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Extended Certification Programs to Support Special Student Populations

The application is open for the 2024-25 school year! Click below and submit your application by May 20.

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For the 2024-25 school year, New York City Public Schools is offering Extended Certification Programs, enabling qualified, current NYC Public Schools teachers to pursue a Students with Disabilities certification or a Bilingual Extension through the completion of graduate-level coursework. Accepted candidates will either enroll in a cohort through a partner college or university or will be a part of the NYC Specialized Teacher Enhancement Pathway’s (NYC STEP) district-led certification program. After completing their certification program, participants commit to teaching in their new license area for the following two years. Learn more by watching our Spring 2023 Info Session here

By earning one of these additional licenses, teachers can:

  • Increase their professional flexibility
  • Gain the skills and training to serve some of their highest-need students more effectively
  • Earn credits that count towards A+ and/or a salary differential

See who is eligible for these programs, based on current NY State teacher certification, here. Please visit our Online Support Center for more information and to contact us with any questions.

NYC Specialized Teacher Enhancement Pathway (NYC STEP)

NYC STEP is designed to be a supportive and school-embedded training program for current teachers with an existing base certificate to leverage their skills and experiences to meet the needs of secondary students with disabilities and multilingual and English language learners. Teacher participants will complete self-guided online coursework, and receive coaching and support from high-quality NYC Public Schools teacher facilitators and may be able to apply credit equivalency towards a Secondary Students with Disabilities (SwD) Grades 7-12 Generalist additional certification or Bilingual Education Extension.

Learn more about the program and eligibility requirements in the NYC STEP Teacher Participant FAQ here.  

Extended Certification through Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) 

Qualified applicants who are accepted into an IHE cohort of an NYC Extended Certification Program will be assigned to a particular partner college or university’s certification program, based on their desired certification area and their existing qualifications.  

Participants will complete program coursework while simultaneously continuing to be a valuable member of their school’s teaching staff, and depending on their program, may be required to support students in their desired license area while completing their courses. IHE cohorts will last for either 2 or 3 semesters and will feature in-person, virtual, and hybrid classes.

Online Support Center

Review helpful articles and contact us through our 

Online Support Center

Watch our video about NYC STEP

Learn more about NYC STEP directly from recent program participants. Learn more

3 out of 4 who completed the program would recommend NYC STEP to a peer, and said NYC STEP helped improve their teaching practice to support secondary students with disabilities or multilingual learners.



"This program is well designed and really engages teachers to think and plan for a culturally responsive classroom. I learned more in this program than from my Masters in Education and feel more prepared to give individualized attention to my students." - 2019-20 SY teacher participant