Professional Development for Professional Certificate Holders

Note: The first professional development cycle begins on July 1 following the effective date of your Professional teaching certificate.

Responsibilities

If you are employed in a public school…

You must complete 175 hours of professional development every five years. This maintains the validity of the Professional certificate and allows you to continue to teach. The first professional development period begins on July 1 following the effective date of the certificate.

If you are not employed in a public school….

You must complete professional development every five years. However, the hourly obligation of 175 hours every 5 years is reduced by 10% for every year of your professional development period during which you are not employed in a public school. Example: If you teach in a nonpublic school for 2 years out of your professional development period, you must complete a total of 140 hours of professional development in that period (.20 x 175= 35 hours; 175 minus 35 = 140 hours). NOTE: This calculation is done automatically and is displayed on your individual professional development record. This maintains the validity of the Professional certificate and allows you to continue to teach. The first professional development period begins on July 1 following the effective date of the certificate.

Allowable Activities

If you are employed in a public school…

Your employing district approves all professional development activities to accrue towards your continuing professional development requirement. You should seek prior approval from your school district of any professional development that you wish to apply toward your professional development obligation. A suggested planning form, Continuing Professional Development, District Planning Document (PDF) is available for use by you and your district. This document is optional and is not submitted to the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

If you are not employed in a public school….

You initiate your own professional development activities; however any professional activity you complete must be in the content or pedagogy of your certificate title in order to accrue towards your continuing professional development obligation.

Recordkeeping

If you are employed in a public school…

You must keep a record of all professional development completed during your professional development period, including that provided by your school district. Required documentation elements include:

  • Program/event title
  • Accrual of hours of program/activity
  • Provider name
  • Attendance verification
  • Date and location of the program/activity

Records should be kept as current with activity completion as is possible. Records must be kept seven years and be made available to the New York State Education Department in the event of an audit.

If you are not employed in a public school…

You must keep a record of all professional development completed during your professional development period. Required documentation elements include:

  • Program/event title
  • Provider name
  • Date and location of the professional development event
  • Hours completed, attendance verification
  • Content or pedagogical area of the professional development

Records should be kept as current with activity completion as is possible. The Continuing Professional Development, Individual Record(PDF), is designed to assist you in recording your professional development hours. Use of this document is optional and not submitted to the Office of Teaching Initiatives. Records must be kept seven years and be made available to the New York State Education Department in the event of an audit.

Reporting

If you are employed in a public school…

If you are employed by a school district, the district reports professional development hours on your behalf. It is recommended that this information be reported annually.

If you are not employed in a public school…

If you are not employed by a public school district or BOCES during any portion of your professional development period, you must report completed professional development hours directly to the Office of Teaching Initiatives annually.

Related information

For suggested guidelines to districts related to provision of continuing professional development for Professional certificate holders, go to 175 Hour Professional Development Requirement. (see below) For frequently asked questions related to the continuing professional development requirement for Professional certificate holders, go to FAQs-Professional Development.

175 and 75 Hour Professional Development Requirement

 

Suggested Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to assist school districts, teachers and teaching assistants in identifying professional development activities as they prepare to comply with teacher certification requirements requiring continuing professional development. Holders of the Professional certificate must complete 175 hours of professional development and holders of the Level III Teaching Assistant certificate must complete 75 hours every 5 years in order to maintain certification. These are guidelines only; authority for decision-making regarding appropriateness of activities as to fulfillment of this requirement resides solely with the local public school district. The ultimate goal of all efforts in this area is to increase the capacity of teachers and teaching assistants to enable and assist all students to higher academic achievement.

Guiding Principles

The design of professional development should be a result of a district’s professional development planning process. It is best done as part of a comprehensive district plan, such as the piloted Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP) or New York City’s District Comprehensive Education Plan (DCEP). The planning process includes, at a minimum, a collection of needs assessment data, i.e. student and teaching staff needs; root cause identification; proposed activities; identification of resources; and proposed evaluation of the impact of planned activities/approaches. Enhanced teaching and learning is the foundation upon which individuals and districts should plan the content of all professional development.

