Certification

Statement of Continued Eligibility (SOCE) for Teachers of Students with Disabilities Who Teach a Special Class in Grades 7-12

The statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) is a pathway through which special education teachers can become certified to teach one or more subject areas in a special class in grades 7-12, with some or no students under alternate assessment. Information about the SOCE is provided below.

Application Deadline
Individuals must apply for the SOCE in TEACH and pay the application fee by June 30, 2021. Special education teachers can complete the SOCE requirements within three years of the application date or two evaluations of the application, whichever comes first, with the exception that the teaching experience requirement must be completed by June 30, 2021.

Application Fee Waiver Information

Special education teachers would submit a separate application in TEACH for each subject area in which they are seeking a SOCE.  For the SOCE, special education teachers would pay the $100 application fee for the first subject area.  If they are interested in receiving a SOCE in other subject areas, they would submit additional SOCE applications, but not pay the application fees.  These additional SOCE applications can then have the fee waived.  To have the application fee waived, teachers would send an email to the Office of Teaching Initiatives at tcert@nysed.gov with the subject line “SOCE Application Fee Waiver” and list the subsequent subject area SOCE application(s) whose fee would be waived in the text of the email.

Validity
The SOCE is continuously valid and is only valid in a special class.

Subject Areas
The SOCE is available in the following subject areas: biology, chemistry, earth science, English Language Arts, general science, languages other than English, mathematics, physics, and social studies. A separate application is needed for each subject area.

Requirements
The following SOCE requirements can also be found on the Search Certification Requirements webpage by choosing “Statements of Continued Eligibility and Limited Extensions” as the area of interest.

  1. Eligible Certificate Holders. Hold one of the following certificates.
    • Initial or Professional Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12) Generalist or Content Specialist
    • Initial or Professional Students with Disabilities (Grades 5-9) Generalist or Content Specialist
    • Permanent Special Education

  2. Current Employment. Employed in a public school or other school for which certification is required to teach a special class.

  3. Teaching Experience. Have at least three years of satisfactory, full-time special education teaching experience in a special class with students in grades 7-12 in the subject area of the SOCE sought prior to June 30, 2021, during which time the teachers would have been considered Highly Qualified through passing a HOUSSE rubric in the subject area of the SOCE sought.

    For the teaching experience requirement:

    • The years of experience do not need to be contiguous.
    • Special education teachers need to complete least one teaching assignment in a special class in grades 7-12 in the subject area of the SOCE sought during each academic year (e.g., one period for an entire semester or year), while under full-time employment.
    • The experience must be completed after August 1, 2003, when the HOUSSE rubric first became available in New York State.
    • The experience must be in a special class in grades 7-12 in the subject area of the SOCE sought, with some or no students under alternate assessment. The following teaching assignments are not acceptable: co-teaching, resource room, consultant teacher, and teaching a special class with all students under alternate assessment.
    • The experience must have taken place in New York State.
    • Special education teachers do not need to have a teaching assignment in a special class in grades 7-12 on the date of their SOCE application, but they do need to be currently employed in a public school or other school for which teacher certification is required to teach a special class.

  4. Workshops. Complete the following workshops: Child Abuse Identification and Reporting, School Violence Intervention and Prevention, Dignity for All Students Act, and Autism.

  5. Fingerprinting. Complete the fingerprint clearance.

Experience Documentation
Each employing district must submit the following documents to verify the required teaching experience to otiexpverif@nysed.gov. Multiple Verification of Paid Teaching Experience forms PDF file and HOUSSE rubrics would be submitted if the teaching experience occurred in multiple districts.

  • A completed Verification of Paid Teaching Experience form PDF file
    • The form includes a question for employers where they can verify that the applicant was employed in a public school or other school for which certification is required to teach a special class.
  • A completed HOUSSE rubric in the subject area in which the SOCE is sought. 
    • The HOUSSE rubric must have a date indicating that the rubric covered the years of experience listed on the Verification of Paid Teaching Experience form PDF file (e.g., the date on the rubric is prior to the academic years listed on the form, the academic year listed on the rubric is the same as the oldest academic year listed on the form).
    • If the district does not have the required HOUSSE rubric, then it may complete the HOUSSE rubric now based on the teacher’s qualifications immediately prior to the academic years listed on the Verification of Paid Teaching Experience form PDF file, demonstrating that the special education teacher was Highly Qualified throughout the time that he/she was teaching the subject area in a special class. An appropriate district official (e.g., Superintendent,Director of Human Resources) must send:
      1. the completed HOUSSE rubric AND
      2. a letter explaining that the special education teacher taught the subject area in a special class and the HOUSSE rubric represents the fact that the teacher would have been considered Highly Qualified in the subject area in each of the years listed on the Verification of Teaching Experience form.
Last Updated: April 6, 2020