Certification

Certification from Start to Finish

New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate in order to be employed in the State’s public schools. The certificates are issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives, and certify that an individual has met required degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements. Certificates are issued in a number of titles in three major categories: classroom teaching, administrative and supervisory, and pupil personnel service (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, social worker).

  1. Choose the best preparation pathway
  2. Find the requirements for the certificate you want
  3. Applying for a certificate
  4. Send us your supporting documentation
  5. Completing coursework to satisfy unmet requirements
  6. Check the status of your application
  7. Your issued certificate(s)
  8. Professional Development for Certificate Holders
  9. Apply for an additional certificate
  10. Verification of your NYS Certification

  1. Choose the best preparation pathway

    There are a number of routes or Preparation Pathways, depending upon your background and preferences. Once you have chosen the appropriate pathway, you must complete the requirements for the certificate you choose and submit an application, supporting documents, and fee to the New York State Education Department.

  2. You must select the appropriate certificate by category, subject area, grade level, title, and type.

    Area of Interest: Certificates are divided into major groups, or categories. Examples are Administration and Pupil Personnel Services, Classroom Teacher, and Career and Technical Teacher. For a complete list, go to Certificate Area of Interest.

    Subject Area: This represents general categories of certificate titles such as math, biology, or students with disabilities (all math titles would be in the math subject area; all biology titles would be in the biology subject area; and all students with disabilities titles would be in the students with disabilities subject area, etc).

    Grade Level: All NYS certificates are issued for work in specific grade levels. These include early childhood (birth to grade two), childhood (grades 1-6), middle childhood (grades 5-9), adolescent (grades 7-12), and all grades (pre-kindergarten to grade 12).

    Title: The certificate title denotes the subject and grade level that you are authorized to teach. Examples include Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2), Biology (Grade 7-12), and School District Administrator (K-12). To find the requirements for the certificate you want, see #2.

    Type: The type of certificate issued to you depends upon your educational background and experience. Examples include Initial certificate, Professional certificate, and Teaching Assistant Level III certificate. For a complete list, go to Types of Certificates and Licenses.

  3. Find the requirements for the certificate you want

    To determine the specific requirements for any given title, you can use the online search feature "Search Certification Requirements." To begin your search, follow the guidelines, see #1, to learn how to use the selection menus.

  4. Applying for a certificate

    Applying online is easy and fast, and allows you the options of paying by credit card or mailing your payment.  To apply online, click on Indicates you can Apply Online .

    If you are enrolled in a New York State teacher preparation program or alternative teacher preparation program, you need to apply online and indicate "Pathway: Approved Teacher Preparation Program " as your pathway. Your college Certification officer will submit your institutional recommendation online as well.

    What happens once you receive my application?

    Submitted Online:  After you have entered your payment the "Application Confirmation" screen will appear.  It will have the date we received your application, amount of the fee owed, requirements that have been completed, the requirements that need to be completed in order to receive the certificates , and the address for which you should send the supporting documents for your application. You should print the "Application Confirmation" screen and retain it for your records. You may login to TEACH at any time and click the Account Information link to see the status of your application.

  5. Send us your supporting documentation

    Once you have applied for a certificate, you must send to us any supporting documentation necessary in order to conduct a complete evaluation of your credentials.  Supporting documentation would include, but is not limited to:

    • ORIGINAL OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS OF ALL COLLEGE STUDY;
    • CLEP, DANTE, ACTFL, or Excelsior exam score reports;
    • any documentation of paid teaching experience that we have requested;
    • documentation of experience in lieu of student teaching;
    • copy of teaching certificates from other states;
    • copy of professional license or Certification such as professional license for LPN or speech language pathologist, etc;
    • and/or any other information that we may have previously requested that will enable us to complete an evaluation.

    Transcripts are not required for all pathways to Certification.  Specifically, we do not require transcripts for applications submitted through the NYS Approved Teacher Preparation Program pathway.  A recommendation from the college in which you completed your program leading to Certification is sufficient.

    Please note due to storage space limitations we can only retain paper records for 3 years.  If you previously submitted paper documentation more than three years ago, we no longer have them on file.  Please submit new documentation.

