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CRC logoThe WorkKeys® Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants provides a valid, field proven way to boost elementary education in the United States, in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. Based on ACT's WorkKeys system, the certificate program takes a four-pronged approach. It enables paraprofessional teacher assistants in Title I-funded schools to demonstrate their proficiency in three content areas—reading, writing, and mathematics—as well as their skills in assisting teachers in the classroom. Through testing and on-the-job observation, teacher assistants can demonstrate knowledge and skill levels in line with what is achieved in two years of postsecondary study. The following states use WorkKeys testing for their paraprofessionals—Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

A Proven Solution

Affordable and easy to administer, the WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants system is built around our WorkKeys job skills assessments, which have been used by schools, businesses, and organizations for more than a decade to hire, assess, and train a qualified workforce. Three validated WorkKeys assessments form the core of the program:

  • Reading for Information – Level 4
  • Business Writing – Level 3
  • Applied Mathematics – Level 4

Review the for common business writing errors in the Business Writing assessment.

Instructional Support Inventory

In addition, ACT offers a unique, structured observation component not found with other teacher assistant assessments. The Instructional Support Inventory is to be filled out by a knowledgeable observer who assesses the teacher assistant's classroom teaching skills. This observation component is similar to teacher evaluation processes used in schools nationwide. Examinees who successfully complete all program components earn a Teacher Assistant certificate of performance. Performance levels have been established by individual schools, districts, and NC’s state education agencies.

In addition, ACT offers a unique, structured observation component not found with other teacher assistant assessments. The Instructional Support Inventory is to be filled out by a knowledgeable observer who assesses the teacher assistant's classroom teaching skills. This observation component is similar to teacher evaluation processes used in schools nationwide.
Examinees who successfully complete all program components earn a certificate of performance. The Instructional Support Inventory and the WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants are ordered by test site administrators using the WorkKeys Materials Order Form. Both forms are provided in paper format only.

Ways to improve skills

The WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants offers another unique feature—the ability to identify skill gaps and guide training decisions to help teacher assistants improve their WorkKeys scores when necessary. Check out the “Go For The Gold’ classes and the Job Seeker’s Labs (with KeyTrain tutorials).

WorkKeys® Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for this federal legislation?
States must ensure that teacher aides/paraprofessionals meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • An associate's (or higher) degree
  • Two years' postsecondary studies, or pass a formal assessment in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics
  • Documentation of ability to assist in instructing (classroom pedagogical skills)
  • Any assessment used to certify teacher aides/paraprofessionals must be valid, reliable, and documented.

What solution does ACT offer?
The WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants (PCTA), including a performance-based assessment—Instructional Support Inventory (ISI).
  
In which states are school districts already using WorkKeys for this purpose?
Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. In addition, thousands of schools, businesses, and organizations have been using WorkKeys for more than a decade. WorkKeys is a system developed by ACT to analyze the foundational skills required by employers, assess individuals' proficiencies in those skills, and provide assistance and direction in building those skills.
 
How do I receive a WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants?
To qualify, examinees must take the following WorkKeys assessments, which have been legally validated for high-stakes assessment, via WorkKeys Internet Version or paper-and-pencil version, and receive the following scores:

  • Reading for Information – Level 4
  • Applied Mathematics – Level 4
  • Business Writing– Level 3

The Instructional Support Inventory must be completed by an objective evaluator, usually a supervisor, while observing the teacher assistant on the job. The Instructional Support Inventory and the WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants are ordered using the WorkKeys Materials Order Form and are sold as a set for $20.00. Both forms are provided in paper format only.
 
How long is each test?
Reading for Information and Applied Mathematics tests are 55 minutes each Business Writing takes 30 minutes to complete.

Taking the Tests

Where can I take the tests?
Teaching assistants can go to a WorkKeys Solutions Provider or ACT Center that offers the tests.
Durham Technical Community College offers testing for TA’s, along with several prep classes that will enable you to take practice tests and upgrade your skills. Email crctest@durhamtech.edu to reserve a place in test sessions on Friday mornings.
   
Do you have practice tests?
Yes. Online practice tests are available in Durham Tech’s KeyTrain labs.
 
How long does it take to get the scores?
WorkKeys Internet Version test scores are available the same day, except for Business Writing scores, which take 48-72 hours to post.
 
If test-takers don't pass the exams, do they need to retake the entire WorkKeys battery?
No. If participants don't achieve passing skill levels on one or more of the WorkKeys exams, they can take training and then retake ONLY the skill assessments they did not pass.
 
If teacher assistants have already taken WorkKeys assessments, can they use those scores to get the certificate?
Yes; participants can use scores up to five years old to meet requirements. If the scores are older than that, they must retake the assessments. However, an Instructional Support Inventory must also be successfully completed to qualify for the certificate.
Note: The examinee can verify scores for the site administrator by presenting an Official WorkKeys Score Report. If needed, the examinee can obtain Additional Score Reports.
 
What does the certificate represent? Does it mean that the test-taker is certified to be a teacher assistant?
The certificate is a documentation of skills, not a certification. Receiving a certificate means that the test-taker achieved the required scores on the WorkKeys tests and met the standards of the Instructional Support Inventory.
 
After achieving the certificate, do TA’s have to retake the tests periodically to update it?
No. However, any change in the requirements is subject to federal legislation.

Additional Information

The cost is $60 (checks or credit card only). Assessments are given in paper-and-pencil formats. If one section or assessment of the test is not passed, you may retake the individual assessment at $10 per assessment. Please email crctest@durhamtech.edu to reserve a space.

For more information contact Candace Rashada at 919-536-7222, ext. 4001 or crctest@durhamtech.edu

 


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