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Frequently Asked Questions
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Before Applying:


Would I be a good candidate for the Fellows program?

Our program accepts Fellows from a wide range of backgrounds and prior experiences. Strong candidates have several things in common:

  -Commitment to having a positive effect on student achievement

  -Excellence in their previous endeavors

  -Dedication to reaching and influencing students who need strong teachers most


I applied last year, and was accepted but did not enroll. Do I need to reapply or can I just enroll in this year’s program?

Even previously accepted candidates must re-apply to this year’s program. Because the applicant pool and the needs of schools change from year to year we cannot guarantee an acceptance to the upcoming cohort.


How long does the Fellows program last?

Generally, it takes two to three years for a Fellow to complete a master's degree. However, we encourage Fellows to make a long-term commitment to the city's students and schools. Many experts believe that teachers need at least five years of experience to reach their full potential as educators. From the moment they enter the classroom, Fellows are regular full-time teachers with all of the rights and responsibilities of any other NYC public school teacher. After completing their master's degree, Fellows are eligible for state certification.


What subject areas am I qualified to teach?

We assign Fellows to subject areas based on New York State Education Department regulations. Generally, applicants must have either an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in that specific subject area in order to teach it. However, there are some exceptions for high-need subjects.


Please visit this page for information about eligibility for specific subject areas.


What are the minimum requirements for the Fellowship?


Applicants must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree conferred by the start of training.
  • An undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0. If you have a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0, we will review your application holistically. We take GPA statements, essays, accomplishments, and demonstrations of leadership into consideration, but we are also bound by university requirements, which provide guidelines for exceptions.
  • U.S. Citizenship or permanent residency with a valid green card.

Applicants CANNOT have:

  • Ever been certified to teach (in any state).
  • Completed a teacher preparation program, including any bachelor's degree or master's degree program that provides a pathway to teacher certification.

I have experience working as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional. Am I eligible to apply?

Working as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional before joining the program is an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience, and will not jeopardize your eligibility with the Fellowship. Substitutes and paraprofessionals are not fully certified, and therefore are still eligible to apply.  


I participated in another alternative certification program, but was not certified. Am I eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, applicants cannot have participated in another alternative certification program, regardless of completion.


I have a bachelor’s degree from a non-U.S. university. Can I still apply?

Yes, you are welcome to apply. If you are invited to participate in an interview you will need to have your transcripts evaluated by World Education Services, a foreign education translation service. Before you can schedule an interview, you will need to submit a WES evaluation to NYCTF. We do not accept transcript evaluations from any other service.


What is meant by “alternative certification”?  

The Fellowship accelerates the process of bringing new teachers to the classrooms. Rather than completing a degree program before entering the classroom, Fellows engage in a short, intensive pre-service training program and complete a master’s degree while teaching full-time. 


At the end of the Fellowship, will I receive a state certification?  

While in the Fellowship, you will be certified under a Transitional B certificate issued by the state. This certificate is valid for up to three years.


After you receive a Master’s in Education, you may apply for an Initial Certification. Teachers can apply for a Professional Certification after three years of teaching (which includes any time teaching under a Transitional B license).  


Do I need to take exams to be qualified for the Fellowship? Should I take them before applying? 

You must pass three state certification exams in order to enter the classroom in the fall:

1. Content Specialty Test (CST), according to your subject area

2. Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)

3. Educating All Students (EAS)


There is no need to complete these exams prior to applying for the program, and applicants who have already taken these tests will not receive special consideration. Once accepted, Fellows are encouraged to take these tests as soon as possible and before the start of pre-service training.


The Application Process:

I’ve submitted my application, but have yet to hear about an interview. When should I expect to be invited to interview?

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. All candidates will hear back from our program, regardless whether they are invited to interview or not – you will receive this decision in your TeacherTrack message center. Most applications are reviewed within two weeks.


I applied to an earlier application deadline and was not invited to interview. Can I apply again for this year's program?

Out of fairness to all applicants, you may only apply to the Teaching Fellows program once per year. If you wish to re-apply you will need to wait until next year. 


