Frequently Asked Questions

certification

FAQs for Teacher Certification

  • Professional Certification Requirements

    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 Paid Experience Form for Professional and Permanent Certificates, Extensions, Limited Extensions, and Statements of Continued Eligibility' 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.

  • Registering Certificates with SED

    Q1: When did the registration requirement begin?

    A1: The requirement to register with the state began on July 1, 2016.

    Q2: Who is required to be registered?

    A2: Permanently certified teachers/school building leaders, professionally certified teachers/school building leaders, and Level III Teaching Assistants are required to register with the state. Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements.  

    If you have one of these certificates and it was issued after July 1, 2016, the state would have automatically registered your certificate in TEACH. On your TEACH home page select “View or Change Registration Status” to view your 5-year registration period.

    Q3: What does the term “practicing” on the state’s Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements mean?

    A3: The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.’

    Q4: What does registering with the state actually mean?

    A4: Registering is a step in the process of maintaining a certificate. Educators who are required to register can practice in an applicable school in NYS – see Registration:OTI:NYSED. Registering with the state also creates a 5-year registration cycle during which some certificate holders are required to complete a specific set of professional learning requirements called Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours.

    Q5: What are the registration options available in TEACH?

    A5: Registered - Active: These educators are registered and are practicing in an applicable school.

    Registered - Inactive: These educators are registered and are not practicing in an applicable school.

    Registration Expired: These educators were registered, but their registration period expired. They have not re-registered.

    Not Registered: These educators have never registered and did not begin the registration process.

    Registration/Re-Registration Incomplete: These educators began the registration/re-registration process but did not complete it.

    Q6: Can I have more than one registration status during a 5-year registration cycle?

    A6: Yes. For example, an educator who was on a leave for one year during a 5-year registration cycle can be ‘Registered – Inactive’ for that year and then ‘Registered – Active’ once the leave is complete.

    Q7:   Is there a requirement to notify the State Education Department if I move or change my name?

    A7: Yes.  If you are required to register regulations require that you notify the State Education Department within 30 days of moving or changing your name.  These changes can be done on the certificate holder's TEACH account.

     

  • Re-Registering Certificates with SED

    VIDEO: Certificate Re-Registration Overview for CTLE Certificate Holders

    Q1: Who has to register?

    A1: Permanently certified teachers/school building leaders, professionally certified teachers/school building leaders, and Level III Teaching Assistants must register with the State Education Department every five years. To check the start and end date of your registration cycle, select “View or Change Registration Status” on your TEACH home page. Registration & Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements (nysed.gov)

    Q2: Where can I find the state’s directions for re-registering my certificate(s)?

    A2: The directions for re-registering are available at Re-registration and Conditional Registration Directions.

    Q3: When should I re-register?

    A3: Educators can re-register six months prior to their registration cycle expiration date.

    Q4: Will the state notify me that my registration cycle is ending?

    A4: Yes. Using TEACH, the state will email individuals six months, three months, and one month prior to the expiration of their registration cycle. A valid email, preferably a home email, is required in TEACH to receive these notices.

    Q5: When re-registering, TEACH asked me how many years I was practicing during my 5-year cycle. If I was on leave for a year, should I enter 4 years and not 5?

    A5: Yes. If you were not ‘practicing’ your response should reflect that. The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.’

    Q5a: What if I didn’t change my registration status to ‘Inactive’ in TEACH for the leave, should I still enter 4 years and not 5?

    A5a: Yes. The state recognizes that guidance regarding switching one’s registration status during a registration cycle was not as comprehensive as it could have been when this process started. The state has emphasized that it wants accurate information as the re-registration process is implemented.

    Q6: What is the ‘Conditional Registration’?

    A6: Conditional Registration is the state’s way of providing flexibility regarding the CTLE hours’ requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you could not complete the required 100 CTLE hours during this first registration cycle for any reason you can request a ‘Conditional Registration’ and the state will add an additional year to your 5-year registration cycle.

    Q7: Do I need to submit any documentation to obtain a ‘Conditional Registration’?

    A7: No. No documentation is needed.

    Q8: If I get a Conditional Registration, what do I need to do once I complete the missing CTLE hours?

    A8: Once you complete the missing hours you can register for your next 5-year registration cycle. Note: you can do this beginning six months before the Conditional Registration expiration date.

