Career Center

Career Center

Credential Files

A Credential File contains written information about you which supports your application for teaching, school or community counseling, school administrative employment opportunities or graduate school applications.

The Career Center will help you maintain your file by updating it with new materials as they are submitted.  At your written, signed request, we will mail your file to potential employers and/or schools you choose.

Establishing a Credential File
Contents of a Credential File
What items are not considered part of my file?
Do I need a special form for my recommendation letters?
What is a Confidential Letter?
The Buckley Amendment
Ensuring the Accuracy of My Credential File

Establishing a Credential File
To establish a Credential File, complete the Registration and Release Form and send it to the Career Center, OM-013, along with the appropriate credentials which are listed below.  Registration forms can also be obtained from the Career Center office.

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Contents of a Credential File
The following items only can be placed in a Teacher’s Credential File:

  • Copy of NYS Certification 
  • Copy of NYS Certification test scores (Praxis, LSAT’s, ASTW's, Praxis, etc.) 
  • 3-5 letters of recommendation 
  • Unofficial student copy of transcripts (request from the Office of Student Records) 
  • One copy of your current resume (for office use only)

The following items only can be placed in a School or Community Counselor’s Credential File or an Administrative Credential File:

  • Copy of NYS Certification 
  • 3-5 letters of recommendation 
  • Unofficial student copy of transcripts (request from the Office of Student Records) 
  • One copy of your current resume (for office use only)

For more information on establishing a Credential File, refer to our handouts, "Job Search Guide for Teachers” or “Job Search Guide for Counselors and Administrators."

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What items are not considered part of my file?
The following items should not be placed in your file.  Instead, compile a portfolio which can be taken to interviews and used as a marketing tool to showcase your experience, training, skills, and abilities.  If any of these items are requested by an employer, it is your responsibility to provide them a copy.

  • CORSA, Violence Prevention or Fingerprinting forms or certificates 
  • Pre-student teaching assessment forms
  • Sample lesson plans, syllabi, etc. or lesson appraisal forms
  • Interim and final student teaching evaluations 
  • Newspaper articles, pictures, etc.
  • Letters from parents or students
  • Red Cross, CPR certificates, etc.

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Do I need a special form for my recommendation letters?
Not necessarily.  Letters can be printed on the recommender’s letterhead stationary or on a Career Center Letter of Recommendation form. By using the form provided by this office, the candidate can choose to either have access to the letter or to have a confidential recommendation.   In either case, a good photocopy of the recommendation is required, with the exception being confidential letters.

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What Is A Confidential Letter?
A Confidential Letter is one in which you have waived your right of access under the terms of the Buckley Amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  A confidential letter must either be printed on or attached to a signed and dated Letter of Recommendation form.

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The Buckley Amendment
The Career Center’s policy with regard to references complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

Students may waive any or all of their rights to review confidential letters of recommendation under the Act. 

  • This includes confidential letters of recommendation placed in the file prior to January 1, 1975, “provided these letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were specifically collected.”
  • Confidential letters of recommendation placed in a file after January 1, 1975 “to which the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review and that are related to the student’s application for employment or job placement.”
  • Candidates, under this law, have the right to access (to view or have copies) of all non-confidential letters of recommendation filed after January 1, 1975.

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Ensuring the Accuracy of My Credential's File
It is your responsibility to review your file and verify its completeness and accuracy, not only at the time the file is established, but throughout your job search.  If your job search takes place over an extensive period of time, if there is a significant lapse of time between requests, or if you request any changes to the contents of the file, you should again review it for completeness and accuracy.  The Career Center is not responsible for the contents and accuracy of your file.