Requirements for New York State Initial Teaching Certificate
Completion of All Degree and Certification Requirements Prior to Graduation
The undergraduate degree may not be posted nor an official transcript produced without the completion of the relevant teacher certification requirements for the applicable undergraduate degree program. These requirements include, but are not limited to:
- completion of all degree requirements for an approved teacher certification program at SUNY Cortland
- completion of a workshop of three clock hours on Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (C.A.R.R.).
- completion of a workshop of two clock hours on Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE).
Information about the two workshops is available through the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office.
Please consult the department with regard to additional specific certification requirements for your program.
Upon completion of all the degree requirements, including the two workshops, and any departmental requirements, the graduate will be recommended by SUNY Cortland for certification to the New York State Education Department, following submission of the Teacher Certification Recommendation Authorization form to the Registrar's Office.
The New York State Education Department requires the following prior to actually awarding the teaching certificate:
- filing the online application for certification to the New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives
- the payment of the certification application fee to the New York State Education Department
- a criminal background check and fingerprinting. Information about fingerprinting requirements is available at Career Services
- passing scores on the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W), respective Content Specialty Test (CST), and other appropriate tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations program. Information about and registration for the NYSTCE are available at Career Services as well as at the Counseling Center
Criteria for Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Specific criteria exist for admission to each teacher education program. Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average for admission into undergraduate-level teacher education programs is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale; however, some programs require a higher undergraduate grade point average. The department or catalog should be consulted for details. In addition, all applicants for teacher education programs are required to file an Application to the Teacher Education program.
Examinations for Teacher Certificates
A person making application for a New York State teaching certificate will be required to achieve a passing score on the appropriate tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) Program. The department or catalog should be consulted for details. NYSTCE registration information is available at the Counseling Center and Career Services.
Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (C.A.R.R.)
All students seeking teaching certification must complete a minimum of three clock hours of instruction regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment.
This degree and certification requirement can be met by taking designated workshops on child abuse at SUNY Cortland. This requirement also may be met by completing a designated workshop through another New York State Education Department approved provider.
Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)
All students seeking teaching certification must complete a minimum of two clock hours of instruction regarding school violence prevention training. This degree and certification requirement may be met by taking designated workshops on school violence prevention training at SUNY Cortland. This requirement is mandated as part of the NYS Save Legislation.
The Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (C.A.R.R.) and Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) workshops must be completed prior to graduation. Workshop dates may be accessed at the Teacher Certification Web page.
Health and Human Development
All students seeking teaching certification must complete a course that includes “human developmental processes and variations, including but not limited to: the impact of culture, heritage, socioeconomic level, personal health and safety, nutrition, past or present abusive or dangerous environment, and factors in the home, school and community on students’ readiness to learn – and skill in applying that understanding to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that is free of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and that fosters the health and learning of all students and the development of a sense of community and respect for one another.” (New York State Department of Education Teacher Education Program Registry, 2000)
This requirement may be met by taking one of the following courses: HLH 110, 199, 265 or 510. Students should consult their academic program/advisor regarding appropriate course selection.
All candidates, certified and non-certified, who wish to work in schools in New York State will be subject to fingerprinting regulations and background check prior to employment. Contact Career Services for a fingerprinting packet.
Note: Some New York state districts require that candidates be fingerprinted and/or Board of Education approved prior to engaging in field experiences or student teaching.
Foreign Language and General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students must demonstrate proficiency in foreign language by fulfilling one of the following requirements:
- successful completion of a one-semester college-level foreign language course (101) or the equivalent (e.g., earning CLEP or AP credits) or
- having earned a score of 85 or higher on the New York State Regents examination in a foreign language.
Note: Some individual programs may require additional foreign language credit hours.
Students With Disabilities Requirement
Commencing Fall 2011, all candidates admitted into a New York state teacher education program at the initial or advanced level, including transfer students, must take a three-credit-hour course on students with disabilities. The three-credit-hour course must focus on the following six areas:
- categories of disabilities
- identification of and remidiation of disabilities
- special education processes as well as state and federal special education laws and regulations
- effective planning for co-teaching and collaboration with peers
- individualized instruction
- application of positive behavioral supports and interventions to address student and classroom management needs.
