A teacher program is a state-approved course of study, the completion of which signifies that an enrollee has met all the state’s educational and/or training requirements for initial certification or licensure to teach in the state’s elementary, middle or secondary schools. A teacher preparation program may be either a traditional program or an alternative route to certification, as defined by the state. Also, it may be within or outside an institution of higher education. For the purposes of Title II reporting, all traditional teacher preparation programs at a single institution of higher education are considered to be a single program. Likewise, all alternative routes to initial teacher certification are considered to be a single program. The law requires institutions of higher education to submit timely and accurate reports or risk a fine of up to $27,500.

Teacher preparation programs, both traditional and alternative, report to New York State Education Department, who then report to the U.S. Department of Education. Since 2001, the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education has collected data from states on teacher preparation programs and their students, as well as states’ assessment and licensing of teacher candidates.

Section 205(a) of Title II requires each Institution of Higher Education report annually on:

  • Basic aspects of its teacher preparation program, such as admissions requirements; number of students enrolled by gender, ethnicity and race; information about supervised clinical experience; the number of students prepared by academic major and subject area; and the number of program completers;
  • Goals for increasing the number of teachers trained in shortage areas and assurances about aspects of teacher training;
  • How well groups of students perform on initial state licensing and certification assessments;
  • Approval or accreditation of the teacher preparation program and whether the program is under a designation of “low-performing;” and
  • Information about preparing teachers to use technology, to participate as a member of individualized education program teams and to teach students with disabilities or who are limited English proficient.