Certification & Graduation

Certification Office

CCNY's School of Education's Certification office is located in NAC 3/213. Please direct questions regarding any level of certification (or the certification process) to our certification officer, Margaret Schehl, who can be reached at mschehl@ccny.cuny.edu or at 212-650-5590. Fellows and partner teachers are responsible for all financial costs associated with certification (e.g., test fees, application fees). Please plan accordingly.

Certification Options & Requirements

Your Transitional B Certification (Trans B) allows you to be a certified teacher while you are completing your master’s degree. You will apply for the Trans B during your pre-service semester, and it will be valid only as long as you are enrolled in the CCNY graduate program. Candidates who do not pass required exams can be temporarily certified via the 5BA license. Once you have completed your master’s degree and remaining certification requirements, you will be eligible for Initial Certification. Teachers with Initial Certification and 3 years of experience in their certification area are eligible for Professional Certification.

Transitional B Certification

Requirements for Transitional B Certification include:
 

  1. Candidate must be enrolled in a state-approved alternative teacher pathway program
  2. Completion of three certification workshops (more information available below):
    The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Workshop      
    Child Abuse Identification & Mandated Reporting
    School Violence Prevention
  3. Fingerprinting: Pursuant to the SAVE Law (Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000), all individuals seeking employment in a school setting and all applicants for certification must undergo a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check. OSPRA manages this process through a web-based application where individuals can submit an electronic application and digital fingerprint images, and schools can apply for and receive fingerprint clearance information instantly. OSPRA conducts investigations into any issue that may raise a question about an individual’s ability to work in a school setting or to be eligible for certification and affords due process to applicants when it is the Department’s intention to deny clearance for employment.
  4. Passing test scores for the Educating All Students (EAS) exam
  5. Passing test scores for the CST
    For Bilingual Childhood: CST Multi-Subject 1-6
    For Secondary Spanish: CST Spanish
    For SPED/Bilingual SPED: CST Multi-Subject 7-12
    For TESOL: CST ESOL (Note: You may take ANY CST for the Trans B, but you will have to pass the ESOL for Initial Certification)
  6. Trans B application and application fee submission via TEACH - Program codes for applications can be found here.

 
You are responsible for checking your TEACH account to ensure that your Trans B has been issued as expected.
 
Your Trans B is valid for 3 years, as long as you are actively enrolled in a master’s program. If you will need more time, it is possible to apply for an extension; extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis and may be valid for one semester or longer, at the university’s discretion. Fellows and Partner Teachers are only eligible, at the university’s discretion, to one time extension, the length of which will be approved by your academic advisor and university program director. Extensions will only be granted to candidates who are making adequate progress toward meeting all graduation and certification requirements. To apply for an extension, contact our certification officer Margaret Schehl ( mschehl@ccny.cuny.edu ).

Your Trans B Certification expires when your degree is conferred! This means that you should not graduate (have your degree conferred) until you have completed all requirements for Initial Certification. We recommend that you delay graduation (conferral of degree) until you have met all requirements for Initial Certification. (Simply participating in the commencement ceremony has no effect on your certification.)

5BA Certification - Long-term Substitute

A 5BA long-term substitute teaching certificate is available for fellows and partner teachers under the circumstances listed below. The 5BA certificate will allow you to teach in a one-year position, while you continue to work toward meeting all Trans B requirements.
 
If you meet all of the requirements for Trans B certification but have not passed all of the required certification exams required for the Trans B, you will be eligible to begin teaching as a long-term substitute teacher, under the 5BA Certificate.
 
In order to obtain your 5BA certificate, you must meet all of the requirements, except for the exam requirements, for the Trans B, including applying and paying for the Trans B via TEACH. The Trans B will be retroactively appointed from the time you pass all certification exams required for the Trans B. You are responsible for checking your TEACH account (and following up with HR at your school) to be sure that your certification has converted as expected.
 
While the 5BA is a good fallback option to the Trans B, it is not ideal, for a few reasons. First, a 5BA is a one-year appointment and does not offer the same job security as a Trans B. Teachers working under a 5BA are often cut for budget reasons. Second, teachers working under a 5BA do not earn summer pay, which is available to those working with a Trans B. Third, those working with a 5BA are not eligible for leaves of absence from the DOE (medical, familial, or otherwise). Finally, any time spent teaching with a 5BA certificate does not accrue toward tenure or professional certification. You are encouraged to attain your Trans B as soon as possible to ensure you get all of the benefits associated with the Trans B certification.

Per Diem Substitute

A per diem substitute is a daily substitute teacher who serves under daily vs. long-term appointments. Working as a per diem substitute teacher is not permitted for fellows or partner teachers.

Initial Certification

The alternative pathway program in which you are participating is meant to guide you from Trans B Certification to Initial Certification, which you should receive when you graduate from CCNY. The Initial Certificate is valid for 5 years or until a teacher attains Professional Certification.
 
