African-American teacher in elementary school classroom.
What is TeachNY?

What is SUNY TeachNY Policy on Educator Preparation?

The SUNY TeachNY Policy—developed from recommendations of the TeachNY Steering Committee—was adopted by the Board of Trustees in June 2017 as a means to update the previous educator preparation policy that had been in place since 2001. Through its core principles, the policy affirms SUNY’s tradition of, and ongoing commitment to, excellence in the preparation of P-12 teachers and school leaders. The policy framework, which establishes expectations for campuses and System Administration to work collaboratively to implement a new standard of excellence, is organized around four key areas: recruitment and selection of excellent candidates for the profession; preparation of excellent educators through rigorous academic study and clinical practice; provision of excellent professional support throughout the continuum of practice; and, demonstration of program excellence and impact on professional practice.


TeachNY emerged in spring 2014 through the leadership of then SUNY Chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher. The multi-phase effort was initially supported by a New York State Education Department (NYSED) grant funded through Race to the Top.

In Phase I, the TeachNY Advisory Council was convened. This group included a wide array of state and national education leaders who worked together to begin to identify challenges and best practices for educator preparation. On May 18, 2016, the TeachNY Advisory Council Report of Findings and Recommendations was released, in which five priority areas were identified: recruitment, selection, and cultural competence; curricular design, pre-service education, simultaneous renewal, and related partnerships; induction, continuing professional development, and teacher leadership; evaluation and assessment; and, sustainable infrastructure.

Upon the release of the Advisory Council Report, Phase I concluded and Phase II commenced with a focus on the development of the SUNY TeachNY Policy and a companion statewide campaign for educator preparation.

The statewide campaign began in May 2016 with the first in a series of regional meetings that brought together educators to discuss ideas from the Advisory Council Report within the context of local challenges and possibilities. This campaign also included the formation of the TeachNY Roundtable, which was led by Chancellor Zimpher and NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and comprised of representatives from key stakeholder groups who could chart a course forward for educator preparation policy statewide. 

Phase III began with the adoption of the SUNY TeachNY Policy, which shifted the focus across SUNY from policy development to policy implementation. Reaching beyond SUNY, the TeachNY Roundtable that had formed during Phase II served as the springboard for the New York State Teacher Table first convened in April 2018 with the intent to develop an action plan focused on teacher recruitment and retention.


While attracting and retaining excellent teachers and leaders is a challenge for all New York State, indeed, the entire nation, SUNY is uniquely positioned to address the challenge at an unmatchable scale. SUNY has the capacity to reach into communities to expand the relationships and further develop the partnerships that are necessary for change.

And beyond SUNY and its leadership are the partnership and commitment of New York State’s leadership and citizenry—no other state can match New York’s commitment to excellence in education.