • Is accessible to Title I students

    • Is in close proximity to the Title I paraprofessional working with Title I students

For more information, see the DPI document, “Utilizing Paraprofessionals in a Title I Targeted Assistance Program.”


For more information, contact us:

Melissa edited.png


CESA #11 Educational Consultant

Ext. 2127

[email protected]



CESA #11 Program Assistant

Ext. 2204

[email protected]


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