Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistant Certificates

Before you apply for a Teaching Assistant certificate, read this entire page. It contains all the information you need to be able to obtain your certificate(s).

  • In order to work as a Teaching Assistant (also known as paraprofessional in NYC) in any public school in New York, you must hold a valid Teaching Assistant certificate.
  • In order to obtain a Teaching Assistant – Level 1 Certificate, you must first self-register to create a TEACH Online Services account. There is a link provided below where you can self-register an account.

Contents

Requiement for a Level 1

Below is a list of the requirements that you need to satisfy in order to obtain the Teaching Assistant – Level 1 certificate and a description of each requirement.

  • Education - High School Diploma or GED
  • New York State Teacher Certification Exam - ATAS
  • Workshop - Child Abuse Identification
  • Workshop - School Violence Intervention and Prevention
  • Workshop - Training in Harassment, Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Discrimination in Schools: Prevention and Intervention (DASA training) (required as of December 31, 2013)
  • Fingerprint Clearance

Education.. 2

In order to satisfy this requirement, you must submit documentation that you have received either a high school diploma or a GED. If you received a GED, you must send us a copy of it. If you received a high school diploma in the United States, there are two ways that you can submit this documentation to our office:

  1. Send us a photocopy of your high school diploma;
    OR,
  2. Update the education information section of your TEACH account to show that you received a high school diploma.
  • log into your TEACH account
  • go to the homepage
  • Click on the link entitled “Update/Add Education, Employment and Personal Information.”
  • Click “Edit Education Info.”
  • Click on the option “All Other Programs and Coursework – Including High School.”
  • Fill in the information completely
  • Click Add
  • Click Done.

Please note that this requirement will not be automatically verified by the TEACH system. When your application is evaluated, this requirement will be verified by an employee of this office and manually checked off on your application if you meet the requirement.

Foreign Applicants: If you received a high school diploma outside of the United States, you must mail U.S.-notarized copies of the following to our office:

  1. Your foreign credentials indicating your high school diploma and all college coursework that you have completed;
    AND,
  2. Translations of your high school diploma and all college coursework that you have completed if they’re not in English.

New York State Teacher Certification Exam – ATAS

In order to satisfy this requirement, you must pass the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills certification exam. Information regarding this exam can be found at: http://www.nystce.nesinc.com . Your test score will be sent to us by the test administrator, so you do not have to send us your results. It takes 2-3 weeks for your test score to appear on your TEACH account. Once your passing score appears on your account, the requirement will automatically be verified.

Workshop - Child Abuse Identification

You can find information about this workshop on our website here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/ca.html

Upon completion of the workshop, the provider will give you a Certificate of Completion, which includes your name, Social Security number, contact information, and the provider's registration information. This is the only form that we accept and it must be filled out in its entirety. If you do not have this form, you must contact the workshop provider and get it. Once the form is filled out completely, send us a copy by email, mail or fax (our contact information is listed below). If you email it, enter “workshop” in the subject line and include your full name (as it appears in TEACH) and the last 4 digits of your SSN in the body of your email message. If you fax it, include a cover sheet that contains this information.

Faxes are treated the same as our daily mail and will be recorded in the order that they are received. It could take 1-2 weeks for your documentation to be entered onto your account.

To see when your documentation has been added to your account:

  • login to your account
  • go to the homepage
  • click on Account Information
  • click on Workshops
  • click on Go.

Workshop - School Violence Intervention and Prevention

You can find information about this workshop on our website here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/save.html

Upon completion of the workshop, the provider will give you a Certificate of Completion, which includes your name, Social Security number, contact information, and the provider's registration information. This is the only form that we accept and it must be filled out in its entirety. If you do not have this form, you must contact the workshop provider and get it. Once the form is filled out completely, send us a copy by email, mail or fax (our contact information is listed below). If you email it, enter “workshop” in the subject line and include your full name (as it appears in TEACH) and the last 4 digits of your SSN in the body of your email message. If you fax it, include a cover sheet that contains this information.

Faxes are treated the same as our daily mail and will be recorded in the order that they are received. It could take 1-2 weeks for your documentation to be entered onto your account.

To see when your documentation has been added to your account:

  • login to your account
  • go to the homepage
  • click on Account Information
  • click on Workshops
  • click on Go.

Workshop - Training in Harrassment, Bullying, Cyberbulling, and Discrinination in Schools: Prevention and intervention (DASA training)

You can find information about this workshop on our website here:

http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/dasa.html

Upon completion of the workshop, the provider will give you a Certificate of Completion, which includes your name, Social Security number, contact information, and the provider's registration information. This is the only form that we accept and it must be filled out in its entirety. If you do not have this form, you must contact the workshop provider and get it. Once the form is filled out completely, send us a copy by email, mail or fax (our contact information is listed below). If you email it, enter “workshop” in the subject line and include your full name (as it appears in TEACH) and the last 4 digits of your SSN in the body of your email message. If you fax it, include a cover sheet that contains this information.

Faxes are treated the same as our daily mail and will be recorded in the order that they are received. It could take 1-2 weeks for your documentation to be entered onto your account.

To see when your documentation has been added to your account:

  • login to your account
  • go to the homepage
  • click on Account Information
  • click on Workshops
  • click on Go.

