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Teacher Education at Teachers College

Teacher Education at Teachers College


Q & A

A: Students should get fingerprinted before starting to student teach or before conducting 40 hours of observation in a New York City public school (whichever is sooner). Please go to the following link and click on the "Fingerprinting Information Sheet" for fingerprinting options.

A: Many academic programs and departments provide suggested timelines. If these are not available, we recommend that you take/pass the "Educating All Students" (EAS), the REVISED "Content Specialty Test" (CST) and the edTPA (educative Teacher Performance Assessment) once you have student teaching experience. You should have taken/passed all exams 4-6 weeks prior to your graduation date. To register online or for more information, go to the NYSTCE website at:www.nystce.nesinc.com or the edTPA website http://www.edtpa.com/

A: Students enrolled in an approved teacher preparation programs who have never taught before usually obtain initial certification via institutional recommendation. Others (except Childhood Ed (1-6) and School Building Leaders) may choose to follow the individual pathway. Please see the next question for more details.

A: Institutional recommendation pathway is obtained when a student completes an approved teacher preparation program.  If leading to initial teaching certification, it MUST include the student teaching component.

Individual transcript evaluation pathway is obtained if/when a student has taught at a private school but is not NYS-certified (initial/professional) and just needs to finish course requirements without having to student teach.  Be mindful that when applying via the individual transcript evaluation, the student deals directly with the NYSED and that most likely the NYSED, when evaluating, will find deficiency(ies). Most importantly, when applying via the individual pathway there will be no institutional recommendation.


A: INITIAL Certificate: The entry-level certificate for classroom teachers, issued in specific subject/grade titles, and the entry-level certificate for School Building Leader (SBL). The initial certificate is valid for 5 years and leads to professional certification.

Professional Certificate: The advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers (issued in specific subject/grade titles) and School Building Leaders. The professional certificate is continuously valid with completion of required professional development hours on a five-year professional development cycle.

A: New York State has reciprocity with over 40 other states. The other states may or may not require teacher certification examination(s). It is the responsibility of the student to check all requirements with that state’s department of education.  You must also file an application at that state for the teaching certificate/license/credential.  When requesting institutional support, most state department of education will have a form on their website requiring institutional verification/support of the approved teacher preparation program completed.  Please be mindful that the certification reciprocity and institutional support ONLY applies to the coursework completed under the approved teacher preparation program.

A: Please call OTE at 212.678.4057/3466 or email us at ote@tc.edu with questions. Feel free to visit our office in Zankel, Room 411.

A: First, download or pick up a student teaching packet from the Office of Teacher Education (OTE). Follow the checklist on the front page of the packet in order to obtain a CLEARANCE LETTER.



1) What if I've already paid to submit the edTPA but didn’t submit it yet?

Registrations at edtpa.com are valid for 18 months. Submitting the edTPA is required of all teacher candidates who apply for NYS certification after May 1, 2014. 

2) What if I already passed the edTPA?

Teacher candidates may register for the other certification exams at http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/. These exams include: Educating All Students exam, and the Content Specialty Test(s).

3) What if I took and failed the edTPA?

Retaking any certification exam is always an option. Retake information is available at http://www.edtpa.com/Content/Docs/edTPARetakeGuidelines.pdf. Alternatively, the New York State Education Department offers the edTPA Multiple Measure Review Process. MMRP information is available at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/certexamedtpa-mmrp.html.

A: Yes, American Sign Language is considered a language other than English.

A: Certification makes you eligible to teach, but it does not supersede your visa status. You also need an appropriate work authorization to teach in the schools. One option for F-1 students is Optional Practical Training (OPT) which provides an employment authorization for a maximum of 12 months. See "F-1 Employment and Training" information at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/international/current-students/employment--taxes/f-1-visa-employment/f-1-optional-practical-training-opt/.

For information on work authorization sponsored by the NYC Dept. of Ed, contact the International Recruitment Office. Phone: (718) 935-5854.