Getting Assistance with Certification

The New York State Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) is responsible for issuing teacher and teaching assistant certification.

As a result, an official response on the interpretation of certification regulations or the determination of individual certification status can only be obtained from OTI.

The State Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives Web site offers assistance on a wide variety of topics and you may find the answers to your questions by searching their site.

Contacting the Office of Teaching Initiatives

Members can obtain comprehensive certification information on the New York State Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) Web site at Members with specific questions and e-mail availability can contact OTI via e-mail by clicking on "Contact Us" at the Web site or e-mailing The Office of Teaching Initiatives can also be contacted by telephone at (518) 474-3901.

OTI staff members are available to answer questions from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Automated information is available at anytime. Members can send information to the OTI (please use certified mail and request a return receipt) at: Certification Unit, OTI, NYS Education Department, 5N Education Building, Albany, New York 12234.

The regulations pertaining to specific situations regarding certification can be difficult. Contact your local union president for help. Be prepared to provide your name, TEACH account username and password, and a brief description of the situation.

TEACH Online Services

Teachers and teaching assistants have a new tool to help take responsibility for their certification.

Members can check their individual New York state certification file by establishing a TEACH account via the Office of Teaching Initiatives Web site.

TEACH is an online, password protected application and database system that enables current certificate holders and applicants to apply online for certification, fingerprint clearance, check the status of applications, documents and test results received.  Members can also update their personal, educational and work experience information and record professional development activities.

New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) Program

The NYSTCE includes all teacher certification examinations (LAST, ATS-W, ATS-P, and CST) and the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS). Members can obtain information on the current test dates for all certification examinations and may register for examinations on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations Web site at

It's your responsibility

Keep in mind that it is an individual's responsibility to maintain certification. NYSUT members are strongly urged to maintain a certification file including copies of all transcripts, certificates and communications.

For more information

NYSUT offers a variety of materials to help new members . Your union can make these items available at strategic times during the year. For more information about your union and how your colleagues can help you build a successful career, contact your union representative or your local president.

Application Information

Approved Teacher Education Programs

General Certification Information



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