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Old 03-19-2010, 07:25 AM
24 posts, read 56,600 times
Reputation: 17


I had a question regarding the certification process here in NYS.
I have completed the process with NYS Department of Education and have been granted an Initial Certificate for Social Studies k-12. The department of Education has notified me that there
is no accompanying certificate number with the Initial Certificate. Is this certificate enough for me to begin teaching for now in NYS or do I need a Professional Certificate?

This may seem like a very obvious answer.......
for me I am still learning about the education system here in NY. I recently moved to NY from Toronto, Canada and am finding the certification process a bit confusing.

I see a lot of teachers seem to post on this board and figured someone should know the answer to this question. I didn't find the NYS Dept of Edu very helpful when I called them...
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:04 AM
151 posts, read 346,817 times
Reputation: 90
Initial Certificate is the first license you get. You can't get the Professional without completing a number of things (masters degree, three years full time teaching, mentoring hours). You can teach with an initial certificate, but you need to apply for your professional within five years of receiving the initial (but you can apply for an extension). I have the intitial, and I can apply for my professional in June. Did you log in to the TEACH system? When I checked mine, there was a certificate number listed. Also, schools can log in and check to make sure you are certified, so you shouldn't have a problem either way. Good Luck!
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:18 AM
24 posts, read 56,600 times
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Hi Joanne thanks for your response.
There is something called count number next to where it is documented that I have a certificate issues. Is the count number what I should assume as a certificate number?

I found it odd that it doesn't explicitly state certificate number. And when I called the NYS-Dept of Education (and if you have called them you know how hard it is to get thru) the lady on the phone said there is no certificate number issued to an Initial certificate holder......!?!? So that is really confusing. I WOULD hope that representatives for the NYS Dept of Edu know what they are saying especially when there is such a long wait time before you actually speak to someone.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:46 AM
88 posts, read 191,390 times
Reputation: 67
Default You will get a certificate when you meet the requirements for a Professional Cert.

Now all schools/prospective employers will have to verify your certificate in the TEACH system. I guess the NYSED is trying to cut down on the possibility of fraudulent certificates. You can go to this link:

Certification from Start to Finish:Certification:OTI:NYSED

Here is the relevant part of that:
Your issued certificate(s)

You will not receive a printed copy of your issued time limited certificate(s) such as the Provisional, Initial, Transitional, Teaching Assistant Levels I, II, and Pre-Professional types. Instead, you can verify that your certificate has been issued by logging in to your TEACH Online Services account and viewing the certificate table in Account Information. Once you have the end-level certificate such as Permanent, Professional, and Level III Teaching Assistant, you will receive a printed copy of these certificates.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:01 AM
659 posts, read 1,996,042 times
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I would contact the NYS Teacher certification number in the Dept. of Ed and ask them directly. It may take a while to get through, but they can explain it to you. Although there are many teachers, such as myself, on this board...many of us are under the old requirements. I wouldn't fool around with hearsay here, get an official asnwer.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:18 AM
88 posts, read 191,390 times
Reputation: 67
Default If you have the time...

Calling the Office of Teaching Initiatives is a great idea if you have the time. Wait times can go upwards of 30 minutes and that's IF you can get through. Often the message says "We can't answer your call now, try again later..."

In order to help the poster and to avoid giving out any misinformation I copied the information and posted the link directly from the nysed.gov website so I'm not sure about the "hearsay" that the poster might be getting.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:06 PM
n/a posts
Initial in K-12 Social Studies?

I was aware of a Provisional (the former name for Initial) K-12 Social Studies, but isn't the current one restricted to 7-12 only?
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:31 AM
8 posts, read 16,336 times
Reputation: 13
Contact one of the NY BOCES Regional Teacher Certification offices. Call early in the day, it is easier to get through. Even though the phones there are busy, it is much easier to get through to them than to the NYS Dept. of Ed. They are extremely helpful there!
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:25 AM
3 posts, read 12,267 times
Reputation: 10
My certificate is about to expire and I really need to talk to a human about it, but I am having serious issues with NYSED in that respect. Every time that I call the OTI, I get an automated menu that says that phone staff is limited and to go online for certification issues, but press "5" if you have to speak with someone. The next message says that staff is busy and to press 1 to go back to the first menu or else you will be disconnected!! Do I have to keep calling back until they don't disconnect me, or is there another alternative? I have already emailed twice in the last month to no avail...
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:04 PM
88 posts, read 191,390 times
Reputation: 67
Yes that phone system is Dante's 7th ring of hell. The trick is to not hang up. You need to learn the prompts and keep pressing them until someone is available. You will have to do this many times but if you keep calling back the line will always be busy. It's like going in a very frustrating circle. The other trick is to be ready to call a few (literally one or two) minutes before they open the phone line or not to call during lunch hours (11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.).
An alternate tack is to try the BOCES office near to you and ask to speak to their certification person. The Western Suffolk BOCES used to have a really helpful person- I believe her name was Pat.
Last option is to speak to the certification office of your college/university. They often have contacts in the office because they deal with such a large volume of requests. Of course, this only works if you went to school in New York.
Good luck- try to be as patient as you can with the phone- it can take 1/2 hr or so sometimes. Also when you get someone to actually answer, try to be as nice as you can. Remember they have to deal with a lot of frantic people and they have the power. The call can be "accidentally" disconnected and you may never get that same person again.
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