New Certification Requirements for Alternate Route Teachers Hired From 2017-18 SY Onward

Sweeping changes to the state’s teacher preparation and certification requirements have caused a stir among current and prospective New Jersey teachers. Some of the changes are minor while others will make a big difference in terms of eligibility requirements, the length of the process and exit requirements. Let’s take a look at the changes you should know about going into September 2017. By learning about the changes now, alternate route teachers and their employing districts can be prepared to meet New Jersey’s revised requirements.

Changes to requirements for receiving Certificate of Eligibility (CE) in NJ

Now through July 31st
24 hours of formal preservice instruction must be completed

Effective September 2017
24 hour preservice course no longer required
Candidates must fulfill all other requirements to be eligible for a CE

Changes to requirements for receiving Provisional Certification in NJ

Now through July 31st
Preservice requirement included in CE procurement process
Enroll in 1-year 200-290 hour alternate route program

Effective September 2017
50 hours of preservice included in Provisional Certificate procurement process
Enroll in 2-year 350 hour alternate route program

Changes to requirements for receiving Standard Teaching License in NJ

Now through July 31st
Complete 1-year 200-290 hour alternate route program

Effective September 2017
Complete 2-year 350 hour alternate route program
Pass EdTPA performance assessment

With so many changes, you may be wondering what’s staying the same. Many things aren’t changing. Alternate route candidates must still have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Passing score requirements related to the Praxis II examination, CORE/Basic Skills examination & Hygiene test remain the same as they were in the 2016-2017 school year. District registration of alternate route teachers with the NJ Department of Education and mentoring provisions are still requirements for the process. 

For alternate route candidates who have yet to enter the classroom, it’s relatively easy to understand how the new requirements for receiving CEs, Provisional Certificates and Standard Teaching Licenses will affect you. For current holders of CEs or Provisional Certificates, the new certification requirements taking effect this September introduce more complexities. In the next segment of our series on NJ teacher certification requirements, we will direct our guidance towards alternate route candidates who’ve been teaching for less than two years and must transition from the old system to meet the new state requirements.

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.