New York Alternative Teacher Certification

New York offers alternative teacher preparation pathways for educator certification. Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. Like traditional teacher certification, alternative certification in New York is overseen by the state’s Office of Teaching Initiatives. Those who do not have a bachelor’s degree may find our guide to the traditional certification pathway in New York helpful.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

Alternative teacher preparation programs in New York are joint programs between institutions of higher education and local schools. To be eligible for an alternative preparation program, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which should be in the subject area that the candidate intends to teach. Alternative teacher preparation programs are typically accelerated and lead to the award of either a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree depending on the curriculum completed. Completing a master’s degree in education can also prepare candidates to teach in New York.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in New York

There are four main types of alternative teaching licenses in New York: the Transitional A Certificate, the Transitional B Certificate, the Transitional C Certificate, and the Transitional G Certificate. All four transitional certificates lead to an Initial Teaching Certificate once all prerequisites have been met. You can find further detailed information about alternative pathways through the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

Transitional A Certificate

The Transitional A certificate is designed for those who wish to teach career and technical education subjects in grades 7 through 12 but do not meet initial certification requirements. Candidates for this pathway must have a minimum of an associate’s degree with a 2.5 GPA or above, paired with two years of work experience (for some endorsements, a high school diploma plus four years of work experience may be sufficient). Candidates must also have an employment commitment from a New York school district. Candidates who meet these requirements may apply for the Transitional A certificate. Once issued, the certificate allows candidates to teach while meeting the requirements for an Initial certificate for classroom teachers. Requirements for completing the Transitional A pathway include:

  • Passing scores on the required exam(s), which are based on the candidate’s education and experience
  • Completing the state’s workshops in Child Abuse Identification; School Violence Intervention and Prevention; and the Dignity for All Students Act
  • Completing nine semester hours of required education courses
  • Completing the required teaching experience for the endorsement area sought with satisfactory evaluations

Once all requirements are met, the Transitional A certificate can be converted into an Initial CTE certificate.

Transitional B Certificate

Those who hold an undergraduate degree with a major in the subject they intend to teach will typically follow the Transitional B program. In the Transitional B program, candidates enroll in an NYS Registered Alternative Program and complete teacher preparation before earning an institutional recommendation for the Transitional B certificate. Candidates may then teach in the classroom while meeting the other requirements for a teaching certificate, which include:

  • Passing the Educating All Students (EAS) New York State Teacher Certification Exam
  • Passing the Content Specialty Test (CST) in the subject(s) to be taught
  • Completing the Dignity for All Students Act workshop
  • Completing the fingerprint clearance process

Candidates have three years to complete these requirements with the Transitional B certificate before applying for initial certification.

Transitional C Certificate

Those who hold a graduate degree in the subject of for which they are seeking certification typically follow a Transitional C program. Transitional C NYS Registered Programs for those who already hold a graduate degree are typically post-graduate certificates. While enrolled in the program, Transitional C certificate holders must complete the initial requirements for licensure, which include:

  • Passing the Educating All Students (EAS) New York State Teacher Certification Exam
  • Passing the Content Specialty Test (CST) in the subject(s) to be taught
  • Completing the Dignity for All Students Act workshop
  • Completing the fingerprint clearance process

After completing the Transitional C program and certification requirements, new teachers will be issued a Professional certificate instead of an Initial Certificate as highly qualified educators.

Transitional G Certificate

The Transitional G certificate is designed for college professors who have a graduate degree in a teachable content area who wish to transition to K-12 teaching. Graduate degree holders who have taught at the college level for at least two years must obtain an employment offer and recommendation for enrollment in the Transitional G program from a qualifying school. Once issued, the Transitional G certificate allows the holder to teach while meeting the remaining requirements for a full license, which include:

  • Completing the Child Abuse Identification workshop
  • Completing the School Violence Intervention and Prevention workshop
  • Completing the Dignity for All Students Act workshop
  • Earning a recommendation for licensure from the employing school district

Testing Requirements for New York Alternative Certification

To achieve initial certification in New York through alternative pathways, candidates in most licensure categories must pass the Educating All Students (EAS) exam and the Content Specialty Test (CST) in the subject(s) to be taught. Career and Technical Education candidates must additionally pass the Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST).

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

New York recognizes interstate reciprocity for candidates who have completed comparable education and testing requirements to New York’s teacher certification process. If the requirements for certification are met through the existing credentials, a teaching certificate may be issued. Candidates for reciprocity must have completed a comparable approved education program leading to a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA and must pass the required exams for the type of certificate sought. Those seeking reciprocity must also pass a state and federal fingerprint background check. To learn more, review our teacher certification reciprocity resource.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in New York

Prospective teachers in New York must graduate from an approved teacher preparation program. The following school-based preparation programs typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree and have been approved by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED):

  • Adelphi University* (Master’s)
  • Bank Street Graduate School of Education* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Bard College (Master’s)
  • Canisius College* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Clarkson University (Master’s)
  • Colgate University (Master’s)
  • College of St. Rose (Master’s)
  • Columbia University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • CUNY Brooklyn (Master’s)
  • CUNY City College* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • CUNY Hunter College* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • CUNY Queens College (Certificate, Master’s)
  • CUNY Staten Island (Master’s)
  • Daemen College (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Dominican College (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Elmira College (Master’s)
  • Fordham University (Master’s)
  • Hofstra University (Master’s)
  • Iona University (Master’s)
  • Ithaca College (Master’s)
  • Long Island University-Post (Master’s)
  • Manhattan College (Master’s)
  • Manhattanville College* (Master’s)
  • Medaille College (Master’s)
  • Mercy College (Master’s)
  • Metropolitan College of New York* (Master’s)
  • Molloy College (Master’s)
  • Mount Saint Mary College (Master’s)
  • Nazareth College* (Master’s)
  • New York City College of Technology* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • New York Institute of Technology (Master’s)
  • New York University* (Master’s)
  • Niagara University* (Master’s)
  • Nyack College (Master’s)
  • Pace University (Master’s)
  • Roberts Wesleyan University (Master’s)
  • Rochester institute of Technology (Master’s)
  • Russell Sage College* (Master’s)
  • Saint John Fisher College (Master’s)
  • Saint John’s University (Master’s)
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas College (Master’s)
  • Sarah Lawrence College (Master’s)
  • Stony Brook University (Master’s)
  • SUNY Brockport (Certificate, Master’s), Buffalo State (Certificate, Master’s), Empire State College* (Alternative, Master’s), Fredonia (Master’s), New Paltz (Master’s), Old Westbury (Certificate, Master’s), Oswego (Master’s), Plattsburgh (Master’s)
  • Syracuse University* (Master’s)
  • Touro College (Master’s)
  • University at Albany (Master’s)
  • University at Buffalo* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of Rochester* (Master’s)
  • Utica University* (Master’s)
  • Wagner College (Master’s)
  • Yeshiva University (Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

New York Education Department: https://www.nysed.gov/