Supplementary Teaching Certificate

The content on this page is from Fact Sheet 17-10: Supplementary Teaching Certificate.

The Supplementary Teaching Certificate allows teachers certified in one classroom teaching area to provide instruction in a different certificate area where there is a demonstrated need, for up to five (5) years while fulfilling remaining requirements necessary for the additional certificate title.

Supplementary Teaching Certificate

It is used when…

  • There is a demonstrated need for a certified teacher as determined by the employing school district or BOCES.
  • A school district or BOCES makes a commitment to employ a teacher holding a supplementary certificate and to provide appropriate support to that teacher while working under the supplementary certificate.

You are eligible if you have...

  • a valid NYS provisional, initial, permanent or professional certificate; AND
  • completed the required number of credits in the content core of the additional certificate area, typically 12 credits; AND
  • passed the Content Specialty Test (CST) in the additional certificate area; AND
  • enrolled in collegiate study to fulfill any remaining requirements for the additional certificate.

How long is it valid?

  • The certificate is valid for five (5) years from its effective date and is not renewable.

Are there limitations?

  • The holder of a supplementary teaching certificate can only teach in the school district or BOCES that provided the commitment for employment.

How do you apply?

  • On TEACH at
  • Ask the employing school district to submit an online recommendation (commitment to employ and provide appropriate support) directly to your TEACH account.

For example, the supplementary certificate might be a viable option for a professionally certified biology teacher who works in a district that suddenly needs someone to teach earth science.  If the biology teacher wants to teach earth science but does not have an earth science major, yet has completed at least 12 credits in earth science, he/she can complete the Earth Science CST and with a recommendation from the district obtain the supplementary earth science certificate.

In this example, the supplementary earth science certificate allows the teacher to be employed as the teacher of record for earth science (and still biology); the supplementary certificate is a valid teaching license.  From the date that the supplementary certificate is issued, the certificate holder has five (5) years to complete any remaining requirements for the earth science certificate

Again using this example, the requirements for the supplementary earth science certificate are as follows:

  • Holds a Valid NYS Classroom Teaching Certificate
  • Content Core - Earth Science - 12 credits
  • Content Specialty Test (CST) - Earth Science
  • Workshop - Child Abuse Identification
  • Workshop - School Violence Intervention and Prevention
  • Workshop - Dignity For All Students Act
  • Fingerprint Clearance
  • School District Recommendation

(This is a commitment for employment and support while the supplementary certificate holder is employed under the supplementary certificate)

After obtaining a supplementary certificate, the holder of the certificate has five (5) years to complete any additional requirements for that certificate title.  In the example above of a biology 7-12 professional certificate holder obtaining the earth science 7-12 certificate, remaining requirements will include additional earth science content credits.

NYSUT members considering the supplementary certificate should always consult their local union leadership to understand potential impact of obtaining an additional teaching certificate: voluntary/involuntary transfer rights, and any impact on tenure or seniority rights.
Note: this pathway does not apply to holders of Career and Technical certificates or the Speech and Language Disabilities certificate, when based on a speech language pathology license.

Regulations pertaining to the Supplementary Certificate are found in Part 80-5.18 of Commissioner’s Regulations.

GJ/bjb; 104548

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