New York Alternative Teacher Certification

New York offers alternative teacher preparation (ATP) pathways for educator certification for second career professionals. ATP programs are similar in content to traditional teacher preparation programs but are formatted differently as they cater to candidates who already possess at least a bachelor’s degree but have not yet completed a teacher preparation program. Like traditional teacher certification, alternative certification in New York is overseen by the state’s Office of Teaching Initiatives.

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 three main types of alternative teaching licenses in New York: the Transitional A Certificate, the Transitional B Certificate, and the Transitional C Certificate. All three 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 may apply for the Transitional A Certificate to teach while meeting the requirements for an Initial Certificate for classroom teachers. Requirements for the Transitional A Certificate include a minimum educational attainment of an associate’s degree paired with two years of work experience. Candidates must have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and pass the appropriate Content Core exam for the subject to be taught as well as the Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST). Candidates must also complete three workshops in Child Abuse Identification; School Violence Intervention and Prevention; and the Dignity for All Students Act. Finally, those pursuing a Transitional A Certificate must have a school district recommendation and pass a fingerprint background check.

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.

Professional Certificate

The Professional Certificate is an advanced-level teaching certificate for Highly Qualified Teachers. This category of licensure requires candidates to have completed at least an undergraduate degree in the subject(s) to be taught; have earned an institutional recommendation from an NYS Registered Program; passed all of the required exams for certification in the subject(s) to be taught; and have completed mentored experience as well as 3 years of paid, full-time classroom teaching experience.

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. In certain cases. teachers will need to take the edTPA, which measures pedagogical skills and knowledge. 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.

Additional Resources

The following resources provide additional information on becoming a teacher in New York through an alternative route.

Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in New York

Because the alternative certification process is complex, we have researched and provided specific school programs below for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and want to become a teacher. We recommend you request information from one or more of these specific programs:

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