Student working on her computer.

Applying for Your Initial Certificate

Congratulations on completing a Pace University Program that leads to New York State Teacher Certification!

Graduation/completion of an education program is not enough to become certified in NY State. You will need to be recommended for certification by the Director of Certification and apply for the certificate(s) online via TEACH. Information on this page is valid for ALL students GRADUATING in May and August 2021 ONLY.

EDTPA Safety Net and Covid Emergency Certificate Information

Candidates should carefully review the following edTPA Safety Net & COVID Emergency Certificate information and determine if they meet the eligibility for either/both before starting the application.

Requirements for the Covid-19 Emergency Certificate

  1. Have an Initial/Professional/Extension application(s) and matching Covid-19 application(s) for EACH certificate sought dated BEFORE September 1, 2021 on TEACH.
  2. A college recommendation dated BEFORE September 1, 2021. August grads will have recommendations back-dated to August, 25, 2021 satisfying this requirement.
  3. DASA must be listed on your TEACH account under the "Workshops" section.
  4. Verify that fingerprint clearance has been received by NYSED on TEACH

Student Application Information and When to Apply

Applying for Initial or Professional certification is done online using the TEACH System. Initial and Professional College Recommendations are entered AFTER a degree date is recorded by the Pace Registrar on your transcript (see example below). Please allow up to 30 days after graduation (May or Aug) for your Pace records to be finalized by OSA and the college recommendation to be entered. Applying for your certificate before receiving a college recommendation will not speed up the processing time (August grads please note the information above). The date of your college recommendation will be your graduation date. The Director of Certification is unable to speed up this process.

Program codes for Westchester / New York City and specific TEACH application instructions will be sent to each student (Pace email only) as soon as the college recommendation is entered. Again, this part of the process can take up to 30 days AFTER your graduation date.

NYSED Certificate Application Processing Time

Once the College Recommendation is entered using your full Social Security Number and your application is “Ready for Review” the NYSED requires ADDITIONAL TIME to process your application(s). Below are estimated NYSED processing times, actual times have been less.

  1. Candidates requiring ONLY the COVID Emergency Cert. – NYSED advising up to 16 weeks
  2. Candidates requiring ONLY the edTPA Safety Net – up to 20 days
  3. Candidates requiring BOTH COVID Cert. & edTPA Safety Net – NYSED advising up to 16 weeks
  4. Candidates NOT requiring either COVID & edTPA Safety Net – Next business day
  5. The Director of Certification is unable to speed up the application processing time required by the NYSED.

COVID Certificate Information - Graduating Before September 1, 2021

Candidates who are seeking certain teaching certificates and extensions are eligible for the Emergency COVID-19 certificate, allowing them to work in New York State public schools for about two years while taking and passing the required exam(s) (EAS/CST/edTPA/ATS-w) for the certificate or extension sought. COVID Emergency Certificate application information page.

Didn't Complete the EDTPA Due To COVID19 In Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Or Spring 2021 Terms?

Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements for the edTPA Safety Net may pass the Assessment of Teaching Skills Written ATS-W in lieu of passing the edTPA, provided that ATS-W is taken by September 1, 2024. If you have an issued COVID Certificate you must pass ALL exams (including ATS-W) before the certificate's expiration date to remain certified. Students may take EITHER ATS-W exam (Elementary or Secondary) to satisfy the edTPA Safety Net requirement. The Pace Certification Office will compile a list of all ELIGIBLE registered students in student teaching or similar clinical experience and send the list to the NYSED. The edTPA safety net list is updated at the END of each term. Alumni who graduated BEFORE the Spring 2020 term are NOT ELIGIBLE for the edTPA Safety Net as per NYSED regulations.

Passed the ATS-W (EDTPA Safety Net)? Application Instructions

You must email NYSED to have the edTPA safety net applied to your TEACH account. It's not automatic. The process is detailed below.

  1. Candidates must first meet the following three requirements; have a passing ATS-W score & an active certificate application with a matching Recommendation listed on TEACH BEFORE REQUESTING THE SAFETY NET. If you have not received a college recommendation, STOP HERE. You will receive an email (graduating students) from the Certification Office confirming that you are on the edTPA Safety Net list & a college recommendation has been entered (about 30-45 days after graduation)
  2. Send an email to with “edTPA safety net” in the subject line with your full name (as it appears in TEACH) and the last four digits of your SSN in the body of the email.

After receiving the email, the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) staff will check that you were on the list submitted by the Certification Office. If so, the staff will indicate on your certificate application that you are exempt from the edTPA requirement. Your TEACH account will not indicate you received the edTPA Safety Net. It will continue to show that the edTPA requirement is "unmet" until a manual review is made and the certificate is issued.

Applying For Your Certificate(s)

  1. Log in to the TEACH to apply for the certificate.
  2. From TEACH Home, select "Apply for Certificate"
  3. Read the "Important Things to Know Page" & select NEXT
  4. Verify/Update profile information & select NEXT & possibly NEXT a second time
  5. Select your Area of Interest (Classroom Teacher / Administration / Classroom Teacher Extensions), Subject Area (Adolescent / Childhood....), Grade Level (1-6 / 7-12.…), Title & Type (Initial / Professional) then Add. Below are EXAMPLES, your choices will vary based on the selections made in each dropdown matching your program.
  6. Approved Teacher Preparation > Enter Program Code Submit > Select > Next > Next again.
  7. Select option(if displayed) to have the application reviewed by NYSED, then Next to sign the affidavit. Certificate Application is not complete until payment has been submitted to NYSED (Step 5). The current fee is $50 per application. If you would like to apply for more than one certificate, you will need to repeat the entire application process for each.

For an Initial or Professional certificate to issue, you must meet ALL NY State requirements in place at the time of application (NOT graduation date). This includes passing all required CST(s), edTPA or safety net, fingerprint clearance, and have received a college recommendation. You do not need to have your exams completed in order to receive College Recommendation.

The NY State Education Department considers it YOUR responsibility to know what is required to maintain your certificate, including when a certificate is set to EXPIRE.

NYSED Contact Information