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Q&A on the Issues

Fulfilling your CTLE requirements

Some teachers, paras will need 100 hours by July 2021
New York Teacher

In 2016, the New York State Board of Regents adopted standards that require certain teachers and paraprofessionals to collect and track professional learning credits called Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) hours. In July 2021, some educators will reach the end of the first five-year cycle for collecting 100 CTLE hours from state-approved providers. The following Q&A will help you learn more about these CTLE requirements. For answers to specific questions, please call the UFT at 212-331-6311.

Who needs to collect CTLE hours?

Teachers who hold professional teaching certificates and paraprofessionals who hold Level III teaching assistant certificates need to collect CTLE hours.

If you achieve certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, you will be deemed to have met the CTLE requirement for that five-year cycle.

Teachers who hold other certificates (initial, conditional initial, Transitional A, Transitional B, internship or permanent) and paraprofessionals who hold Level I or II teaching certificates do not need to collect CTLE hours.

How many CTLE hours must I collect?

You must collect 100 CTLE hours in each five-year cycle. The five-year cycle begins when you register with the New York State Education Department after receiving your professional teaching certificate or your Level III teaching assistant certificate, so individual deadlines will vary.

What is the time frame of the first five-year CTLE cycle and when am I required to complete and submit proof of my CTLE hours?

Teachers with professional certification and paraprofessionals who hold a Level III Teaching Assistant Certificate must complete 100 Continuing Teacher Leader and Education hours every five years to maintain their certification. The current cycle — called a registration period — began in July 2016 and ends in July 2021. LearnUFT and the UFT Teacher Center hold virtual workshops for CTLE credit throughout the school year for members who need more hours.

Teachers with permanent certification do not need CTLE hours, although they must register on the State Education Department website.

Call a UFT certification specialist at 212-331-6311, if you have any questions or concerns.

How should I track my CTLE hours?

You should keep records of certificates you receive at CTLE workshops. These records should show the title of the program, the total number of hours completed, the number of hours completed in language acquisition addressing the needs of English language learners, the sponsor’s name and identifying number, attendance verification, the date and location of the program, and your Social Security Number and date of birth. You may use the State Education Department’s record-keeping form to assist you.

The UFT’s LearnUFT program has committed to maintaining the records of its course participants so UFT members can easily provide proof of CTLE hours if the state audits them.

Which professional learning courses count toward the CTLE requirement?

Your CTLE hours must be completed with a state-approved provider. Both the UFT’s LearnUFT program and the UFT Teacher Center are state-approved providers that offer affordable CTLE workshops. P-credits taken through the Department of Education’s After-School Professional Development Program (ASPDP) also count toward the CTLE requirement.

For credit-bearing university or college courses, each semester-hour of credit equals 15 clock hours of CTLE credit, and each quarter-hour of credit equals 10 clock hours of CTLE credit. Not all institutions of higher learning are state-approved — check first.

You can find a list of state-approved sponsors of CTLE on the State Education Department website.

How do I know when my CTLE hours are due?

First, you should check your TEACH account on the New York State website to make sure you are registered. If you are a professionally certified teacher or a Level III certified paraprofessional, you must look for your due date on your TEACH account profile page. Every person will have a different due date, since it is dependent on the date you registered with the State Education Department after receiving your professional teaching certificate or your Level III teaching assistant certificate.

What actions do I need to take at the end of my five-year cycle? Do I need to submit proof of completion of CTLE hours?

At the end of your five-year cycle, you will be asked to verify whether you have met the 100-hour requirement. You should not submit any documentation to the state Office of Teaching Initiatives; however, you should keep your records for at least three years after the end of your five-year cycle in case the state Office of Teaching Initiatives audits you.

At the end of each registration period, you must also apply for re-registration through your TEACH account on your due date. Then, begin to collect CTLE hours for your next five-year cycle.

What are the CTLE language-acquisition requirements?

If your professional certificate is in English to Speakers of Other Languages or you hold a bilingual extension annotation, a minimum of 50 percent of your CTLE hours must be in language acquisition, including a focus on best practices for co-teaching strategies and integrating language and content instruction for English language learners. Everyone else must complete a minimum of 15 CTLE hours in language acquisition.

What are the consequences if I do not complete my CTLE hours within the five-year deadline?

If you are audited and asked to submit proof of CTLE hours and you have not completed them, you may not be allowed to work in a New York State public school until you have met the requirements.

If you do not complete the required CTLE hours before the end of your five-year registration period, you can apply for a conditional registration from the State Education Department via your TEACH account to allow up to one additional year to complete the remaining CTLE hours. You must state that you have not completed all the CTLE hours required and commit to completing them within the conditional registration period. Once the conditional registration period ends, no further extensions will be granted without demonstrating good cause.

This story was originally published on Nov. 5, 2020.