How to Become a Paraprofessional (Teacher Assistant):

Effective January 1, 2023:
18 year old's may apply for the paraprofessional license OR Para Approval but can ONLY work in a Prek-8 classroom. It is up to the school district to adhere to this policy in classrooms.

To obtain an Illinois Paraprofessional license for employment as a teacher assistant, an applicant can be qualified by one of the following:

 One of the following:

  • Associate’s degree or higher

  • 60 semester hours of coursework OR

  • High School Diploma or GED and the following scores on the ACT Workkeys:

    • Applied Mathematics/Applied Math (with a score of 4)

    • Reading for information/Workplace Documents (with a score of 4)

  • Information for the ACT WorkKeys test is on Lincoln Land Community College’s website:( The tests are administered at LLCC in Springfield.

    Once you have taken the test and received your results, scan and email them to along with a copy of your HS diploma or GED transcript and then complete the steps below.

    NOTE: Paraprofessional licenses are valid for 5 years and may be renewed with the payment of registration fees.

How do I get a Paraprofessional license?


STEP ONE: Obtain a Paraprofessional License through the State of Illinois:
1. Log on to and click on "Log Into ELIS" in the upper left hand corner. Click on Log into your ELIS account in the middle of the page and then click on "CLICK HERE FOR FIRST TIME ACCESS TO THE ELIS SYSTEM", follow the prompts and setup your ELIS account and Select Continue.

  1. Click on "Home", "Action Center" and "Apply for a credential. “Apply for Paraprofessional license." You will pay $100 plus a convenience fee.

  2. At this point, you should send your official sealed copies of transcripts to ROE #39. They must be from a regionally accredited university and show an Associates degree has been awarded OR a minimum of 60 credit hours.

    You may have official electronic transcripts emailed directly from your university to

STEP TWO: Register your Paraprofessional License:

  1. Once the application status changes from “Pending Review” to “Issued” on your ELIS Account – you must register your license before it will be valid.

  2. Click on Registration under the Home tab and follow the steps. You will pay $30.00 plus a convenience fee. 

  3. Once your Para license is registered you may contact districts directly regarding employment.

If you are planning on working as a Para-Substitute then the following steps must ALSO be completed. Otherwise, they do NOT need to be completed!

STEP THREE: How to obtain a Para-Substitute Teacher Authorization letter from ROE #39:

  • Persons wishing to be considered for a Para-Substitute position must submit the substitute packet materials to ROE #39. The para-substitute packet includes the following:

    • Para-Substitute Teacher Application Form

    • Release of Information Form

    • Original Statement of Good Health (no photocopies) signed by a physician, no more than 1 year old.

    • BUSHUE authorization forms for your fingerprint appointment.

Click here to complete the Para-Sub Packet electronically

STEP FOUR: Fingerprinting:

  • Pay for your fingerprinting PRIOR to making your appointment. The cost is $65 and can be paid online via (see link below) or by cash or money order in person at our office. There will be a $2.00 convenience fee charged online.

  • Once you have completed and submitted all of the para-substitute packet paperwork and the results of your fingerprinting from BUSHUE have been received at our office, we will mail you a Para-Substitute Teacher Authorization letter along with a copy of your background check and physical.

  • You will need to take that information to each district office where you would like to para-substitute teach. Let them copy it for their files and apply directly with them

ROE #39 Privacy Policy: All inquiries regarding licenses must be made by the license holder, we are unable to share information with other parties. Thank you.