Will County Regional Office of Education LogoWill County
Regional Office of Education


Dr. Shawn Walsh

Regional Superintendent
Phone: (815) 740-8360
Fax: (815) 740-4788


Executive Order 21-22 Regarding All School Personnel 


Paraprofessional Rules

Paraprofessional and teacher aide are terms used to refer to paid instructional assistants supervised by a licensed teacher. Non-instructional assistants, such as personal care assistants and translators, are not considered paraprofessionals or teacher aides. All paraprofessionals (teacher aides) must have either a Statement of Approval from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), a Paraprofessional Endorsed Educator License with Stipulations (ELS-PARA) or one of the other eligible credentials stipulated in Section 25.510 Endorsement for Paraprofessional Educators of the administrative code

Per the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), individuals that hold valid educator licenses are not required to apply separately for ELS-PARA; they may be employed as a paraprofessional under the following credentials: 

1.  Any Professional Educator License (PEL);
2.  An Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) with any of the following endorsements: 

    • Provisional educator (any grade level or subject);
    • Provisional alternative educator (any grade level or subject);
    • Transitional bilingual educator;
    • Career and technical educator (not, however, provisional career and technical educator);
    • Visiting international educator (any grade level or subject);
    • Resident teacher (any grade level or subject);
    • Short-Term Substitute License
    • Paraprofessional educator;

3. Substitute License  

4. TA or TAS Approvals

***Please be aware that, for various reasons, some school districts may go above the state minimum by still requiring the ELS-PARA.***  


Requirements for the ELS-PARA 

  1. Be at least 19 years of age to serve students in prekindergarten through grade 12.
  2. Beginning January 1, 2023, you may qualify for the ELS-PARA by meeting the requirements outlined below at age 18 but only may serve in prekindergarten through grade 8.
  3. Show proof of one (1) of the following requirements: 
  • Associate's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; or
  • 60 semester hours of non-remedial coursework from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; or
  • High School Diploma or High School Equivalency and a score of 460 or higher on the ETS ParaPro test; or
  • High School Diploma or High School Equivalency and the following scores on the ACT WorkKeys tests
    • Applied Mathematics/Applied Math - 4
    • Reading for Information or Workplace Documents - 4

            4.  At this time, $100 plus processing fee to apply and $30 plus processing fee to register

 ***Refer to Educator License with Stipulations Endorsement Requirements ***

 The following websites contain information on the Paraprofessional test options: 

***Refer to Educator License with Stipulations Endorsement Requirements ***


How to Apply for the Paraprofessional Endorsement in ELIS from ISBE Video on Vimeo.

Verification Documentation Submission

The ELS-PARA application wizard instructs individuals to send official transcripts directly to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  Be aware that official transcripts can also be submitted to this office.  A paper transcript is considered official if it is still sealed in the envelope as prepared by the college Registrar.  Paper transcripts can be sent to the Will County ROE address listed on this website.  ISBE will accept electronic transcripts from reputable sources such as E-script IF you request that the electronic transcript be e-mailed directly to Melissa Esquivel at mesquivel@willcountyillinois.com.  We cannot accept electronic transcripts that are copies of what you received from a service.  Official transcripts already on file in ELIS do not need to be re-submitted.  If an individual is qualifying through the test options, verification can be submitted by mail or in person to the Will County ROE address listed on this website (Due to COVID-19, we currently ask that the documents below be mailed or e-mailed to Melissa Esquivel at mesquivel@willcountyillinois.com):

All ELS-PARA applications must be completed online through the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS). ELIS is now programmed to automatically issue the ELS-PARA when the appropriate credential is listed in the Degree tab.  If the degree is not on file at the time of application, the PARA will go into “Pending” status until the transcript and degree are on file.  If an individual is not qualifying through a degree, then evaluations can take 4-6 weeks. Educators can see the list of documents uploaded into their ELIS account by viewing the Images tab. 

ELS-PARA Registration and Renewal 

ISBE will send you an e-mail once the account is updated. Once the license has been issued, log into your ELIS account to pay the applicable registration fees.  Register the license in Will County ROE 56 by selecting the registration option from the “Action Center” box located on the Home page of your ELIS account.  Selecting that link will take you through another wizard that walks you step by step through the registration process.  The license is not valid for employment until these fees are paid.‚Äč  Since Illinois moved to licensure in 2013, ISBE no longer issues a paper or electronic version of a license.  The only verification individuals can print is a screenshot of the Credential page of the Educator Licensure Information System(ELIS) account. 

Paraprofessional Renewal 2023


© 2023 Will County Regional Office of Education


116 North Chicago St. Suite 400
Joliet, IL 60432

Office Hours

8:30am - 4:30pm