Additional Degree Requirements
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Education Candidates
Students enrolled in a B.F.A, B.S. or B.S.Ed. program in the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Professional Studies need only one semester of a foreign language with the exception of speech and language disabilities majors (SLD/SLDW), who must successfully complete the fourth semester (202) of a college-level foreign language sequence.
Students enrolled in the B.S. program in early childhood, childhood, early childhood and childhood, adolescence education, or special education must
- successfully complete the second semester (102) of a college-level foreign language sequence or
- confirm proficiency equivalent to successful completion of the second semester (102) of a college-level foreign language sequence through a testing program approved by the Modern Languages Department.
Note: Some departments require specified courses in foreign language in support of their major program requirements in addition to those described above.
Bachelor of Arts Candidates
Students enrolled in a B.A. program must
- successfully complete the fourth semester (202) of a college-level foreign language sequence or
- confirm proficiency equivalent to successful completion of the fourth semester (202) of a college-level foreign language sequence through a testing program approved by the Modern Languages Department.
Completion of All Degree and Certification Requirements Prior to Graduation
The undergraduate degree may not be posted nor an official transcript produced without the completion of the relevant teacher certification requirements for the applicable undergraduate degree program.
In addition to completing program requirements, the applicant for an Initial Certificate must successfully pass three New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NESTS): Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST); Assessment of Teaching Skills – Written (ATS-W); and Content Specialty Test (CST).
New York State Education Department has several new teacher certification examinations currently under development. Candidates should be aware that new examinations may be in place by the time of their application for New York state certification.
Field Experience in Teaching
All teacher education candidates seeking the Initial Certificate are required to successfully complete a minimum of 100 hours of field experience in K-12 schools as part of their professional preparation program prior to student teaching. Arrangements for housing and transportation during all field experiences and student teaching are the responsibility of the candidate.
Note: Commencing Fall 2011, at least 15 hours of the total required field experience commitment for each program must focus on teaching students with disabilities.
Job Placement Availability
The New York State Education Department requires publication of statistics regarding labor market and job availability for teachers. These may be accessed at the following Web sites: www.aaee.org for national statistics and www.highered.nysed.gov/ for statewide statistics. Contact specific departments for information regarding Cortland graduates.
SUNY Cortland Teacher Certification Exam Pass-Rates
All graduates of teacher preparation programs must pass a New York state teacher certification exam in order to be granted Initial Certification in Teacher Education to teach in New York state. The following table presents the pass rates by 2010 SUNY Cortland graduates on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE).
Professional Knowledge/Pedagogy is assessed by the NYSTCE Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W).
Content Knowledge is assessed by the NYSTCE Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST).
Content Specialty is assessed by the NYSTCE Content Specialty Tests (CST).
SUNY Cortland’s pass rates for these exams are among the highest in New York state. The exceptional pass rates by Cortland graduates on the state exams demonstrate that the College has maintained the highest standards while attracting large numbers of students to outstanding teacher education programs. In fact, SUNY Cortland has the largest teacher education program on the East Coast and the thirteenth largest teacher education program in the United States.
The College’s traditional programs in childhood and physical education are long standing and highly recognized throughout the nation. Through its conceptual framework and placement of student teachers, SUNY Cortland is committed to preparing teachers to meet statewide demands within urban and rural areas.
Within SUNY, Cortland is the only college or university that provides disabilities education in five distinct areas: therapeutic recreation, special education, speech pathology and audiology, adapted physical education, and psychology of exceptionality (learning disabilities, mental retardation, ABA and behavior disorders). The Institute for Disability Studies provides faculty and students across the three schools with an opportunity to work directly in the community to support children and adults with disabilities. The Institute encourages the work of advocacy in numerous ways on a local, state and national level.
SUNY Cortland supports the fourth largest Migrant Educational Outreach Program in New York, which provides educational, health and social services advocacy and academic support to school-age children of migrant workers and their families in the schools, after school, at their homes and in the migrant labor camps.
ATS-W — Elementary Level
ATS-W — Secondary Level
|Other Content Areas
Content Specialty Tests
These data are presented in compliance with Section 207 of the Higher Education Act Title II. Program completers in this table are defined as undergraduate and graduate students receiving a degree between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010 and who have taken the NYSTCE exams. While most graduates take one or more of these exams, they are not a graduation requirement at SUNY Cortland for bachelor's and master's programs.