TESOL Certification Requirements

New York State offers a number of pathways to teacher certification. One pathway is the: "Individual Evaluation for Additional Certificate Pathway". It is designed for teachers who hold a valid New York State Teaching Certificate and wish to earn an additional certification, such as, TESOL Certification, without having to earn an additional degree. Candidates for NYS certification through this "Individual Pathway" must meet certain Content Core and Pedagogical Core requirements and must also meet any non-coursework requirements, such as the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and fingerprint clearance, as specified. These requirements are outlined below:

NYS Certification Requirements Pathway: Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate                  
The following is the list of requirements from the New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives website on approved pathway:

  • Hold a Valid NYS Classroom Teaching Certificate
  • Content Core - Major or Equivalent in One of the Liberal Arts & Sciences - 30 credit
         -   College Coursework - Linguistics - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - English Grammar - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - Language other than English (including American Sign Language) - 12 credits
  • Pedagogical Core
         -   College Coursework - Teaching Literacy Skills Methods - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - 6 credits
  • Content Specialty Test (CST) - ESOL or Safety Net ESOL
  • Workshop - Child Abuse Identification
  • Workshop - School Violence Intervention and Prevention
  • Workshop - Dignity For All Students Act
  • Fingerprint Clearance


The number of courses that you may need can be confusing. Since this is an individual pathway to certification and does not lead to a degree, the only definitive answer about how many courses that you may need must come from NY State because you may have taken courses in your past that satisfy course requirements. We suggest looking at the courses that you have taken to see if any of those courses are similar to what is required by NYS. If any course that you've taken sounds similar, I would suggest holding off taking that course or courses until you receive the official notification from NYS.

To have a definitive answer as to how many courses you may need you must actually apply for certification by going to the following webpage: NYS Office of Teaching Initiatives  and file for TESOL certification (listed as English to Speakers of Other Languages on the NYS web page) to find out which courses that you have taken before may qualify. Do this as soon as possible - even before you enroll in any courses! You will be notified of anything additional you need to take or any missing requirements.  Your credits don't "expire", so as long as you can produce a college transcript for the courses and the courses match the NYS requirements, you will be able to get credit for them. Therefore, send all your college transcripts to NYS for evaluation. You have nothing to lose. The evaluation process can take up to 3 months or more, so you should start the process right away. There is a $100 fee to apply for TESOL certification, but once you've paid the fee you do not have to pay it again as long as you complete the process within two years and do not ask for more than two evaluations.

For additional information, e-mail either: ahaitz@molloy.edu or call her directly at 516-323-3572.