    Q9: What is the difference between a ‘conditional registration’ and an ‘adjustment’?

    A9: A Conditional Registrationadds one additional year to your current 5-year registration cycle and does not require any supporting documentation. Adding a year to your current registration cycle means that you will only be completing the missing CTLE hours during that extra year.

    An ‘Adjustment’provides you with one more year to complete any missing CTLE hours yet requires documentation for the adjustment and the year provided does not get attached to your current 5-year registration cycle. In other words, you would need to complete any missing hours from your first registration cycle while simultaneously completing hours for your second registration cycle.

    Q10: Is there a requirement to notify the State Education Department if I move or change my name?

    A10: Yes.  Registration regulations require that you notify the State Education Department within 30 days of moving or changing your name.  These changes can be done on your TEACH account.

  • Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements

    Q1: What types of certificates are subject to the Continuing Teacher & Leader Education hours’ requirement?

    A1: Educators who hold a professional teacher or educational leader certificate or a Level III Teaching Assistant certificate are subject to the CTLE requirement. View SED's Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements.

    Q2: What if I am not currently teaching – am I still required to complete CTLE hours?

    A2: No. CTLE certificate holders (see A1 above) who are not practicing may select the registration status of ‘Registered – Inactive’ for as long as they are not practicing. During this time, you are not required to complete CTLE hours.

    Q3: What does the term “practicing” mean?

    A3: The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.’

    Q4: What will count toward these 100 hours?

    A4: What counts for the CTLE hours’ requirement is a local determination and should be reflected in the district’s Professional Learning Plan to the extent possible. CTLE activities are offered by SED-approved sponsors which include districts, BOCES, and a variety of other providers – see Approved Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Sponsors

    Q5: Is there a definition for CTLE?

    A5 CTLE activities are designed to improve the teacher or leader’s pedagogical and/or leadership skills and are targeted at improving student performance. The activities also promote the professionalization of teaching and educational leadership. CTLE activities should address the content one teaches and/or how one teaches that content, and language acquisition that addresses the needs of English language learners.

    Q6: What is the CTLE Language Acquisition requirement?

    A6: This requirement varies based on the certificate(s) you have. If you have an ESOL certificate or a Bilingual extension, half of your CTLE hours must be related to language acquisition. Other CTLE certificate holders must complete 15 CTLE hours in this area unless your district has an exemption – see CTLE Language Acquisition Requirement Exemption.

    Q7: Can I bank CTLE hours from one 5-year registration period to the next?

    A7: No.

    Q8: Do I need to send documentation to the state so they know I completed my hours?

    A8: No. No one is required to send documentation to the state unless the state education department specifically asks for it. You do need to keep records of your CTLE hours though – see CTLE Recordingkeeping and Documentation Requirements  for the state’s expectations regarding record-keeping.    

    Q9: Where can I find the state’s guidance regarding the CTLE requirement?

    A9: Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirement This page contains an overview of CTLE requirements and links to specific subcomponents such as the language acquisition requirement, approved sponsors, and record-keeping.

     

  • Retirees: What do we do about registering with SED?

    Q1: I am retired. If I don’t register with the State Education Department (SED), does that mean that my permanent certificate is no longer valid?

    A1: No. A permanent certificate is still a lifetime credential. 

    Q2: I am a permanently certified retired teacher and I currently work occasionally as a substitute teacher in a local NYS public school. Do I need to register with SED?

    A2: Maybe. If you are working in a NYS public school or BOCES for more than 90 days in a school year, the state would expect you to register as active.  If you work less than 90 days in a school year, you can still register as Registered - Inactive. 

    Q3: I am a permanently certified retired teacher and have no current plans to work in a NYS public school or BOCES. Do I need to register with SED?

    A3: You have a choice regarding registration. If you are fairly certain that you will not seek employment in a NYS public school or BOCES in the future, you can choose not to register. SED will consider you as just that, ‘Not Registered.’

    If you think there is a chance that you will work in a NYS public school or BOCES in the future, you can register with SED and choose to be considered “Inactive” by SED.

    Q4: How do I register with SED?

    A4: Registration is done using the TEACH system, which is SED’s online system for certification. If you do not have a TEACH account, you can create one here.

    Q5: If I register, do I need to complete Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours?

    A5: No. This requirement does not impact permanent certificate holders.

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