Certification FAQ

Initial? Professional?! Provisional?!! Permanent?!!! Teacher certification can be confusing! Here are some commonly asked questions that you may be thinking of and their answers as they apply to UAlbany students.

  1. What is the difference between Initial, Provisional, Professional and Permanent certificates?
  2. How do I apply for certification?
  3. I forgot my TEACH username or password. What do I do?
  4. Where can I find my program code?
  5. I am trying to apply on TEACH but it says I didn't complete an approved teacher program. What do I do?
  6. Where can I take the SAVE and Child Abuse workshops?
  7. How can I get fingerprinted?
  8. When are recommendations made?
  9. Where can I find more information about certification exams?
  10. Why has my certificate not been awarded?
  11. Why have I not received a copy of my certificate?
  12. My school needs verification that I am certified. Can you write a letter?
  13. I am applying for an additional teaching certificate that was not part of my UAlbany program. Can you recommend me?
  14. I am applying for certification in another state and it requires verification of my degree. Can you help?

1. There are many types of certificates in NY, but the most common ones are Initial, Provisional, Professional and Permanent. NYSED defines these certificates and others you may hear about here.

2. All applicants must apply online through the NYSED application system called TEACH. If you graduated from a UAlbany teacher preparation program, you also need to apply for a University recommendation.

3. You must contact the TEACH technical staff if you forget your username or password. Since TEACH is maintained by NYSED, UAlbany is unable to reset passwords or usernames.

4. If you completed an approved teacher preparation program, you will need a program code to apply for certification which is available on the UAlbany web site. If you do not put in the correct code you will not be able to successfully apply.

5. In order to successfully apply, you must first update your education information in TEACH. This will require your program code and the information listed on the Student Application Information Sheet. Once you complete this, you should no longer get that error message. 

6. The NYSED web site offers lists of approved providers for both the SAVE and Child Abuse workshops. Providers on the NYSED site are not endorsed  nor are the lists maintained by UAlbany. 

7. Fingerprint clearance is an important aspect of certification. Please review the NYSED fingerprinting site at for policies and procedures. You can make an appointment to get fingerprinted right on campus by visiting our fingerprinting site.

8. Certification recommendations are only processed in 3 cycles - immediately after the deadlines. If your materials are received beyond the published deadline, it will be delayed and may be processed with the applications received for the next cycle. The following certification deadlines are only for submission to the Office of Graduate Studies, not to the State Education Department.

• January 2
• June 1
• September 1

If you submit your materials by the dates mentioned above, your information will be forwarded to NY State Education Department within 30 days if complete. Do NOT call the Office to check on your application; you will be able to check your status online through TEACH at any time.

9. Testing requirements vary depending on the certificate you are applying for. Be sure to check the testing requirement for your specific certificate prior to registering for an exam. The NYSED testing FAQ site is also very helpful so please be sure to check it out also. When you are ready to register for your exam(s) please visit http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/.

10. There are various reason why a certificate may not be awarded and you can see what is missing by checking your TEACH account. There are many aspects required for certification including, but not limited to, fingerprint clearance, passing test scores, SAVE and Child Abuse workshops, University recommendations and proof of teaching experience. Since certification requirements can vary, please be sure to check your specific application for an exact list of what is missing. If nothing is missing then it is pending final review by NYSED.

11. As of February 2010, NYSED no longer prints certificates with an expiration date which could explain why you have not received a paper certificate. Click here for more information on the printing policy. If you are awaiting a non-time limited certificate, you may not have received your certificate in the mail because it has not been awarded yet. Please be sure to verify that your certificate has been awarded by logging on to your TEACH account.

12. Since it is NYSED that awards the certificate, the University cannot verify your certificate. However, there is a public inquiry system that anyone can access which verifies certification by name. Additionally, each school district has 2-3 representatives that have access to TEACH. They can log on and find your certification information if needed.

13.  No. The University can only recommend you for certificates that your program is registered for. You can apply for additional certificates by going through either the Individual/Transcript Evaluation pathway or the Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate pathway if you already hold a valid NY State certificate.

14. Absolutely! Certification requirements vary from state to state but most require verification that you completed an approved teacher preparation program. If you only need an official transcript, you can request one through the Registrar's Office. If the state you are applying to has a "degree verification" or "verification of an approved teacher program" form, please click here.