Educator Resources

Special Education Teaching Assignments and Certification

The following table shows the certification required for various types of special education teaching assignments. The types of teaching assignments are described on the Continuum of Special Education Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities webpage. Certification requirements are available on the Search Certification Requirements webpage.

Effective July 1, 2021, all special education teachers who teach one or more subject areas in a special class (self-contained class) in grades 7-12, with some or no students under alternate assessment, must either:

Please note that special education teachers can only teach students who are in the grade levels in which their certificate is valid, with the exception of teachers who teach a special class where all students are under alternate assessment.

For questions about teaching assignments that are not answered in the following table, please contact the Office of Special Education at speced@nysed.gov. For questions about certification requirements, please contact the Office of Teaching Initiatives at tcert@nysed.gov.  

A printable version can be found at: Special education teaching assignment by certificatePDF file

Special Education Certification

Special Education Teaching Assignment:

Preschool Itinerant Teacher

Consultant Teacher, Resource Room Teacher, Integrated Co-Teacher

Special Class Teacher – Some or No Students Under Alternate Assessment

Special Class Teacher – All Students Under Alternate Assessment

SWD (Birth-Grade 2) only

Yes

Birth-Grade 2

Birth-Grade 2

All grades

SWD (Birth-Grade 2)

  • with SWD grade-level extension (Grades 3-4)

Yes

Birth-Grade 4

Birth-Grade 4

All grades

SWD (Grades 1-6) only

No

Grades 1-6

Grades 1-6

All grades

SWD (Grades 1-6)

  • with SWD grade-level extension (PK-K)

Yes

PK-Grade 6

PK-Grade 6

All grades

SWD (Grades 1-6)

  • with SWD grade-level extension (Grades 7-8)

No

Grades 1-8

Grades 1-6*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Generalist only

No

Grades 5-9

Grades 5-6*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Generalist

  • with SWD grade-level extension (Grades 10-12)

No

Grades 5-12

Grades 5-6*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Generalist

  • with a certificate or extension in grades 5-9 and in the subject area to be taught

No

Grades 5-9

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-9 in the subject area of the certificate held*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Generalist

  • With a limited extension or statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) in grades 7-12 and in the subject area to be taught (only valid in a special class)

No

Grades 5-9

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the certificate held*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Content Specialist only

No

Grades 5-9

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-9 in the subject area of the content specialty*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Content Specialist

  • With SWD grade-level extension (Grades 10-12)

No

Grades 5-12

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the content specialty*

All grades

SWD (Grades 5-9) Content Specialist

  • With a limited extension or statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) in grades 7-12 and in the subject area to be taught (only valid in a special class)

No

Grades 5-9

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-9 in the subject area of content specialty
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the certificate held*

All grades

SWD Generalist (Grades 7-12) only

No

Grades 7-12

Not eligible; does not hold content area certification*

All grades

SWD Generalist (Grades 7-12)

  • With SWD grade-level extension (Grades 5-6)

No

Grades 5-12

Grades 5-6*

All grades

SWD Generalist (Grades 7-12)

  • With a certificate, extension, limited extension, or statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) in grades 7-12 and in the subject area to be taught

No

Grades 7-12

Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the certificate held*

All grades

SWD (Grades 7-12) Content Specialist only

No

Grades 7-12

Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the content specialty*

All grades

SWD (Grades 7-12) Content Specialist

  • With SWD grade-level extension (Grades 5-6)

No

Grades 5-12

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the content specialty*

All grades

SWD (Grades 7-12) Content Specialist

  • With a limited extension or statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) in grades 7-12 and in the subject area to be taught

No

Grades 7-12

  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of the content specialty
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of certificate held*

All grades

Permanent Special Education only

Yes

Birth-Grade 12

Birth-Grade 6*

All grades

Permanent Special Education

  • With a certificate, extension, limited extension, or statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) in grades 7-12 and in the subject area to be taught

Yes

Birth-Grade 12

  • Birth-Grade 6
  • Grades 7-12 in the subject area of certificate held*

 All grades

*  Through June 30, 2021, special education teachers may teach a particular subject area in a special class in grades 7-12 for which they do not hold subject area certification only if they: 1) hold a certificate at the appropriate grade/developmental level, and 2) would be considered Highly Qualified in the subject area throughout their teaching assignment in a special class through passing a HOUSSE rubric. The HOUSSE rubric completed by the school district for this purpose can also be used for the limited extension and statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) application.

Severe or Multiple Disabilities Annotation

Special education teachers who hold the Severe or Multiple Disabilities Annotation can teach a special class where all students are under alternate assessment and all students have severe cognitive disabilities. Students can be at any developmental level (birth-grade 12).


Last Updated: April 6, 2020