New Students With Disabilities (All Grades) Certificate Created

At its September 2022 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents voted to establish the Students with Disabilities (All Grades) certificate effective September 28, 2022. The new certificate permits individuals to teach students with disabilities in pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 in New York State public schools. The Board of Regents also approved revisions to the extension to teach certain subjects to students with disabilities in grades 5-9 or grades 7-12 for eligible special education teachers.

The key changes to the regulations, and the implementation timeline for the changes, are described below and in the presentation to the Board of Regents. For additional information about the SWD (All Grades) certificate, please see the SWD (All Grades) Certificate Summary and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Students with Disabilities (SWD) Certificates

  • SWD (All Grades) Certificate Requirements. The certificate types, pathways, and requirements for the SWD (All Grades) certificate title will be listed on the Search Certification Requirements webpage on September 28, 2022. The application for this new certificate will also be available in the TEACH system on this date.
  • Current SWD certificates. Individuals who hold a SWD certificate in a grade band (e.g., Birth-Grade 2, Grades 1-6, Grades 5-9, Grades 7-12) or Permanent Special Education certificate will not be required to obtain the new SWD (All Grades) certificate by the Department, as those certificates will continue to be recognized in the future. They can choose to pursue the SWD (All Grades) certificate, if they wish.
    • SWD (Birth-Grade 2) certificates will continue to be issued.
    • Individuals will be able to apply for the SWD (Grades 1-6) and/or SWD (Grades 7-12) certificates through the individual evaluation pathway prior to September 1, 2023, and will be eligible for these certificates provided that they meet all requirements for the certificate prior to September 1, 2026.
    • SWD (Grades 1-6) and SWD (Grades 7-12) certificates will be phased out in the future. Specifically, the Department will no longer issue certificates in the SWD (Grades 1-6) and SWD (Grades 7-12) certificate titles, other than for the Professional certificate and reissuance of an Initial certificate, with an effective date that begins after September 1, 2030. The Professional certificate and reissuance of an Initial certificate in these certificate titles will continue to be issued.
    • SWD (Grades 1-6) and SWD (Grades 7-12) certificates can continue to receive a time extension after September 1, 2030.

New York State Registered SWD Programs

  • SWD (All Grades) Programs. New York State institutions of higher education can apply to register SWD (All Grades) programs beginning September 28, 2022. The registration requirements for this program are posted on the Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) website.
  • SWD (Grades 1-6) and SWD (Grades 7-12) Programs. The Department will no longer register programs leading to the current SWD (Grades 1-6) and SWD (Grades 7-12) certificates on or after October 1, 2022. For institutions that have existing SWD (Grades 1-6) and/or SWD (Grades 7-12) programs, the programs will be discontinued on or after September 1, 2029.
  • SWD (Birth-Grade 2) Programs. SWD (Birth-Grade 2) programs can continue to be offered and created. However, these programs must now also focus on developing comprehensive knowledge, understanding, and skills for teaching students with disabilities who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Institutions with existing SWD (Birth-Grade 2) programs will need to show that their program meets this new requirement by September 1, 2024. Information about how programs will document that they meet this requirement will be provided at a later date on the OCUE website.

Subject Area Extension

  • Special Education Teachers. For the extension to teach certain subjects to students with disabilities in grades 5-9 or grades 7-12, eligible special education teachers can obtain the extension by completing 12 semester hours in the subject area or passing the content specialty test (CST) in the subject area of the extension beginning September 28, 2022.
  • Registered SWD Programs. Programs leading to the extension to teach certain subjects to students with disabilities in grades 7-12 will now require at least 12, instead of 18, semester hours in the subject area of the extension beginning September 28, 2022.
Last Updated: September 15, 2022