Alternative Teacher Certification in New York

New York State has rigorous standards for its teachers, and using the alternative route for certification is no different. This article will look at the alternative route process for teacher licensure in New York.

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In New York State, those who want to become teachers under an alternative licensure path will apply for the Transitional B license. The cost for this license is $50 and will allow you to complete all other requirements for initial licensure while teaching. Below, we'll look at the rest of the requirements needed.

Requirements for Alternative Route Teachers in New York

Average Salary for Teachers in New York (2017)* $44,310 (Preschool)
$77,440 (Kindergarten)
$80,540 (Elementary School)
$80,940 (Middle School)
$83,360 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Education All Students (EAS) exam (201)
Content Knowledge exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education

You're likely at the point where you're changing your career after you've earned your bachelor's degree. If this is not the case, you'll need to finish your bachelor's degree in the subject area you wish to teach. To enter into an alternative teacher program (ATP), you'll need to have a passing GPA of 3.0 or higher. You will also need to have at least 30 credit hours in the subject you plan to teach. So, if you plan to teach math, it wouldn't be helpful for you to have a bachelor's degree focusing in American history. If you would like to teach in elementary school, your best bet is to have a bachelor's degree in liberal studies or science. Check with the institution that you'll be completing your ATP through to see whether or not your bachelor's program matches up with the subject you want to teach.

Step 2: Complete ATP

The Alternative Teacher Program (ATP) will teach you the pedagogical basics that you'll need for becoming a teacher. At this stage, you'll apply at one of the New York State Higher Education-approved colleges or universities that offer the ATP. These programs are often master's degree programs and will teach you the principles and foundations of classroom teaching. During this time, you'll complete a student teaching internship with a local school. You'll need to complete 200 hours of introductory work that includes at least 40 hours in the field. After you have completed all these components, you'll be ready for testing.

Step 3: Complete Required Exams

New York used the edTPA exams through the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). Each certificate has its own exams that must be passed, and the Transition B certificate requires prospective teachers to Education All Students (EAS) tests and content specialty tests decided by the Commissioner of Education.

The first exam, the EAS, is required for almost all teaching certificates in New York. This exam will check on five competencies for teaching: diverse student populations, ESL learners, students with special needs, teacher responsibilities, and school-home relationships. You'll have 135 minutes to complete this exam. The exam is made up of 40 multiple-choice questions and three scenario-based constructed responses. It costs $92 to apply for the exam, and you must score higher than 520 to pass.

After this, you'll take the content knowledge exam required by the state for your subject. For instance, if you want to become a physical education teacher, you would need to take the Physical Education CST (076). This exam is made up of 90 multiple-choice questions and one constructed response. It must be completed in 195 minutes with a passing score of 520. Each content knowledge exam is structured differently, so be sure to check out the study guides for the passing scores, fees, and structure.

Certification Resources for Alternative Licensure Teachers in New York

New York State requires quite a few exams to be taken through the NYSTCEs. If you'd like some additional help studying for these exams, we've compiled a list of sources to help you prepare for each exam.

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