New Jersey Alternative Teacher Certification
Those seeking to teach in New Jersey who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree but who have not completed a traditional teacher education program may complete an alternative teacher preparation program. An alternative program can potentially help you earn licensure on an accelerated schedule by permitting you to lead a classroom while fulfilling licensing requirements. Continue reading to learn more about how to become a teacher in New Jersey through alternative routes.
Requirements for Alternative Certification
In order to qualify for alternate route certification in New Jersey, candidates must typically have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and complete pre-service coursework. Since New Jersey uses a tiered system for teacher certification, candidates begin with a Certificate of Eligibility (CE), fulfill certain requirements under the CE, and then apply for the next stage of licensure. Candidates must complete an approved New Jersey teacher preparation program, which may lead to a certificate or a master’s degree.
Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in New Jersey
One of the requirements to move to standard licensure via an alternative route in New Jersey is the completion of a teacher preparation program, which must be from an approved provider. Other requirements vary by route and are outlined below.
Certificate of Eligibility
The Certificate of Eligibility (CE) is the alternative pathway to New Jersey teacher certification. To qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility, candidates must complete at least 24 hours of formal instruction in a Pre-service Program. Authorized Pre-service Programs are offered throughout the state. Candidates may also take equivalent coursework from an accredited New Jersey college or university. Note that no out-of-state equivalencies are recognized for the New Jersey CE pathway. You can see approved programs for each endorsement area on the New Jersey Board of Education website.
Candidates must also take and pass the appropriate Praxis content-area exams for the subject area(s) and grade level(s) to be taught. Once a CE is issued, candidates may teach while fulfilling the 200 clock-hour alternate training center program requirement.
In New Jersey, career and technical education (CTE) candidates pursuing alternate route licensure must attend the CTE certification program at Brookdale Community College. CTE teacher candidates follow the Certificate of Eligibility (CE) route as do all other alternative route educators in New Jersey. However, prospective CTE educators may use employment experience in the occupational area to be taught to supplement their application, and may only require an associate’s rather than a bachelor’s degree. In addition, if the occupational area to be taught requires a state-issued license or certificate to practice, the applicant must hold the corresponding license or certificate.
Provisional Teacher Program
After a candidate has been hired under a Certificate of Eligibility (CE), he or she is enrolled in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP). This program is a school-administered, first-year-teacher induction program, in which the new teacher participates in school-based training and mentoring, as well as evaluation by administrators. There are various requirements for formal instruction during this time, depending on which certification area is sought. Once the new teacher completes the Provisional Teacher Program and meets all other requirements for certification, he or she may apply for a permanent Standard Certificate.
Testing Requirements for New Jersey Alternative Certification
Alternative route teacher certification candidates must take and pass the Praxis II exams for the subject area(s) and grade level(s) to be taught. You can view the required exams for the endorsements you plan to pursue through the Praxis website. Candidates must also pass a criminal history records check through the Office of Student Protection (OSP).
Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State
For teachers who have active out-of-state certification, reciprocity in New Jersey may be possible provided that applicants meet the same requirements as traditional-route educators in New Jersey. This includes completing the New Jersey Provisional Teacher Program (PTP) through the hiring school district and passing the appropriate Praxis II exams. For more information on reciprocity, visit our interstate reciprocity resource or contact the New Jersey Department of Education.
- State of New Jersey Department of Education Certificate of Eligibility (CE) Programs: Directory of approved alternate route programs in New Jersey with additional information on requirements.
- New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ): Official site for the NPTNJ alternate route program.
- Teacher Certification Reciprocity Guide: State-by-state guidelines for certification by reciprocity for educators who are already licensed in one state and are looking to move to another.
Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in New Jersey
Because the alternative certification process is complex, we have researched and provided specific school programs below for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and want to become a teacher. We recommend you request information from one or more of these specific programs:
1. New Jersey State Department of Education: https://www.state.nj.us/education/