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Pandemic-related certification changes

New York Teacher

The UFT fought alongside its state affiliate, NYSUT, for amendments to some of the state regulations that govern certification so that educators are not penalized by the interruptions caused by the pandemic. The state Board of Regents is making additional changes to streamline the process of becoming certified.

DOE employees can be terminated for not becoming fully certified in time even if they are tenured, so it’s important to keep track of the progress you’re making toward your New York State teaching certificate.

The deadline to apply for the state’s emergency COVID-19 certificate has been extended to Sept. 1, 2022. You may be eligible for this certificate if you are a candidate for a certificate or a certificate extension and you have completed all the requirements except state certification exams.

You can apply for the COVID-19 certificate using TEACH Online Services. The certificate is valid for one year, during which you must take and pass the missing exam. You must also apply and pay the fee for the nonemergency certificate in the same title as your COVID-19 certificate before Sept. 1, 2022.

If you applied for the emergency COVID-19 certificate before Sept. 15, 2021, the deadline to meet your certificate requirements has automatically been extended to Sept. 1, 2022.

The New York State Education Department now also accepts electronic transcripts and virtual or online workshops to fulfill Dignity for All Students (DASA) requirements. The UFT offers remote DASA courses for teachers and paraprofessionals. Access the UFT’s course catalog.

If you’re a teacher working with an expired certificate, you may have received a letter from the city Department of Education notifying you that you must finish your certification requirements by July 1, 2022, to avoid termination. Please reach out to the UFT for support and guidance. You should receive another notification from the DOE after your issue has been resolved; if you don’t, contact the Certification Department of the DOE’s Division of Human Resources at 65 Court St. in Brooklyn at licensetermination@schools.nyc.gov.

If you’re a teacher in your fifth year of teaching under an initial certificate and you haven’t already done so, you should apply now for your professional certificate before your initial certificate expires on Aug. 31. If you realize that you will need an extension to complete requirements for your professional certificate, you should apply for that extension immediately. You can apply and pay the $50 fee at the State Education Department website. In your application, you must identify one of the listed reasons for needing an extension and submit the appropriate supporting documentation.

To get your professional certificate, you’ll need to show that you’ve completed the following requirements:

  • A master’s degree.
  • 12 graduate credits in the certificate area’s content core or a related field (if your master’s degree is pedagogical, this 12-credit requirement is already met by the program).
  • Three years of full-time teaching experience.
  • One year of mentored experience.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Your school’s human resources director must sign an OT-37 Verification of Employment form and submit it to the state electronically. Without this form, your professional certificate will not be issued.

If you have any questions, contact the UFT at 212-331-6311.

Related Topics: New Teachers, Pedagogy