Fingerprint Clearance

All candidates for certification must be cleared by the New York State Education Department through a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check. This includes all applicants for certification, as well as all prospective employees of school districts, charter schools and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES). Information about the fingerprinting process can be found on the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability webpage here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ospra/home.html

Note for NYC applicants: Applicants who have been fingerprinted and cleared by the NYCDOE must submit the OSPRA 104 form to the NYCDOE, granting permission for the NYCDOE to release your fingerprints to the New York State Education Department. The form and instructions can be found here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/pdf/ospra104.pdf

Requirements for a Level I Renewal

If you were unable to complete the required one year of experience under your Level I Teaching Assistant certification or meet the semester hour requirement for the Level II, you may be eligible for the Level I renewal.

In addition to the requirements for the Level I, you must have employment as a teaching assistant. The district/employer must submit a superintendent statement in TEACH.

Requirements for a Level II

In addition to the requirements for the Level I, you must have:

  • College coursework - 9 semester hours
  • Experience as a NYS Licensed Teaching Assistant - 1 Year

Requirements for a Level III

In addition to the requirements for the Level I, you must have:

  • College coursework - 18 semester hours
  • Experience as a NYS Licensed Teaching Assistant - 1 Year
  • Citizenship Status - INS Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship

Requirements for a Pre Professional

In addition to the requirements for the Level I, you must have:

  • Enrolled in a NYS Registered Program - Teacher Preparation
  • College Coursework - 18 semester hours
  • New York State Teacher Certification Exam - ATAS
  • Experience as a NYS Licensed Teaching Assistant - 1 Year

Applying for a Teaching Assistant Certificate

Once you understand the requirements, you are ready to apply for the Teaching Assistant certificate. If you have not self-registered for a TEACH account, you must do so now: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach/selfreg.html

Level 1 Certificate

After you have self-registered for a TEACH account:

  • login to your account
  • go to the homepage
  • click on the link entitled “Apply for Certificate.”

Select the following options from the menu:

  • Select an Area of Interest----Other School Service
  • Select a Subject Area----Teaching Assistant
  • Select a Grade Level----Pre K-12 - All Grades
  • Select a Title ----Teaching Assistant
  • Select a Type of Certificate ----Level I Then, click Add.

Update your contact and education information as necessary then click “Next” to progress through the application. Continue through the application. Sign and submit the application and make your payment. Once you have submitted your application and payment, print the transaction summary. Keep this with your certification paperwork; it is your record of all requirements needed for this certificate.

Level 1 Renewal

The Level 1 certificate may be renewed once for 3 additional years if you are employed or have a commitment of employment as a TA but have not completed either the experience or college credit requirements to advance to the Level 2 or 3 certificate. It is expected that during this renewal period you will accrue the appropriate college credit and/or experience in order to remain validly certified and advance to the next level certificate.

Level 2 and Level 3 Certificates

Here are some things to note when you are progressing from a Teaching Assistant – Level 1 Certificate to either a Level 2 or Level 3 Certificate:

  • In order to obtain either the Level 2 or Level 3 Certificate, you must have worked for at least 1 year as a teaching assistant under a valid NYS Teaching Assistant certificate. If you have never had a valid NYS Teaching Assistant certificate, you are not eligible for the Level 2 or Level 3 certificates and must apply for the Level 1 certificate.
  • In order to obtain the Level 2 Certificate, you must complete 9 semester hours of college credit (or the equivalent); to obtain the Level 3 Certificate you must complete 18 semester hours of college credit (or the equivalent). For information about acceptable coursework and/or credit-granting exams, see our website here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/faqcw.html
  • The Level 2 certificate is valid for 3 years and CANNOT BE RENEWED. Therefore, you must have accrued at least 18 semester hours of college credits (or the equivalent) before the expiration of the Level 2 certificate in order to remain certified and to advance to the Level 3 certificate.
  • It is not necessary to apply and be issued the Level 2 certificate. If you have at least 18 semester hours of college credit (or the equivalent), you may apply and be issued the Level 3 certificate after you’ve gained the 1 year experience under the Level 1 certificate.
  • In order for your application to be evaluated, we must receive sealed, original official transcripts of your college coursework (or credit-granting exams). Photocopies, faxes, grade reports and student copies are unacceptable. When you request the transcript(s) to be sent to our office, ask that the following information be included on your transcript(s): your full name as it appears on your TEACH account, the last 4 digits of your SSN, and/or your date of birth. This information is essential so that we can identify you and match your transcript(s) to your account.
  • The Level 3 Certificate does not expire. As such, you must complete professional development in order to maintain its validity. Information about professional development can be found here: (http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/maintaincert-prof.html)

Evaluation Policy

Applications are valid for three years or two evaluations.

Applications are evaluated based upon the order in which they enter the "Ready for Review" status. This is a combination of application date (the date on which you have successfully submitted and paid for your application) and the date on which your documentation (transcripts, workshops, copies of diplomas, etc.) is processed and entered into your account. If your application is listed as “Not Ready for Review”, it will not be evaluated. You can find out how to make your application “Ready for Review” here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach/teachappfaq.html#status

Once the application(s) is in the “Ready for Review” status we will evaluate it accordingly. You should check your TEACH account periodically to see if the status of your application has been updated.

  • Login to your account
  • Click on Account Information
  • Select “Certificates”
  • Click on “Go”.
  • There you can click on your evaluation history to see if there have been any changes.

Evaluations may take several weeks. The only way to speed up the evaluation process is if you have an offer of employment and the employing school district (or a nonpublic school) requests expedited service on your behalf. You may view this policy on our website at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/expedite.html

Contact Information:

Office of Teaching Initiatives
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Ave, Room 5N-EB
Albany, New York 12234

tcert@mail.nysed.gov
Phone: (518) 474-3901
Fax: (518) 473-0271

 

Last Updated: January 3, 2014