Jul 17, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2013-2014 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Secondary Education, Adv. Cert.

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Professor Singer, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-5853

The advanced certificate program in secondary education is a 25 s.h. non-degree granting program leading to initial New York state certification necessary for secondary school and vocational secondary school teachers. Students are required to have a major or equivalent (a minimum of 36 s.h.) in appropriate content area (or related area) during either their undergraduate or graduate study. Secondary education certification programs are offered in business, English, languages other than English (Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish), mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, physics, earth science), and social studies.

In subsequent paragraphs the standard requirements and options are outlined. Substitutions will be permitted with advisement where, in the light of the student’s background and academic preparation other courses are seen by the department to be appropriate.

Application for admission to the certificate program in secondary education is made to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Students who have not met the full admission requirements may be advised to complete prerequisite courses under a planned program before the certificate is granted.

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a candidate’s potential or success in a graduate program. Consequently, candidates are welcome to apply if they do not meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience may compensate.

A maximum of 6 graduate credits may be transferred into programs with the permission of the program graduate director.

On average, students complete this program in two academic years.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria, including the following:

  1. A completed application form to the program.
  2. A bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree (or its equivalent) in the content area (or related content area)in which certification will be sought.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 in each of two categories:
    1. undergraduate liberal arts course work,
    2. course work in the area(s) in which certification is sought. Applicants with GPAs between 2.50 and 2.75 may be accepted provisionally, subject to special conditions.
  4. A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.
  5. Two letters of reference that address the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching profession and in graduate course work.
  6. An interview and/or portfolio are required for some content areas.

Language other than English majors must submit satisfactory scores on the departmental proficiency examination or equivalent in the language for which certification is sought. Before completion of the first 12 credits of the program it is recommended that students complete the liberal arts component of the teacher certification examinations.

General Education Prerequisites

  1. Three semester hours introductory Psychology of equivalent or established competency in the field.
  2. Meet the requirements of the general education for initial certification.

Content Area Requirements in Area of Specialization

Business Education:

  • 36 s.h. in business related course work including accounting, business law, business policy, computer tools in business, economics, ethics, finance, international business, management, marketing, quantitative  methods, and political science or equivalents or established competency in the field.

English Education:

  • 36 s.h. in English course work including English language, linguistics or general language, American Literature, English Literature and World Literature or equivalents or established competency in the field.

Foreign Language Education:

  • 36 s.h. in Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish in college-level course work above level four in the respective language including course work in the following areas: culture and civilization, conversation, grammar, composition and a minimum of 9 s.h. in literature or equivalents or established competency in the field.

    Candidates who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in a foreign language and are native speakers or skilled and proficient in languages other than English may demonstrate their knowledge in an alternative manner. Candidates can earn a maximum of 30 semester hours of credit toward the content core by passing both the oral (OPI*) and written (WPT*) proficiency portions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) examination. To pass these two examinations, candidates must be placed in Advanced high or Superior in both the OPI and the WPT. As stated in the summary of the American Council on Education (ACE) for Official ACTFL Ratings, the levels Advanced High or Superior in OPI and WPT are worth the equivalent of 14 semester hours each. Please note that these two exams are proctored on campus by a program director in the content area.

    In order to fulfill the 36 semester hours requirement in the target language, candidates must take an additional 8 credits on the undergraduate level in the content area above level 4 distributed over the following areas:
    • Culture/civilization – minimum 2-3 s.h.
    • Grammar – 1-3 s.h.
    • Literature – 1-3 s.h.

    Students who wish to fulfill the credits mentioned above off campus must first seek approval from the director of program support in the School of Education .

    *Candidates seeking certification in Chinese or Mandarin meet the content requirements by taking a combination of Mandarin/Chinese OPI and WPT ACTFL exams.

Mathematics Education:

  • 36 s.h. in college-level mathematics including course work in differential and integral calculus, higher algebra, higher geometry, discrete or finite mathematics, applied mathematics, probability/statistics, or equivalents or established competency in the field.

Science Education: 30 s.h. in one content area for which certification is sought (below).

