Applying for Additional Certification to Teach Students With Disabilities

Follow these instructions if your degree did not lead to students with disabilities certification, and you took or want to take additional courses for this certification area as a nondegree student.

Students With Disabilities Courses

You can take the courses needed at Brooklyn College.

The courses can only be used for the following age groups:

  • Early Childhood, Birth–Grade 2
  • Pre K–Grade 12, All Grades

Important: Initial Students With Disabilities (SWD) Grades 1–6 and Grades 7–12 Generalist are no longer available as additional certificates with the Pathway Individual Evaluation or Pathway: Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate (must hold a valid certificate) as of September 2023. The courses offered for the additional titles can be used only for additional certification for Birth–Grade 2 and Pre K–Grade 12. The New York State Education Department will no longer issue certificates for the Students with Disabilities (SWD) Grades 1–6 and Grades 7–12 certificate titles, other than for the professional certificate and reissuance of an initial certificate, with an effective date that begins after September 1, 2030.

Learn more about the Pre K–12 All Grades title as well as the changes to the Grades 1–6 and 7–12 titles.

To be eligible for the additional title you will need initial (or professional) New York State classroom teacher certification in effect. You can start to complete the following requirements before your initial (or professional) certification is confirmed.

You can check the certification requirements for the students with disabilities title you want under the list for Pathway: Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate Must hold a valid certificate. Be sure to open the details for “Holds a Valid NYS Classroom Teaching Certificate” and check that the title you have or will have is listed there.

If the mandated workshops are not noted in your New York State TEACH account, and if you have or had valid certification, the workshops required when your certification was issued will be credited. The DASA workshop was required starting in 2014.

The Needs of Children with Autism workshop is required if you did not complete at New York State Students With Disabilities certification program and/or if you do not already have Students With Disabilities certification.

If you do not meet the requirements for the certification area you are working toward yet, you may be eligible for a supplementary certificate while you are completing the requirements for your additional certificate. You can check by searching the certification requirements.

For information about the certification needed for specific assignments, review the Examples for Reporting Primary and Special Education Instructors in Course Instructor Assignment (PDF).

How to Apply

  • You will need to have transcripts sent to OTI.
  • Log in to your TEACH account.
  • Verify and update your profile.
  • Select your certificate:
    • Area of interest: Classroom teacher
      Subject area: select your age group
    • Grade level: select your age group
    • Title: Students with disabilities
  • Select “I have not completed, nor am I enrolled in, an Approved Teacher Preparation Program at a New York State College or University for this certificate and type.”
  • Pathway: for your first application, select Pathway: Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate (Must hold a valid certificate).
  • If you have or apply for initial students with disabilities certification, and want to apply for the professional certificate, the pathway for the professional certificate should be Certificate Progression.

Select a type of certificate: If you have less than three years of teaching experience, select initial certification. If you have or will soon have a professional certificate in another title, select professional certification:

If you did not complete a bachelor’s or master’s program for Students with Disabilities certification, do not enter a program code.

Students With Disabilities Generalist Grades 7–12 with Extension (for your subject area)

For the extension to teach certain subjects to students with disabilities in grades 5–9 or grades 7–12, eligible special education teachers can obtain the extension by completing 12 semester hours in the subject area or passing the content specialty test (CST) in the subject area of the extension beginning September 28, 2022.

Registered SWD Programs. Programs leading to the extension to teach certain subjects to students with disabilities in grades 7–12 will now require at least 12, instead of 18, semester hours in the subject area of the extension beginning September 28, 2022.

For more information about the subject area extensions, you can e-mail Helen Spencer. If you are or were in a Transitional B program, e-mail Roberto Martinez.

What’s Next

Monitor your TEACH account, and check for any application evaluations that may be posted. Allow about three months for this to be done. Some requirements may be marked “unmet” until your application is manually reviewed. Check your application status to see if it is listed as ready or not ready for review. Manual evaluations are posted when your transcript and other documentation has been examined by the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

Brooklyn. All in.