If you will be completing your student teaching assignment in December, 2013 but plan to return in Spring 2014 to complete other program/degree requirements, please note that you will be subject to all of the new New York State Teacher Cerrtification Examination requirements, including the new CST exam for your content area. If you fall into this group of students, if possible you should plan to complete ALL program/degree requirements before you student teach, thus allowing you to graduate by December 2013 under the existing teacher certification requirements. If you have questions about your status, please contact the office of the Assistant Provost for Teacher Education at (607) 753-4704.
The following teacher certification information is for current undergraduate and graduate students.
What are the different types of certifications available?
Please visit the New York State Education Department website to learn what types of certification are available.
What certification do I apply for?
If you are finishing an undergraduate degree in a teacher certification program and do not already have a teacher certification, you will apply for an initial certificate.
If you are finishing a graduate degree in a teacher certification program and do not already have a teacher certification, you will apply for an initial certificate.
If you have a graduate degree in a teacher certification program and already have an initial teacher certification in the same discipline, you will apply for professional certification.
What are the requirements for initial certification?
To be considered for initial certification you must:
- Complete the Child Abuse Recognition workshop (View PDF)
- Complete the Safe Schools Against Violence (SAVE) workshop (View PDF)
- Complete your degree in an approved teacher preparation program
- Pass all required New York State Teacher Certification Exams - additional information below
- Complete the Teacher Certification Recommendation Authorization Form
(View PDF for undergraduate students)
(View PDF for graduate students)
- Complete the fingerprinting process and obtain clearance (View PDF)
- Complete the New York State Education Department online application for certification through the TEACH system.
NEW: NYSTCE Testing Program Update-December 4, 2012
To: SUNY Cortland faculty, academic advisors, staff and students
From: Marley S. Barduhn, Assistant Provost for Teacher Education
Date: December 4, 2012
Re: Status of Changes to the New York State Teacher Cerrtification Examinations
New York State Education Department is in the process of developing and pilot testing new teacher education examinations which will be implemented for students applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014.
We have updated our teacher certification webpage to reflect information on these new exams which can be found at : http://www2.cortland.edu/teacher-education/teacher-certification.dot Please take a moment to review this information. We have a link there to the NYSED website with the latest information.
Here is that link: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/certexamsl2012.html
Anticipated requirements for qualified candidates who apply for a teaching certificate before or after May 1, 2014, are as follows:
PRIOR TO MAY 1, 2014
- LAST (liberal arts and sciences test)
- ATS-W (assessment of teaching skills-written)
- CST (content specialty test) based on major/certification area
AFTER MAY 1, 2014
- Educating All Students Test: designed for teachers and school building leaders to ensure they understand how to address the learning needs of diverse student populations.
- Academic Literacy Skills Test: will demand a high standard of reading comprehension and analysis, written expression and written analysis.
- Content Specialty Tests: will be aligned with the NYS Learning Standards, including the Common Core and designed to assess knowledge in content area of certification.
Note: Childhood Multisubject CST: now applicants will have to pass each of these subtests:
- English/Language Arts/Literacy
- Other academic subjects
Note: Since these CSTs are being revised in batches, NYSED will replace existing CSTs with the new CSTs once they are available. However, candidates who have passed the old CST will be allowed to use it, a form of ‘grandfathering’ even if the date of application for certification is after the date when the new CST is available.
- Teacher Performance Assessment Portfolio: will require candidates to plan and deliver lessons that are aligned with the NYS Learning Standards, including Common Core. There will be a video component consisting of clips reflecting targeted aspects of teaching practice as part of this exam. There will be other artifacts, e.g. lesson plans, assessment of student learning, context of school, data-driven analysis, and reflection.
These new exams are scheduled for implementation for applications for teacher certification beginning on or after May 1, 2014.
Therefore, teacher candidates who are graduating December 2013 and applying for certification prior to May 1, 2014 will be allowed to take the ‘old’ or existing tests. Please note that if students graduate from SUNY Cortland but do not apply for certification prior to May 1, 2014, they will have to take the new examinations.
We will keep you apprised of information and changes as they are made available through the teacher certification website.
The Career Services Office in Van Hoesen B-5 (753-4715) is also available to answer questions on teacher certification as well.
The latest information on the changes to New York State Teacher Certification Examinations can be found at this link:
Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens if I don’t pass a test?
If you don’t pass a test, you can retake it but you must pay for it again.
For more information on testing, please visit the New York State Teacher Certification Exam Web site.
Do I need to finish all of my certification exams to graduate?
You do not need to finish all of your certification exams to graduate, but you must pass all of them to become certified.
What if I am going to graduate May 2013 or later and have already taken one or more of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations?
