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teacher certifcation

The Jefferson Lewis BOCES Certification Office serves as a regional office for the Office of Teaching Initiatives in the State Education Department. The Regional Office provides assistance, processes and approves* the online applications of candidates for NYS certification in the areas of teaching assistant, teaching, pupil personnel services and coaching. This service is for those residing, working or attending school within the Jefferson-Lewis or St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES service area and portions of the Franklin-Essex BOCES service area. The process must be completed online at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert. (*Final approval for certification is at the discretion of the Office of Teaching Initiatives at NYSED.)

The certification areas that cannot be evaluated through the Regional Certification Office include ESOL, Interstate Reciprocity, Bilingual, Occupational Education, SDA, certificates for persons with foreign credentials or those who are not citizens of the United States. However, you may ask this office to forward all materials to the State Education Department on your behalf.

Be advised that your certification to work in the public schools is your responsibility. Be sure to know when your present certification will expire and what is required to obtain the next level of your certification.

To be fair to all, all applications are handled in the order they are submitted, paid for and all proper documentation is received. Lack of planning only creates stress for you. You will still have to wait for the application to appear in the work queue, and for the evaluator to then review and process the applications. Once this material is evaluated and if the candidate meets the New York State certification requirements, the recommendation for certification is forwarded to the State Education Department. When an individual does not meet requirements, a formal evaluation of the applicant’s credentials showing specific deficiencies is provided by the regional office


Office Locations:  

Appointments are recommended.  Our Watertown office at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES campus is open during normal business hours, M-F, 7:00 am-3:30 pm and appointments can be made there at (315) 779-7020 or emailing jlbcertification@boces.com.  We also have satellite locations that will be staffed on the scheduled days at the following locations in 2018-19.  

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES   (December 21, January 17, February 14, March 8 & 21, April 5 & 17, May 10 & 23, June 13)

40 W. Main Street

Canton, NY 13617

(315) 386-4504 x10158


Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES

North Franklin Education Center  (January 18, February 15, March 22, May 24)

23 Huskie Lane

Malone, NY 12953

(518) 483-6420 x4068


Adirondack Educational Center (April 18, June 14)

711 NYS Rt. 3

Saranac Lake, NY 12983

(518) 891-1330 x2030


Transcripts and other pertinent materials should be mailed to:

Teacher Certification Office

Jefferson Lewis BOCES

20104 State Route 3

Watertown, N.Y. 13601


Ways to Prevent Delays in Certification Process

  • Official college transcripts must be sent to the entity you choose to review your application.Without official transcripts, we cannot evaluate for coursework or for your degree status.If your transcripts have transfer coursework on them, you must also request a transcript from the college you took the coursework from.
  • Make sure your transcripts are in your current name.Many colleges do not have SS#’s on their transcripts and we have no way of linking a transcript to the proper certificate application without the correct name.If your transcript does not include your ss# or date of birth, we will need a letter from the Registrar with this information included.
  • All documentation submitted to this office must include your ss# and date of birth.If it is not provided, please hand write this information on the document.Documentation received without this information will be considered “unacceptable” and will not be used.
  • Please update your information in your “Personal Profile” in TEACH regularly.It is important that we have a current name, phone number, mailing address and email address.
  • Please update your paid working experience in TEACH if you are applying for a Professional or Permanent certificate.
  • If applying via Interstate Reciprocity, you must send official transcripts as well as a copy of your current teaching license (front and back). If the back is blank, please write “this side blank” so it is known.

To view pertinent information on Fingerprinting, NYS mandated workshops, exams, professional development and links to important internet resources for certification, please log onto www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert and refer to the Topics A to Z link.


Have further questions on certification, training and other procedures?  Visit the Teacher Certification Resources Page