Certification

edTPA Safety Net for Certain Candidates Who Are Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis During the Spring 2020 through Summer 2022 Terms

Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements below for the edTPA safety net may pass the Assessment of Teaching Skills – Written (ATS-W) exam in lieu of passing the edTPA. Either version of the ATS-W exam (Elementary or Secondary) is acceptable; it is the candidate’s choice which version they want to take. To qualify, the candidate must take the ATS-W exam by September 1, 2024.

Eligibility Requirements for the Safety Net

The following groups of candidates are eligible for the edTPA safety net. The 2020-2021 academic year includes the Fall 2020 through Summer 2021 terms, and the 2021-2022 academic year includes the Fall 2021 through Summer 2022 terms.

  • New York State Candidates in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020. Candidates who completed a student teaching or similar clinical experience during the Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 terms while enrolled in a New York State educator preparation program (EPP). These candidates must be submitted on a dean’s list as described below.
  • New York State Candidates During the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 Academic Years. Candidates who complete a student teaching or similar clinical experience during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic years while enrolled in a New York State educator preparation program (EPP). These candidates must be submitted on a dean’s list as described below.
  • Out-of-State Candidates During the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 Academic Years. Candidates who complete a student teaching experience during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic years while enrolled in a comparable teacher education program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education in another U.S. state or territory, or the District of Columbia, that leads to certification in the state/territory where the higher education institution is located, are eligible for the edTPA safety net. They must submit an official transcript that shows the completed student teaching experience during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic years.
  • Individual Evaluation Pathway Candidates During the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 Academic Years. Candidates who complete the teaching experience requirement for certification through the Individual Evaluation pathway during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic years are eligible for the edTPA safety net. They must submit a verification of teaching experience form that shows teaching experience during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic year or an official transcript that shows the completed student teaching experience during the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic year.

List Submitted by the New York State Registered EPP Dean or Dean's Designee

Candidates who are on a list will need to create a TEACH account. The identifying information used for the TEACH account must match the information the candidate used to create their New York State Teacher Certification Exam (Pearson) account. They should use their personal email address rather than their institution email address when creating their account. Upon receipt of the information, OTI will make a note in each candidate’s TEACH account that they are eligible to take and pass either the ATS-W or edTPA. This note is visible only to OTI staff.

Candidates would contact their New York State registered educator preparation program (EPP), rather than OTI, to find out if they are or will be on a list submitted by the EPP dean or dean’s designee. OTI will only accept lists from New York State registered EPPs, and will only add candidates to a list at the request of the EPP dean or dean's designee.

The EPP should submit the list via an Excel spreadsheet, with separate columns containing the following data: last name, first name, and either the last four digits of the social security number or date of birth (EPP’s choice). All data must match the data in the candidates’ TEACH account to ensure proper crediting of the exam requirement.

Process for NYS Educator Preparation Program Candidates to Get the Safety Net Applied to Their Application

These candidates must have the following information in their TEACH account:

  • A paid certificate application
  • A College Recommendation matching the certificate in that application
  • A passing ATS-W score

Once the candidate has verified this information in their TEACH account, they must then send an email to examsafetynet@nysed.gov. The email must include the candidate’s full name as it appears in the TEACH account, either the candidate’s date of birth or last four digits of their social security number, and a request that the safety net be applied to the application. OTI staff will verify whether the candidate was submitted on a dean’s list. If the candidate qualifies, OTI exempt the edTPA requirement on the certificate application; if not, the candidate will be informed that they do not qualify at that time.

Please note that there is an enormous amount of data being submitted for this process. When a dean’s list is received, it takes approximately 5-7 business days to collect data and enter the notes onto the candidates’ accounts. We ask candidates to observe this grace period and monitor their accounts before contacting our staff to inquire about their eligibility for the safety net.

Clinical Experiences

Clinical experiences within registered programs that are similar to student teaching include internships, residencies, Transitional B and C in-service components, and literacy and school library practica.

Additional Information

Candidates who are eligible for the edTPA safety net and still choose to take the edTPA, but do not pass it, could take and pass the ATS-W, or pursue the edTPA Multiple Measures Review Process (MMRP), if they qualify.

For candidates who meet the edTPA safety net eligibility requirements, and already took and passed the ATS-W in the past, the passing ATS-W score would be acceptable in lieu of the edTPA passing score.


1 New York State (NYS) registered educator preparation programs are approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to lead directly to NYS educator certification. They are listed on the Inventory of Registered Programs. NYSED does not approve out-of-state educator preparation programs.

Last Updated: May 27, 2021