Coursework to Satisfy Unmet Requirements

The steps for selecting an appropriate course are listed below.

    Step 1: Carefully read the requirement description for the requirements(s) that you were notified are deficient/unmet.
    Step 2: Determine if the college at which you would like to take a course is a degree-granting institution that is accredited by a institutional accrediting agency recognized for this purpose by the U.S. Department of Education.
    Step 3: For pedagogical coursework, determine if the college found in Step 2 has an approved educator preparation program.
    Step 4: Find a course that meets the description of the requirement.
    Step 5: Submit verification of completed coursework.

If you receive a Notice of Uncompleted Requirements, or view it in your TEACH account in the “Correspondence” section, and have a requirement that is deficient or unmet, the following information can help you determine if a course would be acceptable.

Please note that the Office of Teaching Initiatives and the BOCES regional certification offices cannot approve coursework prior to the completion of a course. You must use the information below to assist you in choosing the appropriate course to meet the deficient/unmet certification requirement. Do not submit requests for prior approval of coursework as they will not be reviewed.


Two Categories of Coursework

Please note that the general core in liberal arts and sciences is no longer a requirement for certification as of April 27, 2022. Please see the announcement about this certification change for more information.

  • Pedagogical core (professional education) coursework requirements. Pedagogical core coursework can be completed on either the undergraduate or graduate level. However, such coursework must be completed at an institution of higher education that has state-approved educator preparation programs that leads to certification in the state where the institution is physically located or a community college with an articulaton agreement with such an institution (contact your college). Undergraduate pedagogical core coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C, and graduate coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.

  • Content core (subject) coursework requirements. Content core coursework refers to coursework in the specific subject matter of the certificate title sought (e.g., Mathematics, Biology, Spanish). It is the equivalent of a major in that subject area. Coursework in the content core must be completed at an institution that is accredited by a institutional accrediting agency recognized for this purpose by the U.S. Department of Education. Undergraduate content core coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C, and graduate coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.  

    Content core coursework includes courses offered by a college department in the same subject area of the certificate sought (e.g., Mathematics Department for mathematics courses), including applied and interdisciplinary courses. However, teaching methods and other pedagogical core courses in a college department in the subject area of the certificate sought would not count towards the content core requirement. Courses that are not offered in a college department in same the subject area of the certificate sought will be considered at the time of the evaluation.

    For example:
    • Mathematics. Geometry, algebra, and calculus courses are examples of acceptable mathematics courses. Accounting and finance courses are not acceptable mathematics courses, for example. 
    • Science. Analytical chemistry, botany, igneous geology, and quantum physics courses are examples of acceptable science courses. Chemical engineering, wildlife management, soil management, materials physics, environmental science, and engineering are not acceptable science courses, for example. Geophysics is acceptable as earth science, but not physics; biochemistry is acceptable as biology, but not chemistry.

    If you need to complete coursework in your content area, view the Content Specialty Test frameworks as a guide to acceptable course content. You can find them on the NYSTCE website, in the “Prepare” section, under Test Frameworks. The Content Specialty Test is linked to the New York State Learning Standards, which reflect what is to be taught to PreK-12 students in each of their subjects. Information on the Learning Standards and curriculum resources can be found on the Office of Curriculum and Instruction webpage.

    For Content Core coursework, look for courses offered by a college departemnt in teh subject area of the certificate sought (e.g., Biology Department, English Department).  To reduce the chances of taking an unacceptable course, make sure that the course you plan to take counts as a core required course toward a degree in the subject of the certificate you desire. Look for additional information in the requirement description.

    Although courses that focus how to teach (pedagogy) may include some content, such courses do not focus on the content and are therefore  not acceptable for content core coursework. Examples of pedagogical courses that would not be acceptable as content core courses include: 

    • methods of teaching mathematics
    • chemistry curriculum development
    • social studies instructional techniques for teaching students with disabilities
    • resources for technology teachers
    • course design, technology and engineering for children  

    NOTE:  Information regarding the content core requirement for Professional certification can be found on the Master's Degree Requirement webpage.


Steps for Selecting an Appropriate Course

Step 1. Carefully read the requirement description for the requirements(s) that you were notified are deficient/unmet. If you are not familiar with how to see this information in TEACH go to how to find a requirement description word doc (580KB) for detailed instructions. You will see a detailed description of the requirement that you need to meet. The following ia an example of a requirement description for mathematics:

    College Coursework

    College coursework is study taken for college credit, completed at or transferred to a degree-granting institution of higher education approved by the New York State Commissioner of Education or an institutional accrediting agency recognized for this purpose by the U.S. Department of Education. Coursework must be offered for degree credit by the college, whether or not you obtain the degree.

    Mathematical Processes

    Acceptable courses are those typically ordered by a mathematics department and are considered core requirements toward a degree in mathematics. This includes courses in mathematical reasoning, quantitative methods, number theory and concepts, algebra, analytic geometry, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, data analysis, probability, and discrete mathematics. Courses in computer science, accounting, finance, and studies in which mathematics is applied to solving problem (e.g., engineering) are not acceptable.

