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How to Become a NYC Certified Teacher: Part 4: The Master’s in Education

written by: Jacqueline Chinappi•edited by: Benjamin Sell•updated: 7/31/2009

So now you have the Initial Certificate and you are teaching in a New York classroom, is this the end of your own learning? Absolutely not. As a teacher you still have professional training requirements that must be met. Here we will take a look at what these requirements entail.

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    Initial Certificate

    We have spoken about several ways to obtain teaching certification in NYC as per the New York State laws including approved programs, alternate pathways, and the testing requirements. Most of the time teachers obtain their education requirements as an undergraduate student. After they obtain the Bachelor’s Degree they apply for certification, then after necessary requirements are met…they are then a teacher. Is this the end of learning for this teacher though? Absolutely not.

    After earning the Bachelor’s Degree and applying for a certificate you are awarded an Initial Certificate. This teaching certificate is good for five years. During these five years the teacher must complete professional credits towards a Master’s Degree in the teaching area.

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    The Master's Degree & Professional Development

    For example if you have an Initial Certificate in Childhood Education then you can obtain your Master’s in any Liberal Arts and Sciences program. Another example is if you have an Initial Certificate in Social Studies, then you Master’s Degree can be in Sociology, Political Science, History, Geography, Economics, Archaeology , Anthropology, Area/Ethnic/Gender Studies, or the Juris Doctor’s Degree. If by any chance the Master’s Degree is not in the area you will be teaching then 12 graduate credits must be taken in the content area of the Initial Certificate.

    The individual has five years after obtaining the Initial Certificate for teaching to meet all requirements of the necessary Master’s Degree. When the individual has met these requirements within the five years the individual can then apply for a Professional Certificate in teaching. This Professional Certificate is renewable every five years as long as the teacher fulfills all professional development training. The continuing education requirements consist of 175 hours of professional development every five years. The other requirement for applying for this Professional Certificate is that you have taught for at least three years.

    In the last article of our series we will look at other options for teaching in NYC if you do not have certification or licensure by the state.