Overview of Louisiana Teachers' Aides
Teachers' aides, categorized as paraprofessionals, are needed to help a certified educator implement curriculum. Whether it is tutoring, in-classroom assistance, or assisting with school activities, the paraprofessional must be prepared to provide for the educational needs of Louisiana students. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) requires that teachers' aides have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and meet one of the credentialing options that ensures the candidate is capable of providing educational support in elementary, middle, and high schools. There are various options that qualify a person to become a paraprofessional. Understanding the pathways available and working closely with the paraprofessional coordinator of the school district that the candidate seeks employment in will qualify the applicant to be a teacher's aide in Louisiana.
|Average Salary for Teachers' Aides in Louisiana (2018)*||$21,510 (teachers' assistants)|
|National Job Outlook (2018-2028)*||4% (teachers' assistants)|
|Required Degree||High School Diploma|
|Degree Field||Child- or Education-Related Technical Diploma, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Applied Science|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis ParaPro Assessment|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Option 1: Take the Test
The first pathway qualifies an individual as a paraprofessional by taking and passing the Praxis ParaPro Assessment. The exam allows for two and a half hours to complete it and is taken at an approved testing site on a computer. The test consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that evaluate the reading, writing, and math skills of the candidate, and it also tests the candidate's knowledge of classroom teaching assistant skills. The LDE requires the candidate to pass the exam as a highly qualified paraprofessional with a score of 450. The exam is administered by the Education Testing System (ETS) and was developed to ensure paraprofessionals meet the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Praxis ParaPro Assessment fee is $55 and can be registered for online on the ETS website. The candidate can then apply for a teaching assistant position and fulfill any additional requirements required by the district. A full list of paraprofessional coordinator contacts for Louisiana school districts may be found on the LDE website.
Option 2: Have the Education
A candidate can qualify to be a paraprofessional by having earned college credits, a technical diploma, or a degree. The candidate can satisfy this option by having earned 48 hours of college credit in which 15 hours are core curriculum courses in reading, writing, and math. The remaining credits must be from an accredited university and contribute to the development of the paraprofessional skills of the applicant. The candidate may also qualify if they hold a technical diploma in a field that relates to education or children, or hold an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree in an applied field. University transcripts are required for credentialing and should be reviewed by the paraprofessional coordinator for the district the candidate will be seeking employment in to ensure that proper coursework is being taken. Additional guidance to coursework taken can also be provided by the higher education institution the candidate is attending. Once all educational requirements are met, the applicant is required to work with the districts paraprofessional coordinator to meet any additional requirements of the school district.