Certification occurs through the New York State Education Department’s Office of Teaching Initiatives. As such, all information provided on these pages is subject to change and all users should consult the Office of Teaching Initiatives regularly for updates. Their website is located at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert


NYS Certification Requirements & Certification Types
Credential Review
Certification Reciprocity with other states

New York State Certification Requirements

Who needs to be certified?
Classroom teachers, administrative and supervisory personnel, teaching assistants, and pupil personnel service professionals are required to hold a Certificate issued by New York State in order to be employed in the State’s public schools. In addition, New York State also requires that Coaches, Visiting Lecturers and teachers of Adult, Community and Continuing Education obtain a Special License.

The NYCDOE continually offers workshops to assist those who are interested in becoming state certified teachers. Click here to access the Road to New York State Certification Workshop Schedule and Information.

What are the types of certificates?

Initial: The Initial certificate is the entry-level classroom teaching certificate in New York State and is issued for a specific subject/grade level (e.g. Biology 7-12). An Initial certificate is valid for 5 years with the possibility of a one-year time extension. YOU  MUST OBTAIN A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE DURING THIS TIMEFRAME TO REMAIN EMPLOYED BY NYCDOE.

Professional: The Professional certificate is the second-level classroom teaching certificate and is issued to a holder of an Initial certificate upon the completion of the educational and experience requirements for the Professional certificate. The Professional certificate is continuously valid dependent upon the completion of required professional development hours on a 5-year cycle over the life of the certificate.

Transitional: The Transitional certificate is a credential issued in specific situations to candidates who have not yet met the requirements for an Initial classroom teaching certificate, but who have an employment and mentoring commitment from a public school district and who may be enrolled in a special program to complete the academic requirements for the Initial certificate.

Provisional: The Provisional certificate is the entry-level certificate in New York State for certification in pupil personnel service titles and administrative and supervisoryservice titles. The Provisional certificate is valid for 5 years. (Prior to February 2, 2004, the Provisional certificate was the entry-level certificate for classroom teaching titles, issued for a specific subject/grade level, such as Biology 7-12. In very limited circumstances, the Provisional certificates continues to be issued in classroom teaching titles.)

Permanent: The Permanent certificate is the second-level certificate in pupil personnel service titles and administrative and supervisory service titles and is issued to holders of a Provisional certificate with the completion of educational, experience, and testing requirements for the Permanent certificate. The Permanent certificate is continuously valid with no further requirements. (As of February 2, 2004, the Permanent certificate continues to be issued in classroom teaching titles to holders of Provisional certificates in those titles.)

Internship Certificate: This is based on a request from a college/university on behalf of students who have completed 50% of their master’s degree in education and who do not already possess a provisional or initial certificate.  The college requests this certificate from the NYS Education Department for students who have job commitments while they are completing their master’s degree.  Colleges may also require one or more of the NYS Teacher Certification exams as additional criteria for the Internship Certificate.  This certificate is valid for two years, upon which time the college should submit an application for the Initial Certificate.

Teaching Assistant: The Teaching Assistant certificate authorizes individuals to provide direct instructional services to students under the general supervision of a certified teacher. There are four levels issued: Level I, Level II, Level III, and Pre-Professional.

Access forms and applications from the State at: htt://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/appform.htm

What are some of the recent changes that have been made to certification?
Click here to download Regulations Governing Teacher Certification in New York State: A Comparison of Key Changes

What are the requirements to become certified?
The requirements for certification fall into the following general categories:
• Academic preparation - degree/coursework, student teaching
• Assessment - selected tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examination Program Series
• Experience - teaching/other work experience
•Additional requirements - Child Abuse Identification workshop, School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE) workshop, moral character requirement, and

How can I get my credentials reviewed?

If you are not in a state approved college education program and would like to have your transcripts evaluated and apply for state certification based on your current credentials you may follow one of two paths:

1. If you have a nomination letter from a Principal or ROC, you may be scheduled for a transcript evaluation if requested by a region after meeting the following preliminary requirements:

Completion of all 3 certification exams
• Completion of all 3 certification exams
• Completion of student teaching or 40 days of sub service in the subject area and level being sought
• Completion of Child Abuse Identification workshop and  School Violence Prevention (SAVE) workshop
• Minimum 2.5 BA degree GPA
• Fingerprinting
You must complete this process before you may teach in New York City schools, under No Child Left Behind guidelines.

2. If you do not have a nomination letter but would still like your transcripts evaluated for state certification, you must submit to the New York State Department of Education an application for Initial Certification along with your official transcripts that show conferral of your degree along with a $100.00 money order.  The state will also need proof of completion of both the child abuse identification and school violence prevention (SAVE) workshops.  Passing scores on all required exams is necessary for Initial Certification.
You can download the application from www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert.  We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible as it may take the state up to six months to process your application. Be sure to make copies of all documentation for your records and mail your materials via Return Receipt from the U.S. Post Office.
The New York City Department of Education offers workshops for uncertified teachers to learn more about the paths to certification and teaching in New York City schools.  Click here to access a list of upcoming dates and to register.

I have certification in another state. Can I teach in New York City?

New York State has reciprocity with more than 30 states. For more information go to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/

How does No Child Left Behind Affect Certification?

The Federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), supports the development of a high-quality teaching force.  Teachers hired after the start of the 2002-03 school year and working in schools supported by Title 1 Funds should be  “highly qualified” (HQ) at the time of hire.  Almost all incumbent teachers, regardless of Title 1 funding, must be HQ by the end of the 2005-06 school year.

NCLB requires that all teachers of core academic subjects – English, reading/language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, history, geography and the arts (art, dance, music, theater/public speaking and drama) – be HQ.  The three basic requirements are:

1.Possess a bachelor’s degree;
2.be fully state certified/licensed to teach; and
3.have demonstrated sufficient subject matter competency.

HQ is defined by assignment and newness to the profession.  There has not been a final determination yet on the HQ requirements for special education teachers in grades K-12.

Be on the alert in late May for detailed  information on NCLB and a downloadable HQ Status Form for all teachers of core academic subjects to assess their HQ status.

To learn more about NCLB implementation in New York State, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/nclbhome.htm     

For a complete guide to state certification please go to:
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert 1