  • Subject matter content of professional development activities/experiences is clearly connected to student achievement of the NYS Learning Standards.
  • Professional development activities/experiences are planned with the NYS Teacher Standards as underpinning.
  • Professional development activities/experiences should respond to student achievement data including State and local assessments and School District Report Cards.
  • Professional development is shaped by teaching staff needs, as evidenced by such data as aggregate results of annual professional performance reviews.
  • The professional development planning process is dynamic, reflecting teaching staff and student performance benchmarks of increasing rigor as skill levels are attained.
  • Professional development results in a demonstrated increase in teaching staff knowledge and understanding, teaching staff skillfulness, and teaching staff professional values.
  • Professional development activities/experiences are assessed on an on-going and continuous basis for intended impact. Defensible evaluation tools/methods must be used to determine modifications to planned activities/experiences.
  • Professional development is, to the greatest extent possible, be site-based and connected to daily school experiences.
  • Professional development enables the teaching staff to deepen their knowledge base and remain current in their content area and instructional strategies.
  • Teaching staff learning opportunities are clearly constructed, based on effective teaching research, and involve educators in the design and implementation of such opportunities.

Content of courses, workshops, and other professional development experiences should be directly related to:

  • enhancing teacher/teaching assistant subject matter knowledge,
  • teacher/teaching assistant knowledge, use and application of appropriate teaching techniques,
  • broadening and enhancing teacher/teaching assistant abilities to apply more accurate and appropriate assessment methodologies, and
  • enhancing teacher/teaching assistant skills in effectively managing individual students and classroom in both heterogeneous and homogeneous settings.
Suggested Activities

The following categories of activities are suggestions for meeting the needs of school districts in building teacher and teaching assistant capacity: (Not all suggested activities are intended for Level III teaching assistants)

  • Participating in courses and other learning opportunities delivered from many providers, such as institutions of higher education, teacher centers, BOCES, school districts and independent professional development service providers.
  • Coursework linked to improvement of instructional technique or content knowledge, which may or may not be in pursuit of a teaching or advanced teaching degree.
  • Completing coursework for more advanced certification or certificates in additional areas or in accordance with teaching assignment requirement for extension to certification.
  • Collaborating with other teachers and teaching assistants to examine case studies of student work and development
  • Participating in regional scoring of State assessments, assessing student portfolios
  • Creating and assessing teacher or teaching assistant portfolios
  • Providing Mentoring Service
  • Engaging in research projects (includes online research)
  • Participation in study (collegial) circles such as “Critical Friends” activities, structured guided reflection activities focused on student learning
  • Participating in formal programs of peer coaching or participation in peer review.
  • Curriculum planning and development
  • Pursuing National Board certification or re-certification (either as candidate or provider of support)
  • Sabbaticals (related to content specialty or enhancement of teaching strategies)
  • Participating in reviews of class performance data over time to make decisions about one’s own professional development, based on student outcomes
  • Developing or collaborating on the development of new programs and instructional methods
  • Teacher of the Year activities
  • NYSTCE “assessor” or test development committee member
  • Delivering professional development (e.g. conducting workshops)
  • Development of Statewide curriculum
  • Service as support teacher, helping teacher, or coach
  • Service as a cooperating teacher for a student teacher or field internships; including attendant meetings and processes.
  • Service as an elected officer in professional organizations
  • Service as teacher center director
  • Service/designation as Master Teacher
  • Service on the State Professional Standards and Practices Board
  • Participating in Professional Development School activities or other school-college teacher development partnerships
  • Publishing in educational journals
  • Developing and presenting a major paper
  • Serving on CDEP (Comprehensive District Education Plan) or DCEP (District Comprehensive Education Plan), or School Leadership committees.

