Alternative Teaching Certification in New York


Alternative teacher certification programs are designed for applicants who wish to teach but have not completed a teacher preparation program. Usually these programs target mature adults who are already in the work force, but who are interested in becoming teachers.

Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in New York.

New York offers two types of alternative teacher certification programs: one type if you hold an undergraduate degree (called Transitional B), and the other if you hold a graduate degree (termed Transitional C).

Once you qualify for Transitional B, you will complete 200 clock hours of introductory coursework, including 40 field experience hours, and pass two certification tests. Then, you will become employed as a full-time teacher in a New York school under a Transitional B certificate and be mentored while completing the rest of the educational requirements for initial teacher certification. These are usually completed within two years.

After qualifying for Transitional C, you will receive a Transitional C certificate and work full-time as a teacher in a New York school and be mentored for two years while completing an intensive educational program necessary for professional certification. These must be completed within three years, after which time you may apply for your Professional Certificate.

Alternative Certification Requirements

Education Requirements

Transitional B: you must have a bachelor’s degree with a major (30 semester hours) in the subject you wish to teach and usually a 3.0 GPA prior to enrolling in a Transitional B program.

Transitional C: you must have a graduate degree, complete a two-clock hour course on the identification of child abuse, and complete a two-clock hour course on school violence and prevention/intervention prior to entering a Transitional C program.


Transitional B and Transitional C: you must pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examination liberal arts and sciences test (LAST), and content specialty test(s) (CST) in your certification area prior to entering the program.


No prior teaching experience is required for enrollment into a Transitional B or Transitional C program. During the program, you will be working as a teacher and gaining experience while completing the educational requirements necessary for full certification.

Criminal History Background Check

Prior to issuance of a Transitional B or C certificate, you must complete a criminal history background check, which includes fingerprinting. The process is explained here. You must complete and sign the Authorization to Forward Criminal History to NYCBOE, the Authorization to Forward Criminal History to NYSED, and two fingerprint cards, which will be forwarded to the FBI for a federal background check. Fingerprinting can be performed for a fee at your local law enforcement agency.

You will then forward the completed fingerprint cards, fees, and forms to Fingerprint Processing, NYS Education Department, PO Box 7352, Albany, NY 12224.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will run your fingerprints. When these checks are cleared, your transitional certificate will be issued.

Contact Information

New York colleges and universities offering Transitional B programs are listed here.

Institutions offering Transitional C programs may be found here.

For more information on alternative teacher certification in New York, contact the New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives at 518-474-3901.