If you wish to teach in New York State public schools, you must be certified to teach in the subject and at the grade level in which you plan to teach. CCNY offers two kinds of teacher preparation programs: Traditional programs and Alternative Certification programs. Candidates apply for Alternative Certification programs through the New York City Department of Education.
Traditional certification programs require candidates to complete their education program before being recommended for certification.
Alternative certification programs, such as Teaching Fellows, are special programs that allow candidates (graduate students only) to be recommended for a temporary, alternative transitional B certificate after they have completed minimal requirements. Once they complete their program, candidates are recommended for initial and professional certificates. (For more information on these programs, go to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/spr/AlternativeTeacherCertificationProgram.htm).
The Initial Certificate is awarded once you have completed all requirements for the certificate:
- educational requirements (advanced certificate, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree)
- certification exams: (EAS, CST, edTPA, and for bilingual certificates, the BEA)
- mandated workshops (school violence prevention, Child Abuse Identification, DASA, and for Special Education teachers, Autism)
- fingerprint clearance
- TEACH online application (with payment)
The initial certificate is valid for 5 years. If you do not wish to lose your certification, you must get your professional certificate before your initial certificate expires. If you will not be able to obtain your professional certificate within the 5 years that your initial certificate is in effect, you should apply on TEACH—the online platform that the New York State Department of Education uses for certification information—for a time extension on your initial certificate. It is best to do this at least six months before the certificate is due to expire.
The Professional Certificate is your permanent teaching certificate. In order to obtain a professional certificate, you must hold an initial certificate and must complete:
- 3 years of mentored teaching experience
- a Master’s Degree [related to the area in which you wish to be certified].
- A Teach online application (with payment)
As long as you continually complete the required hours of professional development (see http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/maintaincert-prof.html), 175 hours every five years, your professional certificate is permanent.
The Transitional B certificate is issued to Teaching Fellows and other alternative program candidates, all of whom are in graduate programs, after completion of preliminary course work, required exams, fieldwork, and all workshops, but before completing their program, so that they can teach in New York City public schools while they complete their Master’s program. The certificate is valid for 3 years or until the candidate graduates, whichever comes first. If the candidate is not ready to apply for the initial certificate before the 3 years elapses, s/he may apply for a time extension on their TEACH account. (see http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/typesofcerts/transb.html)
The internship certificate is another certificate that allows graduate candidates who are still completing their programs to teach in New York City public schools. Candidates who have a job offer, have completed more than half their course work, have a GPA of 3.0 or above, have completed all mandated workshops, and have passed the CST exam are eligible to obtain an internship certificate. If they do get an internship certificate, they must enroll in a supervision course for the time that they are using their internship certificate (except when in student teaching). The certificate is valid for up to two years and expires upon graduation. (see http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/typesofcerts/int.html)
There are other certificates that candidates may apply for on their own (for a complete list, see http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/typesofcerts.html), but the certificates explained above are the ones that City College has registered with the state and for which City College enters institutional recommendations.
For both initial and professional certificates there are multiple Pathways to Certification. However, the pathways that apply when you are completing a CCNY SOE education program, are:
- the Approved Teacher Preparation Program Pathway
- the Approved Teacher Preparation Program Certificate Progression Pathway
These pathways are for Teacher Preparation Programs that are registered with the state as leading to initial or professional certification in a given area and at a given grade level.
If you obtain initial certification based on completing an undergraduate or graduate degree that leads to initial certification, you must use the Approved Teacher Preparation Program Pathway to apply for both your initial and professional certificates.
If you obtain initial certification based on completing an undergraduate degree that leads to initial certification and wish to obtain your professional certificate once you have a completed the requirements for that certificate (a masters’ degree in a related area and 3 years of mentored teaching experience), you must use the Approved Teacher Preparation Program Certificate Progression Pathway to obtain your professional certificate.
For more information on pathways, go to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/pathways.html.
The certification website is currently under construction. More pages, with additional information about certification, are forthcoming. If you need additional information now, contact the certification officer: