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Title I Requirements

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) guidance and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements define a paraprofessional as one who provides instructional support by reinforcing a teacher’s instruction in the classroom.

Title I paraprofessionals must have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and meet one of the following three requirements to be employed in a Title I program:

  1. Obtained a working knowledge in reading, mathematics, and writing by completing two years of study (48 semester hours) at an institution of higher education; or
  2. Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree; or
  3. Met a rigorous and objective standard of quality and demonstrated knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics by taking and passing one of North Dakota’s approved assessments.

Individuals holding a North Dakota educator’s professional license meet the requirements under ESSA, and the teaching license number could be used in lieu of the paraprofessional certificate of completion number.

A paraprofessional assists teachers and students under the direction of a professional teacher.

  • In a Title I targeted assistance program, these requirements pertain to all Title I-paid instructional paraprofessionals.
  • In a Title I schoolwide program, Title I funds support all teachers and paraprofessionals, and the Title I paraprofessional requirements apply to all paraprofessionals with instructional duties, regardless of whether the position is supported with Title I funds. This includes all instructional paraprofessionals paid with the district, Title I, school improvement, Special Education, BIA, or other funding sources.

Please note: The requirements for Title I paraprofessionals are not meant to apply to those persons who are in training or hold non-instructional positions, such as student teachers, interns, technology assistants, behavior monitors, etc.

Exceptions to the ESSA requirements include a paraprofessional who serves only as a translator; a paraprofessional who only conducts parental involvement, and separate programs that are physically located in the Title I school but are not part of the school’s overall organizational structure or schoolwide program (e.g., preschool, district-wide Special Education, etc.), and these programs are not supported with Title I funds.

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    Application Process

    To obtain a Title I Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion, applicants must:

    • Submit a completed Title I Paraprofessional application on ND Teach
    • Upload appropriate supporting documentation:
      • A complete set of college transcripts verifying a minimum of 48 semester hours or an Associate’s degree or higher, or
      • A copy of a valid North Dakota Educator's Professional License, or
      • A document indicating a passing score on a North Dakota-approved assessment, AND a copy of a high school diploma or transcripts, or its recognized equivalent (GED).

      Requirements for International Degrees and Academic Records

      All international degrees, academic records, and transcripts must be submitted accompanied by English translations and transcript evaluation from an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). The international education records must be translated to US equivalency by degree and course by course.

      Direct Supervision of Paraprofessionals

      Direct supervision means:

      • The teacher prepares the lessons, plans the instructional support activities the paraprofessional carries out, and evaluates the achievement of the students with whom the paraprofessional is working; and
      • The paraprofessional works in close and frequent proximity to the teacher.

      A Title I program must employ highly qualified teachers to carry the entire caseload of students and administer the Title I program. In both Title I targeted assistance and schoolwide settings, programs staffed only by paraprofessionals are not permitted (i.e., school day programs, before-school programs, after-school programs, summer school programs, computer-assisted programs, etc.). Title I paraprofessionals may only assist students by reinforcing certified teachers’ direct instruction.

      Note: The Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion issued by the NDDPI Office of Specially Designed Services (i.e., Special Education) does not suffice for a Title I Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion as outlined under ESSA.

      Duties Allowable for Title I Paraprofessionals

      Paraprofessionals provide instructional support; they should not be providing planned direct instruction or introducing new skills, concepts, or academic content to students. Paraprofessionals cannot carry student caseloads.

      • Providing one-on-one tutoring for eligible students only at a time when a student would not receive instruction from a teacher;
      • Assisting with classroom management in a schoolwide program or assisting with classroom management in a targeted assistance program in the Title I room only;
      • Providing computer lab assistance (for identified Title I students in a targeted assistance program);
      • Conducting parental involvement activities (for identified Title I students in a targeted assistance program);
      • Providing support in a library or media center. In a targeted assistance program, any services provided by a Title I-paid paraprofessional would have to be supplemental and target identified students;
      • Serving as a translator (for identified Title I students in a targeted assistance program); and
      • Providing instructional support services under the direct supervision of a teacher. In a targeted assistance program, Title I-paid paraprofessionals must be under the direct supervision of a certified Title I teacher.

      Schools and districts must have a job description for all staff employed. The job description must outline whether an individual is employed as a paraprofessional or a teacher. It is the responsibility of schools and districts to ensure their staff has the knowledge and skills sufficient to assist all students in meeting the educational goals of ESSA. When feasible, paraprofessionals are to be included in professional development activities.