We are currently awaiting further instructions from the New York State Education Department once regulations have been established to determine if candidates who have already taken components of the current New York State Teacher Certification Examinations can use passing results of some of these components to satisfy some of the new requirements.
What are the requirements for professional certification?
- An appropriate master’s degree
Visit the New York State Education Department website for a complete list of appropriate master's degrees and to obtain additional information.
- Three years of paid professional teaching experience.
If you are teaching in a New York state public school, you must be mentored during your first year.
Classroom teaching experience includes experience earned in a public or approved nonpublic preschool or elementary, middle or secondary school. Claimed experience may be in any grade or subject. Experience that is not full time may be credited on a prorated basis. Teaching assistant experience is not applicable to this requirement.
What is a TEACH account?
The New York State Education Department has created an online system called TEACH where you must establish an account to apply for your certificates, maintain other critical certification information and to process your fingerprint application. Paper applications are no longer accepted.
How do I create a TEACH account?
You may create a TEACH account by going to the TEACH Web site below and carefully following the step-by-step directions. Allow roughly 20 minutes to set up your account.
TEACH accounts are tied to your social security number so it is important to create only one TEACH account and to avoid creating duplicate accounts.
Once you have created your TEACH account, be sure to e-mail your user name and password to yourself and retain for future use. You will need this information when you apply for your teaching certificate. Accurate documentation of your username and password for TEACH will save you hours of stress in the future.
If you need assistance, contact Career Services at (607) 753-4715 or stop by the office located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-5.
The Registrar’s Office can also provide assistance. You can reach them at (607) 753-2955 or go to Miller Building, Room 223.
Graduate students should contact Annie Wilcox at (607) 753-5480.
Is fingerprinting required?
Although not mandated by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), many school districts in New York are asking that pre-service teachers, practicum students and student teachers complete the fingerprinting process before placement.
SUNY Cortland recommends that all students enrolled in a teacher certification program complete the fingerprinting process at least one semester before their first anticipated field experience.
Students who do not secure fingerprinting clearance at least one semester before their first anticipated field experience may not have access to some area schools with fingerprinting policies in place.
To process fingerprints, you will need to establish a TEACH account and apply online.
How do I get fingerprinted?
Once you have established a TEACH account online, applied for fingerprinting and received your receipt for the fingerprinting application, you may set up a fingerprinting appointment by contacting Career Services at (607) 753-4715 or stop by the office located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-5.
On the day of your fingerprinting appointment, please bring a photo ID, TEACH payment receipt and an additional $10 processing fee. You may pay with cash or by check made out to SUNY Cortland. Allow roughly 30 minutes to process digital fingerprints.
Digital fingerprinting services may also be available near your home address. Please contact your local BOCES or area school district to inquire about additional fingerprinting locations
Download a PDF outlining the fingerprinting process.
I have been fingerprinted before—do I need to do it again?
If you have been fingerprinted through the New York State Department of Education (you would have paid $94.25), then you do not have to be fingerprinted again. In most cases, if you have been fingerprinted through any other system, you will need to have it done again. If you have questions, please contact Career Services.
How do I apply for my certificate?
You must apply for your certificate online through the TEACH website.
How/When will I receive my certificate?
Certifications that are time limited, such as initial certificates, will no longer be mailed to applicants. You will need to check your TEACH account to find that you have become certified.
What happens if my certification expires?
Make an appointment with Career Services to discuss options.
Who should I contact if I have a problem?
Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) (518) 473-2998
TEACH Account Help Desk: (518) 486-6041
New York State Teacher Certification Exams
How does the New York State Education Department know that I have completed my degree program?
Once you have completed and submitted the Teacher Certification Recommendation Authorization form and you have completed your degree program and have been awarded your degree, SUNY Cortland will recommend you to the New York State Education Department for your teaching certificate.
Does substitute teaching count as paid professional experience?
Substitute teaching does count if you are the classroom teacher. One day counts for a day and 180 days = one year.
What do I need to do to teach in another state?
If you are interested in teaching in another state, you should first find out if the state has interstate reciprocity with New York state. If it does, you can teach in that state for a period of time with your NYS certification while you finish whatever requirements they may have.
Please see the interstate reciprocity chart (PDF) and learn more about interstate agreements by visiting the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.
To see what requirements different states have, please check out each state’s certification page.
Where do I go to request SUNY Cortland verification of my teaching degree for another state?
Our teacher certification officer, Marley Barduhn, assistant provost for teacher education, is located in Cornish Hall, Room 1314, (607) 753-4704. Forms or questions about applying for teacher certification in another state may be sent either in hard copy or electronically to Dr. Barduhn's secretary, Debra Whitney.
All information is accurate as of September 2011 and will be updated on a regular basis.