NYC Teacher Certification Explained – How do Teachers Get Certified in NYC?

NYC Teacher Certification Explained – How do Teachers Get Certified in NYC?

The Nuts and Bolts of Teacher Certification:

In New York state teachers must be certified or be in the process of certifying in order to teach. The certification requirements for all teachers in New York State are all the same for everybody:

There are two types of certification, initial and professional.  (These may also be referred to as provisional and permanent, respectively.  These are older titles that are still referenced by some teachers.)   

How Teacher Certification is Achieved

Teacher Certification is achieved through two pathways, individual pathways and institutional recommendations.    

Institutional Recommendations:

Students that complete a degree at a registered NYS teacher preparation program (such as our Concordia College teacher certification master’s programs) achieve certification through the institutional recommendation pathway.  This is the easiest way to get certified because the state is less involved.  The state issues certification based on the fact that a registered program is vouching for the students.   Students can receive an institutional recommendation from their undergraduate institution (usually the case with initial certification) and from their graduate institution (in the case of professional certification).  If you are starting from scratch, with no undergraduate teacher courses, you can receive an institutional recommendation for both initial and professional certification through our Master’s in General and Special Ed, or our Master’s in TESOL.

Students that graduate from our partner programs (Teacher Ed, Administration, Counseling) all receive an institutional recommendation at the completion of the program.

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Individual Pathways:

Occasionally, students take courses in bits and pieces along with their state tests.  In this case, students have their credentials evaluated by a state certification officer at NYCDOE, BOCES or UFT. We offer courses that satisfy individual pathway requirements in special education and bilingual Spanish. Individual Pathways are not allowed for a student’s first initial license.

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Initial Teacher Certification

This is the first step toward certification.  Individuals may achieve initial certification through the following pathways:

  • Undergraduate institution:  Students who are education majors in their undergraduate studies usually graduate with initial certification.   Their undergraduate program of study usually consists of education courses as well as student teaching.   They have usually also finished their state tests.    
  • In a Master’s Program such as our Early Childhood or Childhood Master’s in General and Special Ed, or our TESOL Master’s program.

Professional Teacher Certification

This is the ultimate certification a teacher can achieve. The pathways to professional certification are a lot less confusing. You need a master’s degree, workshops, and the state tests. 

Certifications and our Programs

We have two teacher certification programs; Master’s in TESOL (all grade levels) and Master’s in General and Special Education (early childhood for birth to grade 2, and childhood for grades k-6).   

The Master’s in General and Special Education, and the TESOL Master’s are both designed to bring students who hold NO certification to complete (Professional) certification. This means that if you do not have initial certification from an undergraduate program, you may take one of these Master’s degrees to achieve both initial and professional teacher certifications.

You may also take either to achieve professional certification if you already have initial certification. For example: Brian graduates from University or Rhode Island with a Bachelors degree in teaching Math and has initial certification in teaching Math.  He needs professional certification to continue teaching.  He can take these Master’s programs (General and Special Ed for birth-6, and TESOL for 7-12) to achieve professional certification in teaching Math.

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CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education. For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early ChildhoodProfessional CertificationSpecial Ed,Grad CoursesBilingual coursesDASA); COUNSELORS (SchoolMental Health MastersAdvanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBLSDLPublic AdminDoctorate) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long Island.

CITE PD offers CTLE-approved in-school professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. Info:

We now also offer an undergraduate degree completion program in psychology.