To become a teacher assistant in the state of New York, there are a number of criteria and procedures that must be met for employment. A certificate will be issued to candidates that satisfy the requirements detailed below. It is important to note that all candidates seeking certification as a teacher assistant (offering instructional services under the supervision of a licensed teacher) must first apply for a Level I certificate and continue progressing through phases of the certification levels. In order to enter into the first phase, the following must be completed:
- Have a high school diploma or a general equivalent. Applicants with foreign diplomas or degrees must present translations or evaluations that establish their eligibility
- Be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking the English language
- Have legal documented authorization to work in the U.S
- Have a clear record by State and Federal authorities and a clear record of service to previous employers, if any.
How to obtain a Teacher Assistant Certification in New York
Phase I: Obtaining the Level I Teacher Assistant Certificate (valid for 1 year and can be renewed 1 time only)
- Get Fingerprinted- For more information, go to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) website that provides a Fingerprinting Process from Start to Finish. A one time fee does apply.
- Register for and pass the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS), formerly called the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (NYSATAS). There is a $35.00 fee for the paper-based test and a $95.00 fee for the computer-based version of the test
- Register for and complete a Child Abuse and Violence Prevention Workshop
- Fill out Application for Level I Teacher Assistant Certificate. This can be completed by going to the Teach Online section of the NYSED website.
Phase 2: Obtaining the Level II Teacher Assistant Certificate
- Have a minimum of 1 year experience as a certified Level I Teacher Assistant
- Have 9 college credits that can go towards the requirements for an associates or baccalaureate degree. If you have the required 18 or more college credits, you may apply for the Level III certificate at this point.
- If you do not yet have the required number of college credits, then apply for the Level II certification via NYSED website. It is important to know that the level II certificate is valid for 3 years and may not be renewed.
Phase 3: Obtaining the Level III Teacher Assistant Certificate
- Have a valid Level I or II Certificate
- Have a minimum of 18 college credits.
- Fill out an application for Level III certification via NYSED website.
To keep the Level III Teacher Assistant Certification valid you must have 75 hours of professional development every 5 years. The school district provides opportunities for professional development through staff meeting and workshops.