Mar 23, 2019  

Paraprofessional Educator

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(041) Associate in Applied Science

The Illinois State Board of Education awards a paraprofessional educator endorsement on an educator license with stipulations to individuals who: 1) are at least 19 years old; 2) Hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent (GED) and has met one of the following criteria:

  • Holds an associate degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; (evidence is an official transcript); or
  • Has completed at least 60 semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited institution of higher education (excluding remedial coursework); or
  • Presents an official score report from Educational Testing Service (ETS) showing a score of 460 or higher on the ParaPro test; or
  • Presents evidence of earning the following scores on the Work Keys test (offered by ACT): Reading for Information/Workplace Documents (4), and Applied Mathematics (4).

Work and Employment

The Paraprofessional Educator degree will assist individuals in securing the education and credentials needed to obtain employment as a paraprofessional. The program incorporates general education and professional requirements, as well as related electives, and prepares individuals to obtain employment as an instructional assistant in pre-K-12th grade. The employment of elementary and secondary paraprofessionals is dependent upon publicly-funded resources. Most employment opportunities in this occupation will result from fairly high attrition or turnover. Many employment opportunities include part-time positions but full-time employment is available on a limited basis. These positions usually merit entry-level pay.

Advancement to other occupations related to child and adolescent care is possible with further education, training and experience. Click here for further career information:

Special Considerations

Entry level child care position salaries may begin at minimum wage. This program is not designed, nor intended, to transfer as a package; however the curriculum includes many transferable courses for the student who decides to pursue a baccalaureate degree.

To be a Title I Paraprofessional, students must hold state approval as a Teacher Aide. Title I paraprofessionals seeking employment should be prepared to provide the employer with a current academic transcript or demonstrate successful completion of a State Paraprofessional Certification Examination

For more information, refer to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website at>.

Criminal History Check Policy

Illinois law requires Illinois school boards to conduct a criminal background investigation on applicants for employment. This law also prohibits the employment of a person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit any one or more of a number of offenses. At present, offenses include first degree murder; any Class X felony; juvenile pimping; soliciting for a juvenile prostitute; exploitation of a child; obscenity; child pornography; harmful material; criminal sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual assault; offenses set forth in the Cannabis Control Act; and crimes defined in the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. Employment must be denied whether the offenses and/or conviction occurred inside or outside the state of Illinois.

Students who perform classroom observations through coursework at Sauk Valley Community College may be required by the selected school/site to undergo a criminal background check prior to placement. Students may be denied at any observation site based on the results of that check.

Students who feel their criminal background may exclude them from observation or employment should seek counseling with SVCC faculty or advising staff early in their program to determine how it may affect their participation and eligibility.

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College
Academic Advising, 815/835-6354
Janis Jones, Assistant Professor of Education, 815/835-6410


Related Requirements - Sem/Hrs: 13-14

To be selected from the following list or others as approved by the department.

When making choices, students should consult with their advisor to be sure that vocational training needs and state licensing requirements for teacher’s aides are being met.

  • Additional Physical/Life Science 3-4 Semester hour(s)

General Education Requirements - Sem/Hrs: 24-25

  • Communications (ENG 101, 103 and COM 131 required) 9 Semester hour(s)
  • Social/Behavioral Science (PSY 103 required, PSY 215 recommended) 6 Semester hour(s)
  • Science (Physical/Life Science) 3-4 Semester hour(s)
  • Humanities/Fine Arts 3 Semester hour(s)
  • Mathematics (MAT 110 required) 3 Semester hour(s)

SVCC Requirement - Sem/Hrs: 1

Total Hours Required for A.A.S. Degree: 60-62


Due to State guidelines, students enrolled in this degree may earn no more than 20 credits through prior experience as listed in the Policies  section of this catalog.

Suggested Program

First Semester - Sem/Hrs: 16

  • Related Requirements 3 Semester hour(s)

Second Semester - Sem/Hrs: 15

Related Requirements 3 Semester hour(s)

Third Semester - Sem/Hrs: 14-15

  • Related Requirements 5-6 Semester hour(s)

Fourth Semester - Sem/Hrs: 15-16

  • Humanities/Fine Arts 3 Semester hour(s)
  • Physical/Life Science 3-4 Semester hour(s)
  • Related Requirements 2 Semester hour(s)

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