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.
Applications for admission to this advanced certificate program are made to the Office of Graduate Admission. 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.
Matriculated students must complete the entire 25 s.h. advanced certificate program in-residence at Hofstra.
On average, students complete this program in two academic years.
Admission is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria. The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Students may consider applying even if they fail to meet one of the GPA or testing criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate.
- A completed application form to the program.
- 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.
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on undergraduate course work.
- A minimum GPA of 2.75 on course work in the content area in which certification is being sought.
- Submission of scores on a nationally-normed graduate admission test.*
- A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.
- Two letters of reference that address the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching profession and in graduate course work.
- 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.
*Please consult with the director of the program to determine which test would be best suited to you. Examples of such tests include, but are not limited to, the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the GRE general test or the relevant GRE subject exam (if appropriate to your intended area of certification).
General Education Prerequisites
- Three semester hours introductory Psychology of equivalent or established competency in the field.
- Meet the requirements of the general education (see below) for initial certification.
General Education Core Requirements
In order to ensure that prospective teachers have a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, all students must have completed undergraduate course work from each of the content areas below.
- Artistic Expression/Humanities (3 s.h.)
- Communication (3 s.h.)
- Information Retrieval or placement exam (0-3 s.h.)
- Concepts in History/Social Science (3 s.h.)
- Language other than English (3 s.h.)
- Scientific Processes (3 s.h.)
- Mathematical Processes (3 s.h.)
- Literature, Analysis and Written Expression (6 s.h.)
Course work for the general education core in the liberal arts and sciences must have a GPA of 2.75 or above with no grades below a C-.
Please note that programs may have general education requirements that exceed the minimum registered with the state. Degrees will not be conferred unless all general education core deficiencies have been met.
Content Area Requirements in Area of Specialization
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Student Teaching and Corequisite Seminar - Semester Hours: 9
Student Teaching may be used to meet the 25 s.h. residency. 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:
- Completion of SED 213, 264, 290-296L Special Methods Series, LYST 209/215A/217A, and SPED 201/264 with a B or higher.
- 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 of all General Education prerequisites.
- Completion of all program area requirements.
- Completion of all content area requirements.
- Completion of the 25 s.h. course requirement in the certificate program.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and no grades below B.
- An electronic portfolio, illustrating the student’s education course work and professional accomplishments.
- Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.
- All course work taken in satisfaction of the program requirements must have been completed within a five-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., including the Educating All Students Test (EAS), Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Content Specialty Test(s) (CST) and the edTPA. Prospective School Leaders will be required to take the appropriate leadership exams. For more information regarding state testing, please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at 516-463-5747 or visit www.nystce.nesinc.com.
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:
- Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- Fire and Arson Prevention
- School Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
- Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
- 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 prospective 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. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification. For information on how to register to be fingerprinted, visit http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/colleges/soeahs/CESS/cess_requirements_fingerprints.html.