What Next: A Guide For Alternate Route Candidates Transitioning To The NJDOE SY 2017 Certification Requirements

NJ teaching certification requirement changes taking effect this fall, September 2017, has introduced complexities for alternate route candidates who’ve already begun teaching in the classroom. Alternate route candidates who’ve been teaching for less than two years must transition from the old system to meet New Jersey’s new state requirements. Consult this simple explanation of the NJ teaching certification requirements affecting candidates in the process of earning CEs, Provisional Certificates and Standard Teaching Licenses.

Certificate of Eligibility (CE) Holders:

  • Can roll over 24 hours of pre-professional training completed at any alternate route teacher training program to the new system
  • Must procure Verification of Completion of 50-Hour Pre-professional Training after satisfying the requirements with an approved provider for Alternate Route teacher training
  • May seek employment with a district with just a CE; however, 50-Hour pre-professional training must be completed prior to assuming classroom responsibilities
  • Should enroll in a 2-year 350 hour alternate route program once issued a contract by the hiring district or charter school.
  • Having already completed 50 hours of preprofessional training under past state requirements, CE holders will be eligible to receive provisional certificates

Provisional License Holders who have taught for 2 school years or more, and completed the 200-290 hours of formal instruction previously required, by July 31, 2017:

  • Won’t need to transition to the new program requirements even if still completing standard certificate requirements, including mentoring and evaluation
  • Must receive 2 years of effective ratings
  • Can apply for Standard Teaching Licenses without enrolling in the new program

Provisional License Holders who’ve taught for less than 2 school years and completed all coursework:

  • Must teach through the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years
  • Must receive 2 years of effective ratings
  • Can apply for Standard Teaching Licenses upon completion of their second year


Provisional License Holders who've taught for less than 2 school years but did not complete all coursework:

  • Can roll over 50-100 hours of formal instruction from any old alternate route teacher training program to the new system. These candidates may also receive 100-Hours of course credit for at the discretion of the CE-Educator Preparation Provider
  • Must teach through the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years
  • Must receive a passing mark on the edTPA performance assessment by May 2019


Has anything stayed the same?

In order to receive a Standard Teaching License in New Jersey, provisional license holders are still required to have accepted an employment offer, enrolled in an alternate route program and district mentoring program, and received at least 2 years of effective ratings in a 3- year period.

Alternate route teacher training programs are mandated by NJ state law to include two years of formal instruction including both the pre-professional and in-service component, as of the 2017 school year. In-service instruction now includes 350 hours of coursework as compared to previous requirements of 200-290 hours of learning. These new regulations extend the process for attaining standard teaching licenses in NJ, allowing candidates more valuable time to develop their professional practice and improve in doing what they love— teaching.

Alternate route teacher training programs remain the most affordable and quickest pathway to becoming a certificated teacher. Compared to college credit-bearing programs, traditional alternate route programs promote teacher diversity by making the profession accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Rutgers CESP’s Alternate Route program—offered through the largest, preeminent institution for higher education in New Jersey—is uniquely committed to upskilling candidates with professional development, digital resourcefulness and teacher leadership techniques. As such, our guiding principles remain the same: to prepare candidates for more than their teaching certificate—we prepare candidates to become certified leaders.

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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.