Q1: Once I have my Initial certificate, how many years do I have to complete the requirements for a Professional certificate?
A1: The Initial certificate is valid for 5 years, during which time you must complete the requirements for the professional certificate. If you cannot complete all the requirements for the professional certificate in that 5-year window, you can apply for a time extension or a re-issuance of your initial certificate using the TEACH system.
Q2: Will the State Education Department notify me when my initial certificate is about to expire?
A2: Yes. Beginning in the summer of 2017, the State Education Department has begun to notify holders of certificates that will be expiring within 6 months. For this notification to work, the certificate holder must have a valid e-mail address in the TEACH system.
Q3: What are the requirements for the professional certificate?
A3: The requirements for the professional teaching certificate include:
Q4: Can I use substitute teaching to fulfill part/all of the 3-year experience requirement?
A4: Yes. The substitute teaching experience needs to be in the area or areas for which you are certified to qualify as teaching experience. For example, substitute teaching at the elementary level will not count if you are certified in grades 7-12.
Q5: I have been employed as a teaching assistant while I search for a teaching position; will this experience count toward the 3 years?
A5: No. Teaching assistant experience is not applicable to this requirement.
Q6: What does SED require as evidence to show that I have fulfilled the 3 years of teaching experience requirement?
A6: SED requires that you self-report your teaching experience on your TEACH account AND that you complete and submit their ‘Verification of Experience’ form.
Q7: When should I actually apply for the professional, as soon as I have met the requirements or at the end of the five year window?
A7: When to apply is entirely up to you. Allow for three to four (3-4) months for the State Education Department to process your application.
Q8: I hold Initial certificates in more than one subject (e.g., Childhood Education Grades 1-6 and English 7-12). Must I teach for three years in each subject area to meet the three-year experience requirement for a Professional certificate?
A8: No. An individual who holds more than one classroom teaching certificate may meet the requirement with three years of classroom teaching experience in any of the certificate titles. For instance, a teacher who holds the Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) and English 7-12 certificates could satisfy the experience requirement for both certificates by teaching for three years in an elementary classroom, three years as a secondary English teacher, or a combination of both.
Please note that service in non-classroom teaching areas such as pupil personnel services or school leadership may not be used to satisfy the experience requirement for classroom teaching.
Q9: Once I receive my Initial certificate, I will be enrolling in graduate school. How can I find out which master’s degrees will be acceptable toward satisfying the requirements for a Professional certificate?
A9: You can go to Professional Certificate - Master's Degree Requirement to see the possible ways to meet the educational requirement for a Professional certificate. In layman’s terms, you can:
- Pursue a graduate degree that leads to another certificate title, in NY or in another state;
- Pursue a graduate degree in content area of your initial certificate;
- Pursue a graduate degree that includes 12 credits in the content area or how to teach the content area of your initial certificate.
If you earned your initial certification by completing a graduate level teacher education program and that college recommended you for the initial certificate, that same program satisfies the master’s degree requirement for the professional certificate.