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Types of Certificates and Licenses
(from www.highered.nysed.gov)

Initial Certificate:
Description: The entry-level certificate for classroom teachers, issued in specific subject/grade titles, and the entry-level certificate for School Building Leader (SBL). NYSED exams and fingerprint clearance are required.
Validity: Valid for 5 years.
Leads to: Professional Certificate

Provisional Certificate:
Description: The entry-level certificate for pupil personnel professionals, issued in specific subject/grade titles. Previously, the entry-level certificate for classroom teachers, but discontinued as of February 2, 2004. Previously, the entry-level certificate for school administrators, but discontinued as of September 2, 2007.  Fingerprint clearance required.
Validity: Valid for 5 years.
Leads to: Permanent Certificate

Professional Certificate:
Description: The advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers (issued in specific subject/grade titles) and School Building Leaders.  Three years of paid, full-time experience and Master’s degree required
Validity: Continuously valid with completion of required professional development hours on a five-year professional development cycle. For information on maintaining your professional certification, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/maintaincert-prof.html

Permanent Certificate:
Description: The advanced-level certificate for pupil personnel professionals. The Permanent certificate also remains the advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers and school administrators who hold a valid Provisional certificate.  Two years of paid, full-time experience required.  Additional testing may be required.
Validity: Valid for life, unless revoked for cause by the New York State Education Department

Annotation:
Description:
A certificate that is attached to a regular base certificate, recognizing that the holder has additional knowledge and/skills beyond the base certificate. Annotations are not required and are not-free standing.
Validity: Valid as long as the base certificate remains valid.

Extension (subject)
Description: A certificate that is attached to a regular base certificate, authorizing the holder to teach an additional student population, grade, or subject not authorized by the base certificate. Extensions are not free-standing and may be attached to multiple base certificates.  Additional testing may be required.
Validity: Valid as long as the base certificate remains valid.

Internship Certificate:
Description Certificate issued to a student in a registered or approved graduate teacher education program, permitting the holder to serve an internship in a public school. Issued at the request of the college or university, provided that the student has completed one-half of the program's semester hour requirement and has guaranteed employment in a school district.  This certificate is maintained electronically in the TEACH system, no actual paper certificate is generated.   Fingerprint clearance required
Validity Valid for two years and not renewable.

Transitional A
Description:
The classroom teaching certificate issued to a school district to permit the employment of an individual in a specific career and technical education title (in agriculture, health, or a trade) who does not meet the requirements for an Initial certificate, but who possesses the requisite occupational experience.
Validity: Valid for 3 years.
Leads to: Initial Certificate

Transitional B
Description: First-level teaching certificate issued to a school district to permit the employment of an individual who is enrolled in an alternative teacher Certification program. The Transitional B is tied to the school placement. Issued in classroom teaching titles. Candidates must have passed the LAST and CST (content specific) and have fingerprint clearance for this certificate to issue.  
Validity: Valid for 3 years while the individual is matriculated in an alternative program.
Leads to: Initial certificate

Transitional C
Description: Certificate issued to a school district to permit the employment of an individual who is enrolled in an alternative graduate teacher Certification program at the graduate level. Issued in classroom teaching titles.   Candidates must have passed the LAST and CST (content specific) and have fingerprint clearance for this certificate to issue.  
Validity: Valid for 3 years while the individual is matriculated in an alternative program.
Leads to: Professional Certificate

Get more information on types of certifications

For general certification requirements, please visit
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/