FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is a series of questions which have been asked by other candidates regarding certification and the application process. Please read through these questions before contacting the certification office as your question may already be answered here.
- Who is eligible for certification?
Candidates who complete an approved education program are eligible. All School of Education programs are registered and approved by the state. Some programs have different streams which may not lead to certification. Speak with your advisor to make sure you are in a certification stream. (non-certification streams can still be certified, but must apply directly to the state on their own)
- Who should apply for certification?
Every candidate in an education program is encouraged to apply.
- Why should I apply for certification?
In order to teach in New York State public schools, candidates must be NYS certified. It is highly recommended that you apply for certification while the regulations in effect are those that your program was aligned to.
- Am I certified when I graduate?
No, certification is not automatic. Candidates are required to file an application for certification upon completion of their program.
- Can I be certified before I graduate?
Yes, a candidate may be certified before completing an approved program, if they have met all the requirements for the certificate as listed on the Certification Requirements page on the Office of Teaching Initiatives website. However, candidates would have to apply on their own via Individual Transcript Evaluation. (Not applicable to Fellows)
- How do I apply for certification?
You may apply for certification by creating an account via the TEACH system and completing the application electronically.
- What do I need to be certified?
In addition to completing an approved education program in an area, candidates also need to pass the required exams (LAST, ATSW, CST) and to receive fingerprint clearance from NYS. Also, depending on the certificate level, candidates may need to meet experience requirements as well.
- What fees are associated with applying for certification?
The application fee for an Institutional Recommendation is $50 per certificate title.The fee is to be paid online by credit card, or by mailing in a money order.
- My program is listed as being dual-certificate. What does that mean?
It means your program has been registered as leading to two separate certificates, i.e. Bilingual Childhood Ed. = Childhood Ed. 1-6 & a Bilingual Extension. (An extension can only be issued after a base certificate has been issued)
- Can I apply for more than one certificate at a time?
You may and are encouraged to apply for as many certificates as you may qualify for. The state will issue the certificates as long as you meet the requirements for each. However, you can only receive an Institutional Recommendation for the certificate title of the program you completed at CCNY. All other certificates would require Individual Transcript Evaluation.
*It is also important to note that once you have been certified, each additional certificate title does not require you to meet all requirements a second time. You simply need to pass the Content Specialty Test for that title, and whatever additional content area or pedagogical coursework may be required. This is referred to as the Individual Evaluation for Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate pathway on the OTI website.
- Do I have to submit transcripts from other schools?
Your Institutional Recommendation is based on completing an approved program at CCNY. You do not need to submit other transcripts unless there are credits that were accepted or waived by CCNY but not reflected on your CCNY transcript. A course waiver or substitution form from your advisor should accompany these.
- How long does the state take to issue a certificate?
If all requirements have been met, the TEACH system can issue the INITIAL certificate overnight. For Provisional, Permanent, or Professional, an institutionally recommended certificate may still take between 3 - 4 months, depending on the backlog in Albany. This time may decrease greatly as the state stops receiving paper applications. A certificate via Individual Transcript Evaluation may take upwards of 6 – 8 months. The certificates (except for Transitional B) are mailed directly to the address on your application.
- Do I receive any confirmation of having applied for certification? Your account in the TEACH system should serve as your official record. It will detail which certificates have been applied for by the candidate, which certificates have been recommended by the institution, which certificates have been issued, and which are still pending. Upon request, applicants may be issued a letter confirming that they have applied for and been recommended by CCNY for certification.
- How can I check the status of my application?
You may create a profile using the TEACH system, which will give you access to your certification status as well as many other important bits of information concerning your certification.
- What do I do if my certificate has not been issued in the expected time period?
You should direct all inquiries to NYSED. After the application is forwarded to the state, all communications from that point forward will be directly between the candidate and the state. You can reach the state at 518-474-3901.