  • Geology (Earth Science): Including course work in historical and physical geology or equivalents or established competency in the field and additional course work in chemistry, physics, biology and calculus-based mathematics or equivalents or established competency in the field.
  • Biology: Including course work in general biology, genetics, comparative anatomy, general ecology, invertebrate zoology, and plant physiology or equivalents or established competency in the field and additional course work in chemistry, physics, geology (earth science) and calculus-based mathematics or equivalents or established competency in the field.
  • Chemistry: Including inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, and physical chemistry or equivalents or established competency in the field and additional course work in geology (earth science), physics, biology and calculus-based mathematics or equivalents or established competency in the field.
  • Physics: Including general physics, electricity and magnetism, modem physics, optics, thermodynamics, mechanics, and quantum mechanics or equivalents or established competency in the field and additional course work in geology (earth science), chemistry, biology and calculus-based mathematics or equivalents or established competency in the field.

Social Studies Education:

  • 36 s.h. in history and the social sciences with a minimum of 18 s.h. in history or its equivalent and 3 s.h. in political science (American Government), 3 s.h in geography, and 3 s.h. in economics or equivalents or established competency in the field.

NOTE:  Students can establish some competency by documenting competency via portfolio.

*Required of all students seeking certification in any of the sciences.

Program Requirements - Semester Hours: 25

Introductory Courses - Semester Hours: 6

General Methods Courses - Semester Hours: 6

Special Methods Courses - Semester Hours: 4**

SED 290-296, SED 290L-296L (4 s.h.) Content Area Teaching Methods
(See footnote**)

Student Teaching and Required Seminars - Semester Hours: 9

Matriculated students must complete the 25 s.h. certificate program in residence at Hofstra. Student Teaching may be used to meet the 25s.h. residency.  A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading to the M.S. in Education degree may be completed prior to matriculation in the program.  Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to remain in the program. Courses in which students receive grades below C- confer no credit toward the graduate program but are included in determining grade point average.

Field Experiences Prior to Student Teaching

At least one field placement must be in a district identified as high-needs by the New York State Education Department. All field experiences are incorporated into course curricula. Students enrolled in SPED 201/264 are placed in educational settings to work with students who have special needs or disabilities. A minimum of 100 clock-hours of participation/observation is required prior to student teaching. Placements are arranged by the Office of Field Placement. Departmental policy is to place prospective teachers in districts other than those in which they currently reside or in schools that they attended.

Student Teaching Prerequisites

Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SED 217, or Supervised Teaching, SED 218, when they have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Completion of SED 213, 264, 290-296L Special Methods Series,  LYST 209/215A/217A, and SPED 201/264 with a B or higher.
  2. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in graduate course work.

Applications are obtainable from the Office of Field Placement and are due on May 1 for the succeeding spring semester and February 15 for the succeeding fall semester.

Completion Requirements

  1. Completion of all General Education prerequisites.
  2. Completion of all program area requirements.
  3. Completion of all content area requirements.
  4. Completion of the 25 s.h. course requirement in the certificate program.
  5. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and no grades below B.
  6. An electronic portfolio, illustrating the student’s education course work and professional accomplishments.
  7. All course work taken in satisfaction of the program requirements must have been completed within a 5 year period.


Course requires participation/observation in designated schools.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.

All prospective early childhood (Birth-Grade 2), childhood (Grades 1-6), adolescent (Grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., For state certification requirements, students should consult with the Office of Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study.

We anticipate that teacher and school building leader candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014, will be required to take certain new exams. Candidates who graduate and apply for certification on or before April 30, 2014, but do not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, will also be required to pass the new exams. Candidates will not be permitted to mix and match examinations from the old and new tests. Please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at Hofstra University at 516-463-5747 or consult the state website.

In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:

  1. Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
  2. Fire and Arson Prevention
  3. School Violence Prevention and Intervention
  4. Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
  5. Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
  6. Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.

Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.

Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.

Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and perspective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprinting can be completed through Hofstra University using LIVESCAN technology, arranged by the Office of Educational Support Services each semester. You may contact us at 516-463-5747 or visit Hagedorn Hall, Room 129. You may also register online. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification.

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