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Summary of Recent Changes to Teacher Certifications and Mentoring

During SAANYS’ Annual Conference in Lake Placid, attendees had the opportunity to ask Commissioner Elia any questions on their minds. A few questions related to teacher certification and teacher shortages. In order to address some shortage areas, SED has begun to provide increased flexibility in some certification areas. The following provides a brief summary of such changes, with links to the reports presented to the Board of Regents.

Certification Area: Health Education

Summary of Change: New Transitional K Pathway for licensed and registered health professionals (physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioners, registered nurse). Transitional K is valid for three years during which time such professionals could pursue an initial certificate. 

Effective Date/Status: July 2018; for specific program and experience details see https://bit.ly/2z0Hkb5.

Any Area of Certification

Summary of Change: Expanded use of Transitional G certificate. Transitional G certificates previously allowed persons in STEM areas and with two years of teaching experience in post-secondary education to teach in public schools. This regulation change made the Transitional G applicable to any area with a certificate.

Effective Date/Status: March 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2EMkni1.

Summary of Change: Pre-professional teaching assistant certificate is available to individuals enrolled in teacher education programs. Such students may provide direct instruction under a NYS certified teacher. Valid for five years. Allows such students to fulfill student teaching while employed under the pre-professional teaching assistant certificate at the place of employment.

Effective Date/Status: March 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2EMkni1.

Certification Area: Special Education

Summary of Change: Expansion of grade spans for persons that hold a Students with Disabilities (SWD) Generalist.  Expansion are birth-grade 2 expanded to grades 3-4; grades 1-6 expanded to prek-k; grades 5-9 and grades 7-12 expanded to grades 5-6.

Effective Date/Status: June 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2DxgFqm.

Summary of Change:

• A person holding an initial or professional certificate in SWD Generalist for grades 7-12, SWD Content Specialist for grades 7-12, SWD Generalist for grades 5-9, SWD Content Specialist grades 5-9, or Special Education Generalist for grades K-1, may be issued a Statement of Continued Eligibility to teach subject areas, in special classes without a certificate in the content areas.

• A person holding an initial or professional certificate in SWD Generalist grades 7-12 may provide instruction to students with disabilities in grades 5-6; SWD Content Specialist in grades 7-12 may provide instruction to students with disabilities in grades 5-6; SWD Generalist in grades 5-9 may provide instruction to students with disabilities in grades 10-12; SWD Content Specialist in grades 5-9 may provide instruction to students with disabilities in grades 10-12.

• A person holding an initial or professional certificate in SWD Generalist in grades 7-12, SWD Content Specialist in grades 7-12, SWS Generalist in grades in 5-9, SWD Content Specialist in grades 5-9, or Special Education Generalist in grades K-12, may provide instruction in subject areas in a special class in grades 7-12.

Effective Date/Status: Proposed effective date if adopted by the Board of Regents is February 2019. For more information see https://bit.ly/2yx2xJZ.

Certification Area: Computer Science

Summary of Change: Establishes a computer science certificate that spans all grade levels and grandfathers in those currently teaching computer science.

Effective Date/Status: March 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2R9BqeU.

Certification Area: Mentoring

Summary of Change: Would require that mentoring needed to obtain professional certification occur during the first 180 days of employment, rather than the first year of employment.

Effective Date/Status: March 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2qcxBKM.

Certification Area: Early Childhood, Literacy, ELA

Summary of Change: Allows for individual evaluation for early childhood birth-grade 2, childhood education in grades 1-6. generalist in middle education in grades 5-9, ELA grades  5-9, ELA grade 7-12, literacy birth-grade 6, and literacy grades 5-12. Candidates are required to submit evidence of coursework and field experience. The Office of Teaching Initiatives reviews transcripts and determines validity.

Effective Date/Status: September 2018; for specific prior work experience needed and initial certificate requirements see https://bit.ly/2CDmL82.

Certification Area: Substitute Teachers

Summary of Change: Provides flexibility to employ substitutes for more than 40 days beyond July 1, 2018.

Status: For more information see https://bit.ly/2CESyp6.

Certification Area: Speech and Language Disabilities

Summary of Change: Would allow a person who completes a speech pathology and language program  accredited by ASHA to obtain an initial certificate  in Speech and Language Disabilities.

Effective Date/Status: October 2018; for more information see https://bit.ly/2CEfS6h.