New Jersey Middle School Social Studies Certification

Mar 05, 2018

Middle school social studies teachers in New Jersey need an academic foundation in various areas of social studies, including history, geography and government. They must also meet the Praxis testing requirements for their certification type.

New Jersey middle school social studies teachers typically instruct students in grades 6, 7 and 8. This state pays the fifth-highest average salary to middle school teachers in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, and the higher salaries may be a reason to pursue a career teaching in New Jersey.

New Jersey Middle School Social Studies Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Middle School Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $71,000
Required Degree Bachelor's degree in Education
Degree Field Elementary Education or Social Studies
Testing Requirements edTPA; Praxis Content Area Test; Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Before entering a teacher preparation program in New Jersey, applicants must meet the minimum score requirements on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam or show acceptable scores on the GRE, ACT, or SAT. The Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) is the standard teacher certification in this state. In order to be eligible for the CEAS applicants need to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university through an approved teacher preparation program. CEAS applicants must take a course in child and early adolescent development, in addition to a course that satisfies their physiology and hygiene requirement if they have not completed military training. Courses in nutrition, biology or health may be used to satisfy this requirement. Teacher preparation programs include practical student teaching assignments and education pedagogy courses that ensure teachers have the academic foundation needed to enter the field of education.

In order to fulfill the requirements for co-certification needed to teach social studies in middle school, social studies teachers must either complete 60 credits in liberal arts to qualify for co-certification for elementary school teaching or they must complete 30 social studies credits. No less than 12 of these credits must be at the junior, senior or graduate level and 15 credits must focus on history. The history courses taken must include a World history class and an American history course. Education pedagogy courses cannot be used to satisfy these requirements.

A 3.0 GPA is the standard expected for aspiring teachers. Those who earn a GPA of 2.75 can still qualify for teacher certification with higher Praxis test scores.

Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

CEAS applicants must take the edTPA. This is an evaluation of the individual's practical teaching skills.

For the 2017-2018 school year, CEAS applicants must complete the edTPA but have no passing score requirement they need to meet. Those who take the test during the 2018-2019 school year must score within one standard error below the national average passing score. As of the 2019-2020 school year New Jersey will introduce their own passing score requirements for the edTPA.

Step 3: Pass Praxis Content Area Test

In order to qualify for certification in New Jersey, middle school social studies teachers must pass a Praxis test related to the subject area in which they plan to teach. Those taking the Middle School Social Studies test normally need to earn 158 or more. Those taking the Elementary Education: Multiple Subject exam must earn at least a score of 157. In some cases, a combination of the Praxis score and a student's GPA will be considered.

Step 4: Apply For Certification

Applicants must complete the required form and supply the documentation required to establish that they meet New Jersey's certification requirements. A fee of $170 must also be paid when applying for certification.

Teacher Certification Resources

Aspiring middle school social studies teachers can prepare for the certification tests by using the study guide materials available through these links.

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