Chancellor Zimpher Announces TeachNY Policy To Achieve A Higher Standard of Excellence In Teacher Preparation

June 13, 2017

TeachNY Aligns with State & Federal Efforts as New York Faces Shortage

SUNY Board of Trustees Slated To Adopt Policy June 21

New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that the SUNY Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee has approved TeachNY policy that will guide future efforts by SUNY System and each of its 64 campuses to achieve a higher standard of excellence in educator preparation and support to address the state’s immediate and long-term workforce needs.

The policy, which will replace SUNY’s 2001 policy on educator preparation and aligns with state and federal efforts such as Governor Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission and the Every Student Succeeds Act, will be considered by the Board of Trustees for final approval at its June 21 meeting.

“Upon approval by the Board of Trustees this comprehensive policy in place, SUNY is in a stronger position than ever before to ensure an excellent teacher workforce for New York,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “The process by which we have arrived at this critical update to SUNY’s 16-year-old educator preparation policy has been nothing short of incredible, thanks to Chancellor Zimpher’s vision and leadership. The TeachNY policy moved by our Academic Affairs Committee today is the culmination of intense expert review at the national level as well as feedback from education leaders and stakeholders throughout SUNY, New York’s school districts, and the state’s communities.”

“There is perhaps no higher calling – no single profession that has a greater impact on quality of life and economic prosperity – than teaching; and yet today’s teachers are among the most underserved in terms of clinical preparation, professional development, and support,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Through this policy, TeachNY can and will lift up the profession while ensuring excellent teachers for New York’s classrooms at a time when students, families, schools, and communities need them most. Thank you to the thousands of New Yorkers who lent their expertise and their voice to the TeachNY movement, to Commissioner Elia for SED’s ongoing partnership, and to the SUNY trustees for their continued leadership on this important issue.”

“The Board of Regents and I view SUNY’s role in educator preparation as essential,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “Chancellor Zimpher and I have traveled the State and met with over 1,000 state and national experts and practitioners to learn how – working together – the State Education Department and SUNY can improve the way we prepare, support, and retain teachers in New York. The result of that work is embodied in the TeachNY policy that will guide our efforts to improve teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the State.”

“This policy establishes a new standard for excellence in educator preparation that advances the strong work underway at SUNY campuses today and also rightly elevates the teaching profession,” said Alexander N. Cartwright, SUNY Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. “The policy is consistent with SUNY’s statutory charge to provide programs that meet New York State needs and once again puts SUNY at the forefront of academic policy development. My thanks to Chancellor Zimpher and Commissioner Elia for being tremendous champions of this effort and to all of the faculty, students, staff and administrators who provided input on this policy.”

Launched in May 2016 by Chancellor Zimpher and Commissioner Elia, TeachNY is a movement to lift up the teaching profession and ensure that New York and the nation will have the high quality educators needed for the future. TeachNY policy affirms a set of core principles that reflect SUNY’s tradition of and ongoing commitment to excellence in educator preparation and includes a framework of excellence organized around four major components, as follows:

Recruitment and Selection of Excellent Candidates for the Profession
  • Recruit a diverse and talented pool of prospective teachers and school leaders by leveraging partnerships within and across SUNY campuses and between SUNY and P-12 schools and community-based organizations.
  • Maintain high standards for admission into SUNY’s educator preparation programs while also providing flexibility such as a path for candidates who do not meet admissions standards upon first application, but who demonstrate potential to do so with additional transitional supports.
Excellent Educator Preparation through Rigorous Academic Study and Clinical Practice
  • Ensure the development of deep content and pedagogical knowledge and skills by providing rigorous clinical experiences throughout the curriculum with accomplished practitioners in diverse settings.
  • Provide access to laboratories in which candidates can practice their skills as educators, prior to and concurrent with experience in P-12 schools.
  • Provide culminating clinical experiences, ideally over a full school year, through affiliations such as residency programs.
  • Establish or build on existing formal clinical faculty appointments, such as joint (including courtesy) appointments between P-12 and higher education, to connect expert educators in the field with SUNY campuses.
  • Strengthen and expand collaborative program offerings to increase access and promote quality.
Excellent Professional Support throughout the Continuum of Practice
  • Facilitate closer collaboration between P-12 and higher education through increased exchanges of teachers, school leaders, and higher education faculty.
  • Engage P-12 partners in the design and implementation of induction programs for new teachers and school leaders, as well as offerings for advanced practitioners.
  • Foster a culture of professional advancement and ongoing support programs.
Demonstrating Program Excellence and Impact on Professional Practice
  • Collaborate with SED, New York State Department of Labor, Regional Information Centers, and other partners in the development of a valid, reliable, and secure P-20 data system necessary for effective program assessment and planning.
  • Cultivate network improvement communities, within and across campuses, as well as with P-12 educators, to conduct collaborative and collegial peer assessment of program outcomes for the purpose of improving practices across all campuses.
  • Draw on programmatic distinctions and areas of expertise to serve in leadership roles within SUNY and nationally to advance education as a practice profession and inform ongoing policy changes.

TeachNY policy was developed through a comprehensive and inclusive process, including a review of the current landscape by state and national experts who comprised the TeachNY Advisory Council, a statewide listening tour in which Chancellor Zimpher and Commissioner Elia received input from teachers, faculty, students, and communities across New York, a Statewide Roundtable comprised of New York’s leaders in the field, and a TeachNY Steering Committee led by Provost Cartwright that ultimately incorporated feedback from these efforts as it developed the new policy.

Throughout the process, TeachNY has garnered widespread support from participants, stakeholders, and editorial boards from throughout the state.

To learn more about TeachNY, visit


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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