Alternative Teacher Certification in New York

Instructor: Jessie Hemmons

Jessie has a master's degree in clinical psychology.

Explore how alternative teacher certification in New York helps professionals begin their teaching careers. Learn about the various alternative teacher certification options and check out resources for completing the educational requirements.

New York Transitional Certification Programs

Alternative teacher certification in New York is obtained through training programs that prepare individuals with professional experience or college degrees in a field other than education to teach at the elementary or secondary level. There are several certification paths for individuals who enroll in an alternative teaching program. Each one grants a 3-year transitional certificate that allows prospective teachers to get experience in the classroom while they work toward their initial teaching certificates, which last for five years.

Transitional A Certification

Transitional A certification programs are designed for individuals interested in teaching career and technical skills at the secondary level. Generally, these include skills related to the healthcare, electronics, automotive, food service, and cosmetology fields. Applicants must meet either one of the following minimum requirements:

  • An associate's degree, two years of professional experience in the field and passing scores on the Communication and Quantitative Skills Test
  • Four years of professional experience in the field

Applicants must also have a recommendation from a New York school, meaning they have been offered a position to teach. Additionally, they must complete a series of workshops related to student and child safety before entering the classroom.

Once they begin teaching, individuals have three years to complete college-level coursework in human development, curriculum planning and assessment, English language arts, and teaching students with disabilities. Additional requirements include at least 40 days of student teaching experience and passing scores on the NYSTCE Educating All Students exam, which covers teaching strategies for students with a variety of abilities and backgrounds.

Study Resources offers courses and study guides in all of the required subjects, and can help applicants as they are working toward earning their initial certification. The courses keep students engaged with video lessons, quizzes, and chapter exams.

Transitional B Certification

Transitional B certification is designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree but haven't completed coursework in educating students in the classroom. To begin the certification process, interested candidates are required to enroll in a college or university alternative teacher program and choose a certification pathway.

The certification pathway will generally be related to the subject or subjects the applicant is hoping to teach. For example, if an interested candidate has a bachelor's degree in chemistry, he/she will want to consider the Middle Childhood Education: 5-9 Chemistry or the Adolescent Education Secondary Chemistry 7-12 certification.

Applicants must also complete introductory training in their alternative teacher program (about 200 hours with 40 hours of fieldwork) and pass the NYSTCE Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) and an exam in their subject area before they can apply for the Transitional B certification. Once this has been obtained, individuals can begin teaching in New York schools under the supervision of college faculty while completing the remainder of their alternative teacher program coursework, which typically takes around two years.

Transitional C Certification

Transitional C certification is designed for individuals who currently hold a graduate degree from an accredited institution. Applicants must first gain admission to a school's teacher education program and meet the requirements for the Transitional C certificate, which include passing the NYSTCE LAST exam and a content area exam in the subject they'd like to teach.

Before entering the classroom, interested candidates will also need to complete two hours of training on how to identify and report child abuse or neglect and violence prevention in schools. Once certification is obtained, individuals can begin teaching. They then have three years to complete a college or university's teacher preparation program that includes coursework in pedagogy for the grade level and subject they intend on teaching. Students are also mentored for two years by the program's faculty members.

Study Resources offers some educational options for individuals interested in learning more about topics covered in their introductory training. The lessons offer quizzes to help you gauge your understanding of the material.

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