Certification

The TST BOCES Certification Office serves as a regional office for the Office of Teaching in the State Education Department. The Regional Office provides assistance, and processes the online applications of eligible candidates for NYS certification for teaching assistants and coaching only. Teaching, pupil personnel services and leadership applications must be submitted directly to the Office of Teaching Initiatives in Albany.  This service is for those residing, working or attending school within the TST BOCES Service area.

RCO’s (Regional Certification Offices) are not allowed to perform a review for coaching or Teaching Assistants without a paid application for certification in TEACH. Those “wondering about certification in NY” can look up certification requirements to investigate on their own what the requirements are for certification. Each requirement listed is a “hot link” that can be clicked on for further information on the requirement.

If you have questions related to applications other than teaching assistant or coaching that are not answered by the OTI website, contact NYSED via e-mail tcert@nysed.gov or call 518-474-3901.

Be advised that your certification to work in the Public Schools is your responsibility. Be sure to know when your present certification will expire, what is required to achieve the next level of your certification and what is required to maintain your level of certification.

All applications are handled in the order they are submitted, paid for,and the proper/required documentation is received to be fair to all. Lack of planning only creates stress for you. You will still have to wait for the application to appear in the work queue, and for the evaluator to then review and process the application. It is highly recommended that you apply for your certification at least 6 months prior to the expiration of their present certificate(s) as it can take 4-5 months for an application to be reviewed.

Five Ways to Prevent Delays in the Certification Process

  1. You must send official copies of all college transcripts to the Office of Teaching Initiatives. Without transcripts, they cannot evaluate for coursework or for your degree status. If your transcript(s) have transfer coursework on them with no grade listed, you must also request a transcript from the college you completed that coursework at.
  2. Make sure your transcripts are in your current name and have either your DOB or last 4 digits of your SSN on it.
  3. Please update your information in your Personal Profile in TEACH regularly. It is very important to have a current name, phone number and e-mail address.
  4. Please update your paid work experience in TEACH if you are applying for a Professional or Permanent certificate.
  5. If applying via Interstate Reciprocity, you must send official copies of college transcripts as well as a photocopy of your current valid teaching license (front and back) to the Office of Teaching Initiatives. If the back side is blank, kindly write “this side blank” so it is known that you looked at the back side of the original certificate. If this is not done, it will be assumed that information is missing on the certificate.

Applicants who live, work or attend school within the TST BOCES service area should send documentation for coaching or Teaching Assistant certification to:

Mary Kay LaLonde
TST BOCES Certification Office
555 Warren Rd.  Ithaca, NY 14850

Any other documentation for certificates reviewed by the State must be sent directly to the State, not to the TST BOCES Certification office. It is advised that the documents be sent in one complete package instead of individual pieces sent under separate cover. This way, your file is handled once, instead of several times in a short period of time. The mailing address is:

NYSED  – Office of Teaching Initiatives
89 Washington Ave, Room 5N EB
Albany, NY 12234

Coursework to Satisfy Unmet Requirements – NYSED and RCO’s are not able to “pre-approve” coursework. This link can be used to assist an applicant in assessing if a course they want to take will work for a specific requirement.


Certification Links

Becoming Certified
Check a College Accreditation Here
Exams: Register, View Test Framework & Find Study Guides Here
Look up Certification Requirements here
Office of Teaching Initiatives News
Recent Certification Changes

Applications, Forms and Flyers

Timeline for local BOCES Certification Office
Guidance for Online/Distance Learner
Applying for certification Help document
Substitution of Experience for Student Teaching OT-11 Form
Mentor Verification Form updated 12.08

Contact Us

Mary Kay LaLonde
Administrative Assistant
607-257-1551
mlalonde@tstboces.org