Certification Sequence 2

New York State Certification

Graduate Program in Childhood Education, Sequence 2

New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate in order to be employed in the State’s public schools. The certificates are issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives, and certify that an individual has met required degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements.

How to Apply for Certification Online

Please use the information provided on the Information Sheet below to assist you in completing your online application for NYS Teacher Certification. 

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

  • Be informed that certification is not an automatic process. The NYSED will notify you online about your evaluation history and issuing of your certificate. You must monitor your account.
  • You can only apply for certification in the area that has been endorsed on your transcript.

Fingerprint Instructions

If you were fingerprinted by the City, or will be fingerprinted by the City for student teaching, employment or a substitute license, you must submit the OSPRA 104 form to have your clearance sent to the state; the City does not automatically forward your clearance to the State. You can find the OSPRA104 form here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fingerprinting FAQS for Undocumented Students
This FAQ features new guidance as of September 2022 from New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI).

When should I begin the application process?
You can begin right away. Once you have registered with TEACH, you will be able to see what is on your record with the State.

How soon will my certificate be issued?
Initial certificates are often issued automatically on line once all requirements have been met. Professional certificates take longer because a NYSED certification specialist has to manually credit for the teaching experience you list.

My application states it is still “Pending Final Review” or “Not Ready for Review.” What should I do?
If you can view the evaluation history, this will often tell you which of your requirements are still deficient. Applications will not be ready for review if fees have not been paid, institutional recommendations not given; all certification exams are not passed, or if you have applied for a certificate but have not yet graduated.
Once your graduation is posted, and you have met all the requirements and have institutional recommendation, your status will change to “Ready for Review” and NYSED will then review your application.

Why don't I have institutional recommendation from The College of Staten Island on my TEACH record?
Institutional recommendations are given electronically and online once your graduation has been officially posted by the Office of the Registrar. Note that it may take up to a month for the college to process and enter your recommendation.

It states that the State does not have my fingerprint clearance on file, but I was fingerprinted by the New York City Department of Education. What should I do?
The New York City Department of Education and the New York State Education Department are separate entities and do not share criminal history of applicants due to privacy issues. If you have been cleared by the NYCDOE, you must submit an OSPRA 104 form to the City in order to authorize your clearance to be forwarded to the State; there is no fee with this form.

How do I apply for my Professional Certificate online?
If you completed a master’s degree at the college for the area you are requesting the Professional Certification, an institutional recommendation will be submitted for you upon graduation. You will need to apply for the certification on the TEACH website and you must provide a letter from the principal that you completed “3 years of continuous satisfactory teaching.” If you did not complete a graduate degree at the college for the certification area, you will need to apply for the certificate online via “Certificate Progression” pathway. The application fee is $100.00.

I do not have an SSN and am not studying under an F1 International Student visa. Will I be able to obtain fingerprinting clearance to complete fieldwork or student teach?
Yes! Undocumented students can do fieldwork and/or student teaching in charter schools, independent (private) schools, and/or some schools outside New York City. NY State Education Department has updated the process for requesting a “Teach Access Number” at NYSED (please see Question 3 for details) which enables them to open a TEACH account and pursue the fingerprinting process. Other college requirements and processes for clinical placements remain unchanged.

Will I be able to do fieldwork and/or student teaching in a NYC DOE public school?
No. Students who do not have an SSN and are not studying under an F1 International Student Visa will not be able to be fingerprinted and cleared through the NYCDOE PETS system. As such, they will not be allowed to enter NYCDOE schools to complete field work or to student teach. Students should speak to their clinical coordinator (or appropriate faculty member) about finding a non-DOE clinical placement.

What is the first step to register for a NYSED TEACH account to start the fingerprinting process?

  • Undocumented students should reach out to their college certification officers. Certification officers will email OTI to request a nine-digit identifier with student’s first and last name, DOB, and email, with “TEACH Access Number” in the subject line.
  • Once this identifier is received from NYSED, the student creates a TEACH account.

This guidance is detailed on NYSED’s website, under Evaluation of Foreign Credentials:


Once I am able to create a NYSED TEACH account, how do I get fingerprinted?

  • Once students create a TEACH account, but before they are fingerprinted by IdentoGo, students are directed to contact OSPRA  for further instructions on how to proceed with fingerprinting. Staff in NY State Education Department want to make sure students get good advice on how to register for fingerprinting with their new identifier so they don’t end up having to pay IdentoGo more than once. This guidance is detailed on NYSED’s website, under FAQ for Individuals #20:
  • Once a student obtains the Teach Access Number, students can request the fingerprinting appointment via IdentoGo:

Please see “What Documents to bring to the appointment” webpage before making the fingerprinting appointment:
For the list of acceptable fingerprinting documents, students can preview “What do I need to bring to enrollment?” Acceptable documentation includes a NYC ID card.

What happens to my personal information collected by Identogo?
Idemia’s privacy policy is published online and includes a description of when or when not information collected is treated confidentially.

I do not have US citizenship, legal residency, or a SSN. Can I still be certified as an educator in NY State?
Yes. You can be certified with an initial certification. The initial certificate is valid for 5 years. You, however, may not be able to work in many settings in the United States without securing a work permit. Guidance on registering for an ITIN number which can facilitate work is available from CUNY’s Office of Immigrant Student Success.
However, citizenship or legal residence is required for initial certified educators to advance to the professional/permanent certification.

I have other questions about my undocumented status. What resources are available at CUNY?

  • CUNY’s Citizenship Now project offers free immigration law services to students and their families
  • CUNY’s Office of Undocumented & Immigrant Student Programs features a dedicated webpage for undocumented students
  • CUNY colleges have designated staff who serve as Immigrant Student Liaisons. Find the contact at your campus.
  • CUNY’s Initiative on Immigration and Education (CUNY-IIE) offers resources for students: https://www.cuny-iie.org and UndocuEdu, which works to highlight specific issues.
  • CUNY’s Office of the University Dean for Education can provide resources on a range of educator preparation-related questions: see www.cuny.edu/teachered or email Teacher.Education@cuny.edu
  • Undocumented Students Support