 

FAQs-Professional Development
  1. What is the professional development requirement?
    Holders of a Professional teaching certificate for classroom teaching, as well as holders of a Teaching Assistant III certificate, are required to complete professional development hours to maintain the validity of their certificates. Professional certificate holders must complete 175 hours every five years; Teaching Assistant III certificate holders must complete 75 hours every 5 years. Decisions regarding content, delivery and providers of such professional development are within the purview of the employing school district and should be made within the context of the district professional development plan.
  2. Can mentoring service constitute 100% of the 175 hours to be completed within a given five-year period?
    Yes, the public school district may choose to permit mentoring hours to count toward the professional development obligation.
  3. If a teacher comes from another state, is he/she subject to the professional development requirement?
    If the individual applies for and receives a New York State Professional teaching certificate or Teaching Assistant III, he/she is subject to the professional development requirement.
  4. When does the first professional development period for a an individual certificate holder begin?
    The professional development period for the certificate holder begins on July 1 following the effective date of the certificate.
  5. Do courses delivered on-line through a website accrue toward the professional development?
    Yes, if a public school district approves the course for the certificate holders in that district.
  6. If the district does allow on-line professional development offerings, how does the district calculate the number of hours that will accrue for the course?
    This is determined by the employing school district in consultation with the certificate holder.
  7. What happens when a Professional or Teaching Assistant III certificate holder takes an approved leave of absence and does not teach for a portion of the 5-year professional development period?
    For either of these certificates, if the certificate holder teaches less than 90 days, a given school year for any reason, including an approved leave, the required hours are reduced by 10% for each school year during which this is the case.
  8. How does an individual meet the professional development requirement if he or she leaves the State during the professional development period or is unable to find employment in New York State?
    If the certificate holder wishes to maintain the validity of his/her New York State Professional or Teaching Assistant III certificate, he/she must satisfy the professional development requirement. If he/she is not employed in a NYS public school, the required hours are reduced by 10 percent for each year that this is the case.
  9. I am not employed by a public school. How do I report the professional development hours I complete?
    You are required to report the hours directly to the Office of Teaching Initiatives each year and maintain records of all the professional development in which you participate, including the provider, the title of activity and the focus of the activity (content or pedagogy). Professional development hours are reported through TEACH, our web-based system.
  10. How does a certificate holder who is employed by a non-public school, pre-school or day-care center meet this requirement?
    For all certificate holders who are not employed in a public school district during the 5-year professional development period, the hourly requirement is reduced 10 percent for each year of the 5-year professional development period that the certificate holder is not employed by a public school district. This holds true regardless of the circumstance, be it illness, inability to obtain a position, employment in a non-public school, employment as a teacher in a non-profit community-based preschool or day-care setting, etc.For example, if a Professional certificate holder works in a non-public school for the first 2 years of a 5-year professional development period, his/her obligation will be reduced by 20%. Twenty percent of 175 hours is 35; therefore, the total hour obligation for this 5-year period for this teacher would be 140 hours (175 minus 35 = 140).The certificate holder who is not employed by a public school may receive such professional development from a non-public school, a public school district, BOCES, New York State Teacher Center, college or university, or Special Education Teacher Resource Center (SETRC).
  11. If a “non-public” school employs me, must the school provide professional development for me so that I can fulfill the professional development requirement?
    No, but it would be in the school’s best interest to do so. It is recommended that the non-public school consult with the local public education entity about the possibility of participating in the school district’s professional development activities. (Federal funding mandates to public schools require that they consult with non-public schools located in the district as to the non-public schools’ professional development needs.)
  12. Can I complete the 175 hours at any time during the first 5 years, or must I complete 35 hours each year?
    Regulations do not specify that any portion of the required hours be completed annually. However, it is recommended that certificate holders maintain a steady progression of professional development activities over the five-year period and not take on an overwhelming number of activities in any one year.
  13. If I complete more than the required number of professional development hours during a 5 year professional development period, may I “roll over” the extra hours to the next 5 year period?
    No.
