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A+ courses can earn you more money

New York Teacher
A+ Courses - Erica Diaz and Christina Morris
Johnathan Fickies

Erica Diaz (right) and Christina Morris, both teachers at PS 305 in Queens, work together during the Language, Culture and Learning for English Language Learners course at the UFT offices in Queens on Oct. 17.

Launch of first UFT-created A+ course

The ASPDP fall catalog included the first A+ course — Language, Culture and Learning for English Language Learners — that was developed and taught by UFT educators.

“As the A+ program continues to grow, we will add more union-created courses in the areas you need,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “I hope you’ll take advantage of the new opportunities to take these courses that will give you useful knowledge and strategies.”

The inaugural UFT-created course, offered in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens this fall, examines cultural and language development factors that have an impact on the achievement of students learning English as a new language. In the course, which is taught by instructors with years of experience in New York City public schools, educators explore research-based pedagogical practices to support the design of content-area instruction to meet the needs of English language learners.

Teachers who take the course earn three A+ credits toward their salary differential and 45 CTLE hours in the education of English language learners. They may also choose to access a National College Credit Recommendation Service recommendation for three graduate-level credits.

Teachers can now earn their MA+30 salary differential by taking new A+ courses designed specifically to support what teachers do every day in their classrooms. The courses are accessible and affordable.

As part of the 2018 contract, these new A+ courses must be approved by a committee with equal UFT and Department of Education representation and aligned with the system’s educational priorities and initiatives.

For this school year, all P credit courses offered through the DOE’s After School Professional Development Program (ASPDP) catalog will qualify for A+ credit. The program offers a broad spectrum of courses, many of them accessible online, in all subject areas. The courses are offered in the fall, the spring and the summer.

A teacher hired on or after Sept. 1, 2019, must obtain a minimum of 18 A+ credits to earn the MA+30 salary differential. For teachers hired on or after Sept. 1, 2017 but before Sept. 1, 2019, a minimum of six A+ courses must be earned. In both cases, the remaining credit requirements can be met through traditional college credits or any other approved means.

Because all A+ courses are aligned with the school chancellor’s priorities, teachers are not restricted in their course choices to their subject area or grade level. They may take any A+ courses toward the salary differential.

If you are a teacher hired before 2017, you are not required to take any A+ courses, but you may use them to obtain your salary differential if you choose.

A+ courses may only be taken for credit by teachers. The salary differential options have not changed for school counselors, paraprofessionals, school secretaries and staff in other non-teacher titles. 

The ASPDP catalog for each semester is published shortly before the semester begins. Check the ASPDP website for information on cost and location of A+ courses and to sign up to receive the ASPDP newsletter.

In addition to ASPDP courses, teachers may also qualify for A+ credit for coursework taken to achieve additional certification in one or more of the following designated areas:

  • Special Education
  • Health
  • Bilingual extension
  • TESOL certificate, inclusive of additional content area certification
  • Secondary Content Area Additional Certification for those who hold a Special Education or ESL Certificate
  • *18 credits in content areas for those teachers with a SWD generalist seeking a content extension
  • School Building Leader