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Requirements for Professional Certification

Just as an individual applies for a first-level (Initial) certificate, one must apply for a second-level, (Professional) certificate prior to expiration of the first-level certificate.

Initial certification is valid for 5 years. During those 5 years:

Undergraduates will need to complete a Master’s Degree and 3 years of teaching, 1 year mentored*

Graduates will need to complete 3 years of teaching, 1 year mentored*

*"Mentored experience" refers to the guidance and professional support that experienced, certified teachers provide to new teachers in their first year of teaching in a public school. Documentation of the mentored experience must be provided by the superintendent of the employing school district. For more information, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/mentoring.html

Master’s Degree Requirements

Graduate Teacher Education Programs Leading to a Certificate
The Master’s degree is acceptable if it is based upon completing any teacher Certification program leading to any certificate, whether in New York State or another jurisdiction.  The Master’s degree may be completed toward a classroom teaching, pupil personnel, or supervisory/administrative certificate.  Such a master's degree can be used to fulfill the master's degree requirement for any additional classroom teaching service certificate title.

Master's Degree accepted previously to satisfy requirements for a permanent or professional classroom teaching certificate
This same Master's degree will satisfy the master's degree requirement and the requirement for 12 graduate semester hours in the content core for professional Certification for any subsequent certificate.

Master's Degree in the Initial Certificate Content or Related Area
The Master’s degree may also be in the content area of the Initial certificate or in a closely related subject area.  For more information go to the Professional Certificate - Chart of Related Master's Degrees on the State Website

Required Coursework for those with an Unrelated Master's Degree
Graduate Course work in the content area of the certificate (12 credits). OR
Graduate Course work in content linking pedagogy (12 credits)

For the full requirements, please visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/relatedmasters.html

Teaching/Work Experience

Experience Requirement - Professional
One of the requirements for professional certification is three full years of classroom teaching service which must be completed in a public or approved independent school at the Pre K-12 setting.  If working in a public school, the first year of teaching must be mentored*

Experience does not have to be in a NYS public school.

When applying for professional certification you must submit your experience for review on TEACH.  When completing the employment history section on TEACH make certain to detail:

  • the name and location of the school
  • public/private status
  • subject or area and grade level taught
  • dates and type (part time/full time)

Special Notes:

  •  540 days of substitute teaching experience may satisfy the experience requirement in lieu of three full years.
  • Teaching experience MUST be in the area/level of the certificate held in order to be valid and acceptable.
  • If you have more than one certificate, the service under one of them may be used to fulfill the experience requirement for all the other Professional teaching certificates.
  • Teaching experience in a preschool or daycare facility is acceptable provided it is in a private school licensed by New York state.
  • Experience as a teaching assistant is not applicable towards this requirement.
  • All self-reported experience must be verified by the employer directly. Please use the appropriate form found at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/form.html

All information found at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ctexp.html

*"Mentored experience" refers to the guidance and professional support that experienced, certified teachers provide to new teachers in their first year of teaching in a public school. Documentation of the mentored experience must be provided by the superintendent of the employing school district. For more information, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/mentoring.html

Please note: All information was taken from the NY State website at www.highered.nysed.gov.  Candidates are responsible for keeping informed of any changes in requirements that may occur during the lifetime of your certification.