Every state requires teachers to obtain certification before they can teach. In New York State (and many others), you must obtain a master’s degree in education (if you don’t already have one) within five years of receiving your initial teacher certification.
Requirements for teacher certification in New York State
- Academic preparation: degree/coursework, student teaching
- Assessment: selected tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examination program series
- Experience: teaching and/or other work experience
- Additional requirements: Child abuse identification workshop, School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE) workshop, moral character requirement, and fingerprint clearance
Levels of Certification
In New York State, there are two levels of teacher certification: initial and professional.
The Initial Certificate is the entry-level classroom teaching certification in New York State, and is issued for a specific subject and grade level. An Initial Certificate is valid for five years.
The Professional Certificate is the second-level classroom teaching certificate, and is issued to those who hold an Initial Certificate and have completed educational and experience requirements for the Professional Certificate, including a master’s degree related to teaching and three years teaching experience. It is valid for five years and renewable with 175 clock hours of professional development.
Prior to 2004, teachers held either provisional or permanent certificates; the regulations have changed. For more information regarding teacher certification requirements in New York State, visit the NYSED website and the college’s Teacher Certification Office website.