Unacceptable coursework is that which is not credit-bearing or not applicable toward a degree. Examples of unacceptable coursework: professional development courses, continuing education courses, often measured in Continuing Education Units (CEUs), audited courses, and courses that have been waived or for advanced placement (such as high school courses) without credit toward a degree. For detailed information go to:

Use the requirement description to compare to college catalog descriptions. When a requirement specifies a number of semester hours, this means that coursework shown on your transcript(s) must total at least the number of semester hours (S. H.) specified in the requirement. If the requirement does not specify semester hours, any college course that primarily focuses upon the competency and that results in college credit applicable toward a degree will satisfy the requirement.

Step 2. Determine if the college at which you would like to take a course at a degree-granting institution that is accredited by a institutional accrediting agency recognized for this purpose by the U.S. Department of Education.

The college offering coursework must be at a degree-granting institution that is accredited by a institutional accrediting agency recognized for this purpose by the U.S. Department of Education. To determine if an institution meets this condition, refer to the U. S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs website.

Step 3: For pedagogical coursework, determine if the college found in Step 2 has a state-approved educator preparation program.

Step 4: Find a course that meets the description of the requirement
  • To determine what sort of coursework will satisfy a requirement:
    1. Check an undergraduate college catalog of a New York State college or university offering an undergraduate educator preparation program leading to the same certificate for which you have applied. You may also check colleges or universities outside New York; however a New York State college/university with an educator preparation program is more likely to have courses that meet NY requirements.
    2. Look for the general course-by-course description of the program, which is usually displayed as a list of courses with course number, title and number of credits.
    3. Once you find a course that may meet the requirements for your deficiency, compare the course description to the requirement description. If the information is a close match, then the course will likely be acceptable.
  • Not every college will offer a course that satisfies every requirement. You may need to search a number of college catalogs to find what you need. The more catalogs you consult the more likely it is that you will find courses that obviously meet the requirement.
  • Search for a course using an online search engine (for example, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).
  • Work with a reference librarian at your local library to help you construct effective online searches for college courses that will match the requirement description.
  • Do not expect a college official to make a decision for you.  They can make suggestions, but you must decide which course is acceptable.
  • Make sure that any course chosen conforms to the guidelines offered in the course requirement description and the rest of the guidance shared.

  • Professional Development Courses:
    Courses offered for professional development (PD) or for continuing education are not acceptable for certification purposes. All college coursework must be part of or applicable toward a degree program; that is, the coursework must appear as degree credit on an official transcript.  This should be verified with the college before you enroll in any course. Some states allow colleges to add PD to an official transcript and do not distinguish between PD and coursework applicable toward a degree. Be very careful if coursework is offered at a discounted cost.  This may be an indicator that the course is designed for PD or salary advancement. If you have taken a course and are not certain it would be applicable toward a degree, please have the registrar complete the verification form available at this link: College coursework verification form MSWORD File (KB) .
       
Step 5: Submit verification of completed coursework

All documents submitted to the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) must include your name as it appears in your TEACH account and either the last four digits of your social security number or your date of birth. Information on how to submit documents can be found on the Submitting Documents webpage.

Resources

  • Educator preparation programs in New York: You may consult the Inventory of Registered Programs to determine which colleges offer appropriate educator preparation programs. Click on “Search for Programs Leading to Teacher Certification”, click search, then scroll to your certificate title and click submit. The colleges listed offer acceptable coursework in your specialized pedagogical area.
  • Union Sponsored Courses: The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) offer courses that may satisfy some of your requirements.
  • Distance Learning: Some of the coursework requirements may be satisfied by correspondence courses and courses offered on the internet. For information, go to the Distance Learning webpage.
  • The SUNY Learning Network also offers a number of teacher education, content, and liberal arts and science courses.

Exams to Meet College Coursework Requirements

An alternative to taking formal coursework would be to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject through obtaining an acceptable score on credit-bearing examinations offered by one of the following organizations:

If you take such exams, you must request a sealed, official score report that includes your full name, last 4 digits of your Social Security number and date of birth be sent to the Office of Teaching at: New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives, 89 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12234 or to the BOCES to which you applied to for certification.  If for any reason the exam providers are unable to include this information on the transcript, they may attach a cover letter in the sealed envelope.  Transcripts submitted without the requested identifying information will not be reviewed. 


Community College Coursework

Content and general core (liberal arts and science) courses may be taken at a community college if they would count toward a degree in the subject of the course. Pedagogical Core (teacher education) courses completed at a New York State Community College will be accepted if the course can be transferred into an approved teacher certification program at an acceptable New York State four-year college.

To determine whether a New York State community college teacher education course is acceptable, refer to the SUNY Course Equivalencies webpage.


College Credit for Non-College Courses

The National College Credit Recommendation Service recognizes and grants credit for postsecondary learning undertaken in non-collegiate settings.Go to top

Last Updated: May 9, 2022