Becoming a Teacher in New York STATE

Explore Program, Licensing and Job Outlook Data for 2016

Guide to Becoming a Teacher in New York State

New York State is home to many opportunities for aspiring teachers but knowing how best to prepare for one’s future teaching career in the state can be difficult. After all, the state has dozens of education programs and a licensing process that can seem daunting at first glance. For this reason, ToBecomeATeacher.org has compiled all the information and insights required to simplify the process of becoming a licensed New York State teacher:

1. Choosing a Program: First, you will need to find an education program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is never easy. What matters to you as a student? Is cost a major concern? Are you concerned about the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate? Asking the right questions upfront will ensure you end up in the program that is best suited to your needs and budget.

2. Planning for Licensure in New York: To become a teacher in New York, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program and to write and pass the state’s mandatory teacher licensure exams.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to launch your job search and find a teaching job that is right for you.

  • It is always best to start by asking the right questions. In which region do you hope to land a teaching position? What are your lifestyle priorities and which region of the state can best meet these priorities? Are you interested in working in a high-needs school environment? If so, what specific experiences, skills or knowledge can you bring to such a position? What are your salary expectations? Throughout this process, keep developing your resume, expanding your education by completing professional development courses for teachers, and gaining additional teaching experience. By remaining current, you will ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining a full-time teaching position in New York State shortly after graduation.

Choosing an Education Program in New York State

ToBecomeATeacher.org wants to ensure you select the education program that is right for you. With the aid of a complex algorithmic tool, we have reviewed, tested and documented the top education programs in New York for 2015. Notably, our criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities. For this reason, our rankings focus on total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and over all return on investment.

All the schools on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in New York. Find out which schools rank best at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in education.

CUNY City College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 11 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24356
  • Acceptance rate 34.1 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 42 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 12500

CUNY Hunter College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 12 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24516
  • Acceptance rate 29.72 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 48.08 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 10500

CUNY Queens College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 13 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24828
  • Acceptance rate 37.02 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 55.65 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 11200

CUNY Brooklyn College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24736
  • Acceptance rate 31.98 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 52.26 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 11000

CUNY Lehman College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24432
  • Acceptance rate 23.28 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 35.91 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 9500

State University of New York at New Paltz

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 28332
  • Acceptance rate 43.59 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 71.62 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 20500

Buffalo State SUNY

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 28088
  • Acceptance rate 48.53 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 48.49 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 21665.5

CUNY York College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 20 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24384
  • Acceptance rate 35.1 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 26.11 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 10000

SUNY College at Cortland

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 29308
  • Acceptance rate 46.83 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 69.2 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 21654

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 28716
  • Acceptance rate 45.64 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 43839
  • Graduation Rate 60.43 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22475.5
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Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How to Become a Teacher in New York State

New York is home to a complex and rigorous teacher licensure system; common pathways to teacher licensure in the state include the following:

  • Pathway 1: For current undergraduates, the best option is to complete a traditional teacher preparation program in one of the state’s many approved teacher preparation programs and to write and pass the New York State Certification Exams.
  • Pathway 2: If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, the recommended route is to earn a graduate degree from an approved teacher education program and to then pass the appropriate New York State Exams.
  • Pathway 3: Another option for candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a teachable subject is to complete an Alternative Teacher Preparation Program; the program offers qualified candidates an accelerated pathway to teaching while working full-time in a state school. Like all other candidates, they must write and pass the applicable New York State Exams.
  • Pathway 4: Obtain a teaching license through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and apply for a comparable teaching license in New York State.

Notably, New York State issues separate licenses for other school personnel, including substitute teachers.

What is the Job Outlook for Teachers in New York State?

Elementary, middle school and high school teachers in New York report some of the highest employment numbers and wages in the nation. As of May 2014, New York employed 73,280 elementary teachers with an annual mean wage of $74,830, 39,220 middle school teachers with an annual mean wage of $75,470 and 67,320 high school teachers with an annual mean wage of $76,680. As the state continues to grow, especially in its urban areas, and the current teaching population ages and retires, both new and replacement positions for teachers are anticipated statewide. As a result, the job outlook for teachers in New York State is expected to remain promising over the coming decades.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in New York State?

WHAT ONLINE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL TEACHERS IN New York State?

Empire State College offers an M.A. in Teaching leading to licensure in a hybrid format that combines online courses with face-to-face meetings. For in-service teachers, the college offers master’s degrees in adult education, learning and emerging technologies, adolescent and middle childhood education, and teaching and learning. The State University of New York also offers multiple certificate and master’s level degrees in education, primarily designed to respond to the needs of the state’s in-service teaching population. A complete list of approved pre-service and in-service education programs in New York State is available on the New York State Education Department website.

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