Training and the Fellowship


I’m worried that I will not be fully prepared to teach before entering the classroom. What does the summer training look like?  

Our training focuses on the foundational skills that are essential for great teaching. Fellows practice these skills and receive personalized feedback from their coaches and instructors until they become second nature. Over the summer, Fellows spend teaching in NYC public school classrooms. Coaches regularly observe Fellows in the classroom, providing real-time, individualized feedback to dramatically improve their teaching.


Fellows also attend daily workshop sessions with instructors who are experts in their content area. During sessions, instructors model teaching strategies, providing Fellows with exemplars of applying effective teaching techniques in the subject area they will be teaching. Most Fellows also begin taking classes for their master’s degree at their university over the summer.


How long and how intensive is the summer training?  

NYCTF’s pre-service training is full-time Monday through Friday from early- to mid-June through early August. Fellows receive a stipend to offset cost-of-living expenses during training. Because of NY State requirements for alternative certification training, Fellows who miss more than two days of pre-service training (for any reason) are removed from the cohort and unable to enter the classroom in the fall.


Will I be placed in a school? 

After being placed in a summer training classroom, Fellows are responsible for finding their own full-time teaching positions in the fall. To support you in your job search, the NYC Teaching Fellows program provides online tools and resources that connect you with teacher recruitment events as well as smaller school-based interview events.  

Nearly all Fellows are hired by the first day of school and Fellows have several additional months to find a job before being removed from the program. We work with the partner schools to determine which subjects will be in demand for our upcoming cohort and assign Fellows to subjects accordingly. It is extremely rare that a Fellow is removed from the program because they cannot find a job.


What if I decide I don’t want to teach in my subject area after I start training? Can I switch universities? 

The Teaching Fellows program sponsors a Transitional B license and subsidizes master’s degree coursework in subject areas that are specifically high-need in NYC public schools. Due to the targeted nature of training and coursework, once a Fellow begins in a subject area they cannot switch.


After earning a master’s degree and receiving certification in their assigned area, Fellows are welcome to pursue additional certifications (often just a small number of additional courses) at their own expense.


What type of master’s degree will I receive at the end of the Fellowship?  

All Fellows will receive a Master's in Education. Based on your subject area, you will complete coursework that is specialized to meet NY State requirements for certification in the subject you were assigned to teach. 


Typically, how long does it take to complete the master’s degree? 

The master's program takes two to three years to complete. You will attend evening classes approximately two nights per week. It is possible you will have to take coursework during the summer of your second year of teaching as well, depending on the university you attend and your prior coursework. 


Do I get to pick the school from which I get my degree?  

The NYC Teaching Fellows program partners with several universities located through New York City. Fellows are assigned to one of our partner universities based on their subject area and geographic preferences. Many universities only have Fellows programs in one or two subject areas, and each university has specific geographic restrictions where they can support a Fellow through classroom visits in the first year.


How much does the degree cost?  

The NYC Department of Education subsidizes most of the cost of tuition (excluding books and materials) at its partner universities. However, Fellowsare responsible for some portion of the master’s degree tuition: this amount will be deducted over time from a Fellow's regular paycheck. June 2017 Fellows will be responsible for $8,600 altogether toward the cost of their master’s degree. For more information, please visit the Master’s Degree Section of our website.


What happens after the Fellowship ends?  

Any Fellow still teaching in the Department of Education after completing their master’s degree is still a Fellow – today, that’s over 9,000 teachers! While certification takes up to three years, many experts believe that teachers need at least five years of experience to reach their full potential as educators, and many Fellows stay well beyond five years.


On campus, veteran Fellows maximize their impact by starting clubs, serving as department chairs, running professional development sessions, traveling to conferences, writing grants, coaching sports, building their school communities, and taking on leadership positions at their schools.


Nearly 450 Fellows are even leading schools as principals and administrators. No matter where your career in the Department of Education takes you, Fellows are committed to making a long-term impact by building on the work of prior cohorts across the spectrum of subject areas, grade levels, and neighborhoods in NYC.