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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to take or do for initial certification?

  1. New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) series:

    Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST)

    Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W) *There are two versions of the ATS-W: elementary and secondary. (Candidates for K-12 art certificate may select either version and we do not have a recommendation as to which to take.)

    Content Specialty Test (CST) - Visual Arts

    EdTPA – conducted during the student teaching experience and involves videotaping one’s teaching and writing a narrative analysis. 
  2. Five seminars
  3. Fingerprinting


When should I take the tests?

Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST)
Sophomore or beginning of junior year, after completion of most of the basic liberal art and sciences courses (general education classes).

Assessment of Teaching Skills -Written (ATS-W)
The department encourages AED majors to take the ATS-W while enrolled in AED302W. If you do not achieve a passing score, you will then have your student teaching semester to re-take the ATS-W prior to your job search.

Content Specialty Test (CST)
End of junior year when you have completed the majority of your studios and all art history courses.

NYSTCE tests are scheduled across New York State four or five times each year. Please obtain a NYSTCE Registration Bulletin from the department office, the Teacher Certification Office, or the Career Development Center

A preparation guide is available for each test in the NYSTCE program. Preparation Guides can be purchased at bookstores, or can be viewed or downloaded (at no charge) at Each preparation guide contains information about the tests, test objectives, and sample questions.

Executed during the student teaching semester.

What are the required seminars?

  1. S.A.V.E (School Anti-Violence Education Workshop)
  2. Child Abuse Identification Workshop
  3. Drug and Alcohol Awareness Seminar
  4. Fire and Arson Safety Seminar
  5. Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention Workshop (DASA)

Where can I take them?

Training in the S.A.V.E., Fire and Arson, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and DASA workshops:

Training in the Child Abuse Identification workshop:

  • In person, off campus: Call your local BOCES office.
  • Online:

Registration forms are available in the department office (Upton Hall 402) or in the Continuing Professional Studies Office (Cleveland Hall 210).

The next level of certification is referred to as professional, which also requires three years of full-time teaching and a masters degree in a related field.


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Art & Design Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Upton Hall 402 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6032 •  Fax: (716) 878-4231