SED Seal                                                                                   



To:                                         Higher Education Committee

From:                                      Joseph P. Frey

Subject:                                   Discussion regarding teacher certification for higher education faculty with experience in teaching STEM (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) content

Date:                                       August 31, 2010         




Issue for Decision

Should the Board of Regents endorse the development of regulations to allow college faculty with advanced content area study in STEM content, and experience teaching in their content at the college level to become certified to teach in the public schools of New York State through an innovative and streamlined process?  This initiative is part of our overall Race to the Top initiative for strengthening teaching in high need schools.

Reason(s) for Consideration

New York State is experiencing a shortage in the supply of teachers certified to teach in STEM subjects.
Proposed Handling

This item comes before the Higher Education Committee for discussion and to provide guidance regarding the development of regulations.

Background Information

Over time, supply and demand data has shown that many regions in New York are experiencing a shortage of certified teachers in the areas of science, technology, and mathematics.  Due to the changing fiscal environment, colleges have found it necessary to streamline their program offerings that have, and will, result in the need to downsize the faculty at many of the colleges.  This initiative may provide a source of qualified and knowledgeable teachers for STEM content areas to begin to meet the staffing needs of schools.


The Department consulted with teacher preparation faculty, teachers and leaders in developing this report. It was felt that college faculty could benefit from instruction in curriculum and lesson planning aligned to New York State Learning Standards, classroom management and teaching at the developmental level of high school students. Furthermore, since these faculty members will have documented successful teaching in their academic discipline for at least two years, it was felt that the Assessment of Teaching Skills – Written test and the Content Specialty Test would not be needed. 

            The Department recommends that faculty, with verified satisfactory teaching experience at the collegiate level, achieve certification as follows:


With the completion of these requirements, an individual will receive an initial teaching certificate. After completing three years of satisfactory teaching, the candidate will be awarded a professional teaching certificate.

That the Board of Regents endorses the development of a innovative and streamlined set of regulations to enable higher education faculty, with advanced degrees in STEM content areas, to provide an opportunity to increase the potential pool of available teachers to meet the needs of school districts that experience difficulty in recruiting teachers to teach in these content areas, and to provide guidance regarding the Board’s expectations for requirements that such persons should meet to become eligible for teacher certification.