While the No Child Left Behind program provides funding and basic guidelines on how to become a paraprofessional, or teacher's aide, they leave the ultimate requirements for qualifications and testing up to each individual state. In the State of Vermont, becoming a paraprofessional differs greatly then many other states. The requirements of the state of Vermont are only part of the equation; you have to satisfy the local school board's requirements as well!
Complete at least two years of study at an institution of higher learning. Two years is defined as having completed at least 48 credit hours in an education-related field.
Obtain an Associates degree, or complete the state competency examinations to show qualifications. If you have the required education, but do not have the degree, you can take the State Academic Assessment to confirm that you have the required skills in Math, Grammar, Writing, and Reading.
Ensure that you have to skeletons in your closet. The state requires that you complete a criminal and financial background check. Having poor credit or minor criminal offenses in your past does not automatically disqualify you, but you will need to submit an affidavit regarding the specifics of your particular situation. It is best to do this in advance, so they don't think that you're hiding something from them.
Complete the "Educational Testing Services (ETS) 'Para Pro Assessment' ". This will confirm your eligibility, and qualify you for employment at the state level. You will also need to complete any local assessment exams. These vary from school district to school district, so you'll have to ask your local school board to provide the appropriate documentation.
Obtain a passing score of 458 on your "State Para Pro Assessment". This score will allow you to work at the state level. Again, each school district differs in their scoring requirements, so check with your district of choice for their specifics.
Never assume that you can hide a criminal offense in your past. A DUI, or a felony traffic offense may not seem like a big deal now, 10 years after the fact, but it all shows up. Claim it in the appropriate section of your application, and you'll have less trouble in the long run.
If you are seeking a certification for a specific type of class, for example an art class or a grammar class, you can show aptitude in that discipline only.
If you are seeking a teacher's aide job as a parent, solely as an assisting role, you will not need to complete those requirements.