We strongly recommend that all fellows and partner teachers pass all requirements for Initial Certification before graduation. Upon conferral of your degree, your Trans B will become invalid, and you will need your Initial Certification in place before you're allowed to teach (or continue teaching) in a DOE school.
 
Requirements for Initial Certification (via alternative pathway) include:
 

  1. Candidate must be be graduating from a state-approved alternative teacher pathway program
  2. Candidate must hold a valid Transitional B Certificate (meaning, all requirements for the Trans B must have been met)
  3. Passing scores for the edTPA
    For Bilingual Childhood: Elementary Education
    For Secondary Spanish: World Language
    For SPED/Bilingual SPED: Students with Disabilities for Grades 7-12
    For TESOL: English to Speakers of Other Languages
  4. Additional passing test scores are also required for specific programs:
    For Bilingual Childhood: Bilingual Education Assessment (BEA)
    For Bilingual SPED: CST for Students with Disabilities & Bilingual Education Assessment (BEA)
    For SPED: CST for Students with Disabilities
    For TESOL: CST ESOL (If a CST other than the CST ESOL was used for the Trans B certificate)
  5. Initial Certification application and application fee submission via TEACH - Program codes for applications can be found below.

 
You should submit your application and payment for the Initial Certificate via TEACH in the semester preceding the conferral of your degree. Once your graduation check has been approved and your degree has been conferred, our certification officer will recommend you for your Initial Certificate. As long as your TEACH account shows that you have (1) completed all Initial Certification requirements (including fingerprint clearance and all required certification exams); (2) applied and paid for the certificate; and (3) been recommended for the certificate, the certificate should be issued within a couple days. It is possible that your workshops will not show up on your TEACH account, but that is not a problem, as our recommendation tells the state that you have completed the workshops. If all of these requirements have been satisfied for more than a week and your certificate still hasn't been issued, please contact Margaret Schehl for assistance.

There may be a few days or even a few weeks between your graduation date and the issuance of your Initial Certificate. This is an administrative lag, and does not mean you are teaching without a license. It has been our experience that fellows and partner teachers have remained teaching without negative consequence during the short window between the expiration of the Trans B and the issuance of the Initial. If you have concerns, you may contact us for additional information.

Professional Certification

Professional Certification is issued as the advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers.  You will apply for this certificate via TEACH upon eligibility, after working on both the Trans B Certificate and the Initial Certificate. Professional Certification is continuously valid with completion of the required Continuing Teacher and Leader (CTLE) hours during every five-year registration period.

Additional Certifications

Once you hold Initial Certification, there are two ways to add additional certificates. One way is to complete a university program (master’s or advanced certificate) in the area in which you’re interested. For more information about that option, you can reach out to a program director either here at CCNY or at whatever school you’re thinking of attending. The other option is via what NYSED calls Individual Pathway (Requirements). The procedure is that NYSED reviews your transcripts and lets you know which courses and other requirements you'd still need.

Using the NYSED TEACH System

Application Checklist

The pathway section of the online application shows check marks by the requirements you have met. Some requirements, such as experience or college recommendation, may not be checked off. A certification specialist must review your experience and manually check off some requirements. The college recommendation requirement will not be checked off until your institution has entered its recommendation. You may still complete the application process, even if all the requirements are not yet checked. It is your responsibility to pay close attention to this list to ensure that all supporting information has been properly logged into the TEACH system. If passing test scores are missing, please contact TEACH directly at 518-474-3901.

Application Instructions & Program Codes

Instructions on applying for your Trans B Certificate.

Upon applying for certification at any level, you will be prompted to add a program code. This code will remain consistent no matter the certification for which you are applying.

Program codes that are needed for the TEACH Online System are as follows:

  • Fellows/Partner Teachers Only
    Bilingual Childhood Education: 25902
    Bilingual Special Education: 35274
    Secondary Spanish: 38431
    Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12): 35279
    TESOL: 25884

Certification Workshops

DASA

DASA training is required for everyone in order to begin teaching. CCNY provides free DASA workshops to fellows and partner teachers during their pre-service period. Exact details are shared as they become available. If you’ve already completed DASA, please make sure your completion certificate is posted in your TEACH account (you are not required to repeat this workshop). If you are unable to attend one of CCNY’s DASA workshops, you may complete DASA training, at your own expense, at any NY State-approved DASA provider. You cannot begin teaching if you do not show evidence of DASA completion. Failure to complete DASA before beginning as a lead teacher will result in outplacement from your program.

Child Abuse Identification & Mandated Reporting & School Violence Prevention

These workshops were provided as online modules via the NYC DOE as a part of your pre-service training. You should be able to see proof of completion of these workshops in your TEACH account. If you do not, you can visit this site for additional steps on submitting proof of completion to TEACH. If you need assistance with this, please contact TEACH or the NYC DOE Teaching Fellows or Teaching Collaborative office, and they can assist you.

Commencement & Graduation

Graduation Dates

Degrees are conferred four times each year: January 1, February 1, June 1, and September 1. Commencement ceremonies take place once each year in the spring (late May/early June).   
    
