New Jersey requires educator certification for any professional staff member employed in New Jersey public schools or any institution under the supervision of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), including charter schools, county vocational-technical school districts, special services school districts, NJDOE-approval private schools for students with disabilities, or educational facilities within the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Justice Commission and the Department of Human Services. Candidates looking to pursue the Alternate Route pathway to teaching can follow the 3 Step Certification Process outlined below.
Certification of Eligibility Requirements
Certificate of Eligibility (CE)
Step One: Establish Eligibility: Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CE)
In order to begin the Alternate Route process, a candidate must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) in a particular instructional area. The CE authorizes an individual to seek and accept employment in New Jersey public schools. Please see the link below for additional information on instructional certificates in New Jersey.
Please note that individuals seeking a P-3, English as a Second Language (ESL), Bilingual/Bicultural, and Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TSD) will have additional requirements:
- P-3: Applicants who hold a CE in Preschool through Grade 3 are required to attend a State approved Preschool through Grade 3 program consisting of a minimum of 24 semester hour credits to secure full licensure. If you plan to seek work in New Jersey under a P-3 CE and complete the 24 semester hour credits while working under provisional licensure, you must enroll in a Department approved New Jersey college or university program.
- ESL: Applicants who hold a CE in English as a Second Language and accept employment into a teaching position requiring the certificate must enroll in a Department-approved ESL program at a New Jersey institution program consisting of 15 to 21 credit hours of formal instruction while employed provisionally to secure standard licensure.
- Bilingual: A candidate who holds a CE in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and accepted employment into a teaching position requiring the certificate must enroll in a Department approved New Jersey college Bilingual/Bicultural program that includes 12 credit hours of formal instruction while employed provisionally to secure full licensure.
- TSD: Applicants who hold a CE in Special Education are required to attend a Special Education program consisting of 21-27 semester hour credits to secure full licensure. If you plan to seek work in Special Education while working under your TOSD CE/Provisional certificate, you must enroll in a Special Education program at a regionally accredited New Jersey college or university.
Step Two: Gain Employment and Begin the Provisional Teacher Process
Prior to Employment
In addition to obtaining a CE, candidates must complete a 50-Hour Preservice Teacher Training Course prior to seeking employment. Candidates are required to provide their district with a Verification of Program Completion (VOPC) form, which is provided by the training provider once the course is completed.
Once employment has been secured, it is the responsibility of the hiring school district to enroll the teacher into the Provisional Teacher Process. Once hired, it is the responsibility of a school district to request a provisional certificate on your behalf.
- This certificate legalizes employment for a newly hired teacher after the teacher obtains a Certificate of Eligibility (CE).
- This certificate is valid for up to two years and expires on July 31 of the second year.
- The provisional certificate can be renewed one time if standard requirements have not yet been met by the expiration date.
Once hired, an Alternate Route candidate must enroll to an approved Certificate Eligibility Program Provider to accrue an additional 350 hours of formal training and instruction.
Step Three: Becoming Permanently Certified
The standard certificate is a permanent certificate issued to a teacher who has met all requirements for state certification. The district/school will request the issuance of a standard teaching certificate upon successful completion of the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP).
Note: A candidate cannot apply for the standard certificate; this certificate is requested by a school district.
To receive a standard certificate, the following must occur:
- District/school verified mentoring completion in NJEdCert.
- District/school submitted the final summative ratings for each school year in NJEdCert.
- Certificate of Eligibility Educator Preparation Program (CE EPP) submitted the appropriate Verification of Program Completion form.
- Educator completed an Oath of Allegiance and submitted payment in NJEdCert once recommended by district/school.