  14. What if I hold two Professional certificates in different areas? Do I have to do double the hours?
    No, you need only complete total of 175 hours for each 5-year professional development period. The cycle begins on July 1 following the issuance of your first Professional certificate and continues on that 5-year cycle.
  15. What if I am National Board certified-must I still complete 175 hours of professional development every 5 years?
    If you obtain your National Board certification in the area of your Professional certificate during a 5-year professional development period, the National Board certification process satisfies the entire requirement for that cycle. However, if you obtained National Board certification prior to the 5-year period, you are not exempted from the required 175 hours for that period. Further, obtaining National Board certification during a given professional development period.
  16. If I teach in a charter school, am I exempt from the professional development requirement?
    If you hold a Professional or Teaching Assistant III certificate, you must maintain your certification by accruing professional development hours. However, the number of required hours is prorated, as it is for individuals not employed in a public school.
  17. In New York City, who is responsible for providing professional development for certificate holders subject to the professional development requirement?
    Provision of professional development for all City teachers is a responsibility of the New York City Department of Education.
  18. In New York City, is record keeping and reporting of completed professional development considered a district responsibility or a New York City Department of Education responsibility?
    It is expected that the New York City Department of Education will report to the Office of Teaching Initiatives on behalf of all teachers in its employ who fall within the provisions of this requirement.
  19. Do non-public schools need to obtain approval of professional development activities for their teachers from the local public school district in which the non-public school is located?
    No.
  20. If I volunteer in a public school, pre-school or day-care center and am not employed in a public school, can this service accrue towards my continuing professional development obligation?
    No.
  21. If a public school district employs me, may I use college coursework to satisfy the professional development requirement, or am I restricted to district professional development offerings?
    If your district approves the college coursework, the hours may accrue toward the professional development requirement.
  22. How far back do we have to go in logging professional development hours?
    Counting of professional development hours begins on the July 1 after the issuance date of the individual’s Professional or Teaching Assistant III certificate. Activities on and after this date are applicable toward satisfying the certificate holder’s professional development for the five-year professional development period, which runs from July 1 to June 30 of each subsequent year.
  23. Can we report professional development activities that were completed by the individual before this July 1 date?
    No, hours completed before the beginning date of the professional development period are not applicable toward meeting the requirement and should not be reported.
  24. Is it a requirement to log professional development hours on-line?
    Public school districts are required to report professional development hours for their employees online. Individuals not employed by a public school district are encouraged to report their professional development hours using the online TEACH system, but are not required to do so.
  25. Are individual teachers responsible for making sure their professional development hours are entered into their records by the school district?
    While it is the district’s responsibility to report hours, it is in the interest of every Professional certificate and Teaching Assistant III certificate holder to verify that their professional development hours are reported and that their individual record is complete. We suggest that certificate holders:

    1. Develop their personal professional development plan in consultation with their district, and obtain the district’s approval before embarking on professional development activities
    2. Check their individual record periodically to verify that the completed hours are being reported by their school district (at least annually). Questions or discrepancies should be resolved with the district immediately. Certificate holders should not wait until the end of their five-year professional development cycle to resolve any issues.
  26. What counts as a professional development hour? Is an hour spent in a professional meeting comparable to an hour spent on research, or an hour in an inservice workshop, etc.?
    Generally, professional development activity may be considered to accrue according to the number of clock hours spent in the activity, e.g., inservice workshop, conference session, etc. However, the employing public school district has the discretion to set the number of hours awarded for research, attendance at professional meetings, etc. In the case of credit-bearing college courses, Commissioner’s Regulations stipulate that each semester hour of credit is equal to 15 hours of professional development, and each quarter hour of credit is equal to 10 hours of professional development. For individuals not employed by a public school district, the professional development hours should equal the clock hours spent in the workshop, course, etc.
  27. Can I report partial/fractional hours of professional development?
    No, the TEACH system will only accept professional development reported as full hours.
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