Your Trans B Certification will expire when your degree is conferred. Therefore, although the edTPA and other certification exams are not a requirement for graduation, we recommend that you wait until everything is in place for your Initial Certification before you have your degree conferred. Your Trans B Certification is valid for 3 years, as long as you are still enrolled in the program.

It is possible to apply for an extension, but it is not guaranteed. Please see your advisor for more information. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis and may be valid for one semester or longer, at the university’s discretion. Fellows and Partner Teachers are only eligible, at the university’s discretion, to one time extension, the length of which will be approved by your academic advisor and university program director. Extensions will only be granted to candidates who are making adequate progress toward meeting all graduation and certification requirements.

An important note: The word ‘graduation’ can mean two different things:

  1. Completion of your courses and other academic requirements, as determined by a degree audit managed by the Registrar, and posted to your transcript (called ‘conferral of your degree’). See Applying for Graduation below for more information including degree conferral.
  2. The celebration ceremony, where you march with your classmates (called ‘commencement’). See Commencement Ceremonies below for more information.

Applying for Graduation

Graduation is not an automatic process. Once you have completed all requirements for graduation, you must apply for graduation via CUNYfirst. Each semester, there is a specific application period available - you can find these dates on the academic calendar. The registrar is strict about graduation application deadlines, so please be mindful about applying on time. If you’re unsure about whether you wish to graduate, it is best to apply and rescind your application at a later date if you discover that you will not be able to graduate as planned (usually this occurs when a student anticipates passing the edTPA before graduation but is delayed in doing so). If you rescind your application for graduation, you must reapply for graduation in the cycle in which you are ready. If you are unable to (re)apply, please contact your advisor for assistance.

Maintenance of Matriculation Fee

The College assesses a Maintenance of Matriculation Fee whenever a student graduates following a semester in which they have not taken classes at CCNY. This amount is billed by the Registrar.  

Graduate students are expected to maintain continuous involvement and enrollment in the program. Failure to register for any period constitutes a de facto withdrawal. A student is not eligible to receive a master’s degree while not in attendance. Students who find it necessary to interrupt their graduate studies and wish to maintain their academic standing during the semesters when they are not registered for courses must pay the Maintenance of Matriculation Fee. Students who do not maintain matriculation and wish to resume study must apply for readmission. Readmission is granted only on the recommendation of the department and the approval of the divisional dean.

Commencement Ceremonies

Although degrees are conferred four times each year, commencement ceremonies take place just once a year. The College-wide commencement ceremony is held in the Spring Semester on a Friday morning in late May/early June, and the divisional School of Education ceremony is generally the Wednesday evening before that.

If you will complete all requirements for your degree by September, then you are eligible to participate and walk in the spring’s commencement ceremony. If you know that you will be participating in commencement ceremonies but will not be officially graduating until September, please do not apply for graduation. Instead, you will receive an email with a Google Form for students in your situation. Completing the Google Form (but not an official application for graduation) will ensure that your name appears in the program. Make sure to then officially apply for September graduation via CUNYfirst once the application period opens.

Candidates who will graduate in January/February are invited to participate in the following spring’s ceremonies.

 

Degree Conferral

Your degree will be conferred on the graduation date listed: January 1, February 1, June 1, or September 1. However, it may take a few weeks to see the degree posted to your CUNYfirst account. Please be sure to check CUNYfirst after you expect you have graduated. If a month has passed since the conferral date, and your degree has not posted, please contact Margaret Schehl ( mschehl@ccny.cuny.edu ).

The same is true of your Initial Certificate. Once you’ve met all the requirements for the Initial Certificate, applied and paid via TEACH, and your degree has been posted to your CUNYfirst account, you should see in TEACH that the Initial Certificate has been approved. If you do not, please contact Margaret Schehl ( mschehl@ccny.cuny.edu ).

Diplomas

Diplomas are not presented at Commencement. Diplomas are usually available one to two months after the degree conferral date. Students will be notified by e-mail to their CCNY account confirming they have officially graduated and diploma availability. The diploma is not automatically mailed to a student. The student has to request to have the diploma mailed to them by completing the “Diploma Mail Request” form. This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. If you have a negative service indicator on your account, you will not be able to pick up your diploma; all holds must be cleared before the diploma is released. For additional information, please call the Registrar's office at 212-650-7861.

Billing & Transcript/Diploma Holds

Upon or after graduation from CCNY, you may try to access your diploma or transcripts only to find you have an unpaid bill or fee (transcripts and diplomas will not be released until all accounts have been resolved). Fees assessed include library fees, late registration actions, and maintenance of matriculation fees. Other unpaid bills may include charges for retaking courses (in the event of Ws or Fs) and/or completing courses outside the scope and sequence of your program (e.g., prerequisites). Although we would hope these charges would be reflected in your CUNYfirst account before graduation, it is sometimes the case the CUNYfirst’s billing system hasn’t yet caught up to the current semester, meaning charges will not appear on one’s account until after graduation. For this reason, we encourage you to check your account periodically. Please contact the Bursar with any billing-related questions.