      North Dakota Approved Assessments for Title I Paraprofessional Certification
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      North Dakota Approved Assessments for Title I Paraprofessional Certification
      ACT WorkKeys Assessment

      The ACT WorkKeys® is a job skills assessment system that measures foundational and soft skills as well as specialized assessments to target specific needs. Since North Dakota school districts have access to provide WorkKeys® assessments to their students, the NDDPI has joined other states by adding the WorkKeys® to the list of approved assessments to meet the Title I paraprofessional requirements.

      Passing Score: Title I paraprofessionals must receive the following required passing score on this exam:

      • Workplace Documents (previously known as Reading for Information), Level Score 4 of 7
      • Applied Math, Level Score 4 of 7
      • Business Writing or Writing, Level Score 3 of 5

      Please Note: The levels required by the NDDPI are based on the average scores established by other states using this exam for the same paraprofessional qualifications. Candidates must meet the minimum level for all three assessments.

      Getting Your Scores: The ACT® WorkKeys® Online Reports Portal is where various examinee score reports may be generated and exported to be saved and printed.

      Allow two business days after scoring takes place for score reports to be available in the Reports Portal. The score data for:

      • Online test scores are typically available one business day after scoring takes place.
      • Paper test scores are usually available two business days after scoring takes place.

      Taking the Test: The WorkKeys® offers both online and paper testing. The WorkKeys® test is administered at many locations throughout the state. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their school district’s administrative office for testing availability information.

      Cost: Fees vary depending on the number of tests needed.

      Test Preparation Materials: The ACT offers a WorkKeys Curriculum and an online practice test that can be purchased to help individuals improve their scores.

      Contact: Visit WorkKeys®  for more information or to register or call (800) 967-5539.

      Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Training® Assessment

      The Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Training® Title I Compliant assessments (formerly known as the Paraeducator Learning Network and Paraeducator PD Now!) provide districts with a measure of the knowledge and ability of paraprofessionals in reading, mathematics, and writing instruction.

      Passing Score: Title I paraprofessionals must receive the following required passing score on this exam:

      • Title I Compliant Assessment 1: Reading, Mathematics and Writing - Instructional Support, Percentage Cut Point 65%
      • Title I Compliant Assessment 2: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing - Knowledge and Application, Percentage Cut Point 65%

      Please Note: The levels required by the NDDPI to constitute passing scores on The Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Learning® are based on the average scores established by other states using this exam for the same paraprofessional qualifications. Candidates must meet the minimum cut point for both assessments.

      Getting Your Scores: Administrators can access and print assessment results anytime. T To do so, they must log in as an Administrator, click on “Reports,” drop-down to “Learn Reports,” and choose “View” below “Assessments.” The search field and/or filtering options can be used to find the specific tester results. Results can be exported to a PDF or excel document. Documentation proving the reliability and validity of the assessments is available upon request through contacting the district’s Paraeducator Online Training® consultant for details.

      Taking the Test: The Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Training® assessment is available to school districts participating in the Master Teacher professional development series.

      Cost: Fees vary depending on the assessments and training provided.

      Test Preparation Materials: The Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Training® Title I Compliant Assessments 1 and 2 are required to meet paraprofessional requirements in North Dakota. Along with the assessments, the Paraeducator Online Training® series provides 13 training courses to assist paraeducators in preparing for the assessments. Additionally, the program offers online practice assessments.

      Contact: Visit the Master Teacher Paraeducator Online Training® contact page for more information or call (800) 669-9633.

      ParaPro Assessment

      The ParaPro® Assessment was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for prospective and practicing paraprofessionals. The test measures skills and knowledge in reading, mathematics, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. For more information about the test, visit ParaPro® Assessment

      Passing Score: The required score for this exam is a composite score of 464 in the reading, mathematics, and writing sections, as set by a 2003 standard-setting study.

      Getting Your Scores: Unofficial scores will be emailed within 1 hour after taking the test. Your official score report will be sent to you and one score recipient approximately 2-3 weeks after the test date. Please visit the ETS website, ParaPro Scores (ets.org), for additional information. A copy of your scores is also shared with the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, the state’s teacher licensing board; however, NDDPI does not have access to these records.

      Taking the Test: The ETS® ParaPro Assessment is delivered via computer and is administered by appointment by Prometric® at Prometric test centers and at home. Please visit the Prometric website to register for the ParaPro Assessment either at a test center or at home.

      At-home testing is:

      • taken on your own computer at home or another secure location
      • monitored by a human proctor online through ProProctor
      • available 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

      Cost: The approximate cost of the exam is $85.