    You may send all paper documentation or correspondence to us at:
    New York State Education Department
    Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N-EB
    89 Washington Avenue
    Albany NY 12234

    You can check to see if we received the documents you sent to us. At any time, Login to access your TEACH account, click on TEACH Online Services, then click on the Account Information link, and click the topic for Correspondence (then click the "Go" button) to view a list of all documents you sent to us.

  6. Completing coursework to satisfy unmet requirements

    After you have been evaluated, you may find that you are deficient in required course work. If you are unsure of what courses you should take to meet your deficiencies, follow the guidelines found in Frequently Asked Questions – Coursework to Satisfy Unmet Requirements to help you select appropriate courses.

  7. Check the status of your application

    Click TEACH Online Services to check the status of your application and to view your pending evaluation.

    Address Change: If you have not received your certificate in the mail and your address has changed, you may login to TEACH at any time and click Verify/Update Profile to update your address.  Even after you receive your certificate, it is important that you notify us of future address changes so that you can receive any additional notices.

    For more information go to

  8. Your issued certificate(s)

    You will not receive a printed copy of your issued time limited certificate(s) such as the Provisional, Initial, Transitional, Teaching Assistant Levels I, II, and Pre-Professional types. Instead, you can verify that your certificate has been issued by logging in to your TEACH Online Services account and viewing the certificate table in Account Information. Once you have the end-level certificate such as Permanent, Professional, and Level III Teaching Assistant, you will receive a printed copy of these certificates. For more information go to the frequently asked questions on Printing of Time Limited Certificates Discontinued.

    Effective and Expiration Date: Please take notice of the effective date and validity period of your end-level certificate. Certain certificate types, such as Initial, Provisional, and Teaching Assistant certificates are time limited. You must complete the requirements for the next level certificate before the first certificate expires. For more information on certificate validity periods, go to Types of Certificates and Licenses and Frequently Asked Questions - Effective Date .

    Duplicate Certificates: If your certificate is lost or stolen you may apply for a duplicate certificate.  Login to your TEACH Online Services account and click on Apply for Duplicate certificate. For more information go to Duplicate Certificates.

    Certificate Time Extensions: If you are unable to meet the requirements for the next level certificate before your certificate expires, you may be eligible for a time extension. For more information, go to Time Extension of a Provisional, Initial, or Transitional Certificate.

    Certificate Re-Issuance:  If your Initial certificate expires, your certificate may be re-issued.  For more information go to Re-issuance of an Expired Initial certificate.

  9. Professional Development for Certificate Holders

    Professional Development requirements for holders of advanced-level certificates vary by type of certificate.

    Professional: Holders of the Professional classroom teaching certificate must complete 175 hours of professional development every five years. Satisfaction of this requirement maintains the validity of the certificate. For more information on acceptable professional development activities, and how to report and record hours completed, go to Professional Development for Professional Certificate Holders.

    Level III Teaching Assistant: Holders of the Level III Teaching Assistant certificate must complete 75 hours of professional development every five years. Satisfaction of this requirement maintains the validity of the certificate. For more information on acceptable professional development activities, and how to report and record hours completed, go to Professional Development for Teaching Assistant Level III Certificate.

    Permanent: Holders of the Permanent certificate do not have to meet a continuing professional development requirement. The certificate is good for life, unless revoked for cause.

  10. Apply for an additional certificate

    Holders of most New York State certificates may qualify for an additional certificate without meeting all of the requirements that a first-time applicant must meet. To determine whether this provision is applicable to you, as well as the exact requirements for a second Certification, go to

    search for specific certification requirements

    Click TEACH Online Services to apply online for an additional certificate!

  11. Verification of your NYS Certification

    All New York State public school districts and most non-public school districts have direct access to the TEACH Online Services system and can verify your certification status online. We also offer direct access to the TEACH Online Services system to other states’ and jurisdictions’ certifying bodies so that they may verify NYS certification for individuals seeking to become certified in another state or jurisdiction. We do not provide official written verification of your certification for any purpose; all official verifications must be obtained online through the TEACH Online Services system.

 

Last Updated: August 28, 2014