      Test Preparation Materials: ETS is committed to helping the test take do their best on the ParaPro assessment by offering a variety of test preparation materials. Both free and low-cost test preparation materials are available, including study companions, online tutorials, and interactive practice tests. Find test preparation materials on the ParaPro website.

      Contact: For more information, contact ParaPro® Assessment at (800) 772-9476.

      Praxis Core Assessment

      The Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE®) tests replaced the Praxis I® (PPST®) effective January 1, 2014. The CORE® tests measure academic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing. These tests are designed to provide comprehensive assessments that measure candidates' skills and content knowledge entering teacher preparation programs.

      Passing Score: Title I paraprofessionals must receive the following required passing score on this exam:

      • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading – Test Code #5713, Cut Score is 156
      • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics – Test Code #5733, Cut Score is 150
      • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing – Test Code #5723, Cut Score is 160

      Please Note: North Dakota has instituted a composite score of 466 based on the CORE® Reading, Mathematics, and Writing tests, provided the candidate has met the minimum passing score currently in place for two of the three tests.

      Getting Your Scores: Score reports are available online thru the individual’s ETS account 2 to 3 weeks after the testing window closes or 2 to 3 weeks after the test date for those tests that are offered continuously.

      Taking the Test: All CORE® tests are delivered by computer. The CORE® tests are offered continuously throughout the calendar year. Please review the Test Centers and Dates for more information.

      Test Centers and Dates: CORE® tests are delivered by computer at an international network of test centers that include Prometric® test centers, some universities, and at home. Search the ETS “Where to Take Your Praxis Test” to locate the nearest test centers. A test center map and driving directions to the test center are available as part of your search results for most of the test centers.  

      Cost: Fees vary, ranging from $90 – $150, depending on the tests you register for.

      Test Preparation Materials: Praxis® has free study companions (click on each test for specific study companions) and Interactive Practice Tests for purchase online. More information can be found on North Dakota’s Praxis testing.

      Contact: Visit Praxis® CORE® for more information or to register for the tests.

      Project PARA

      As of December 1, 2022, the Project PARA program (including the Paraeducator Self-Study Program and the Supervisors of Paraeducators Self-Study Program) will completely transition to its new system. Paraeducator Self-Study program users who are currently registered on this system may continue their training until December 1, at which time this system will shut down and will no longer be accessible.
      New users of the Paraeducator should register participants at https://para.myesu.org.

      The Project PARA Paraeducator Self-Study Program is a web-based method for school districts to provide introductory training for their paraeducators. It contains several units and assessments pertaining to paraeducators' roles and responsibilities, and core knowledge and skills in reinforcing instruction. Project PARA offers a series of six tests that must be completed to satisfy Title I requirements. The tests are aggregated and averaged into one composite score.   
       These online tests include: 

      • Assisting with Reading Instruction
      • Assisting with Written Language Skills
      • Assisting with Fundamental Mathematics Skills
      • Content Skills Assessment for Reading
      • Content Skills Assessment for Writing
      • Content Skills Assessment for Mathematics

      Passing Score: Title I paraprofessionals must receive a passing score on this exam. The required score for this exam is a composite score of 69%.

      Getting Your Scores: For participants who have completed the North Dakota Department of Instruction requirements for Title I, certificates of completion can be downloaded when a participant has met the following steps: 

      1. The requirements for Title I, as shown above, have been met.
      2. The assigned instructor has verified this by reviewing their scores and submitting the verification form. The instructor can verify these scores on the Unit Progress for the specific group. (The instructor of a participant needs to go to Instructor Resources, choose Group, and see columns labeled ‘Verify NCLB.’

      Contact: Visit Project PARA for more information.

      Retired Assessments

      Although the following exams are no longer available, the passing score could be submitted for review if an individual has taken one of these exams in the past.

      • The Praxis I® (PPST®) was a basic academic skills assessment covering reading, mathematics, and writing. The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) Tests replaced the Praxis I® (PPST®) effective January 1, 2014. North Dakota’s PPST® passing scores are 173 in Reading, 170 in Mathematics, and 173 in Writing.
      • The Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE®) test codes change periodically. North Dakota’s passing cut scores for these retired test codes are 156 in Reading (Test Code #5712), 150 in Mathematics (Test Code #5732), and 160 in Writing (Test Code #5722).
      • The HELP® (Higher Education Learning Profile), published by Educational Resources, Inc., is an approved assessment to meet the paraprofessional requirements. North Dakota’s passing scores for this exam are 67 in Reading Comprehension, 67 in Essential Math Skills, and 66 in Written Expression.
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      Questions about the Title I paraprofessional requirements can be directed to the Office of Educational Improvement & Support.