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New Jersey Teacher Certification - Alternate Route

Whether you have always wanted to be a teacher or are considering a career change, this article can help. We will look at the step-by-step path to alternate teacher certification in New Jersey.

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There are two primary certificates for teachers in New Jersey: the Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS). The CEAS is the common certification for teachers, while the CE is the alternate route for teacher certification. Below, we'll look at the steps needed to earn alternative teacher certification in the Garden state.

Requirements for New Jersey Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2017)* $40,110 (Preschool), $69,500 (Elementary School), $71,450 (Middle School), $70,930 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), Writing (5722), and Mathematics (5732)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Obtain a CE

The Certificate of Eligibility (CE) is granted to those who have a bachelor's degree and would like to teach but have not completed a professional teacher preparation program. You'll still be required to complete all the CE requirements that other teachers are expected to pass. These include a bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. The degree program you take should include at least 30 credits in the subject you wish to teach. If you wish to teacher elementary school, then 60 credit hours must be in the liberal arts. You should also consider taking a biology or health course to meet the health and physiology requirement that a CE requires.

You will then need to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. There are three exams that will test your knowledge at the basic level for math, reading, and writing. This can also be proven by scoring in the top one-third percentile on the SAT, ACT, or GRE. However, taking the Praxis exam is the more traditional route. You must earn a score of 150 for the math subtest, 156 for the reading subtest and 162 for the writing subtest.

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Step 2: Enter the Provisional Teacher Program

Once you have a CE, you can then seek employment with a school district. After having done this, the school must submit your name for the Provisional Teacher Preparation (PTP) program. You cannot be enrolled until you have taught for 50 hours. The PTP is good for two years while you complete all other requirements.

Step 3: Be Evaluated and Educated

Once you are in a PTP program, you'll need to be evaluated. This will be done over a minimum of 30 weeks by a licensed teacher in that school district. There are forms to be filled out during the assessment period that will show whether or not you are demonstrating the required skills for provisional teachers. Through the New Jersey Department of Education, mentor teachers can use the AcheiveNJ evaluation system for provisional teachers.

Along with being evaluated, you'll need to finish a New Jersey-approved CE preparation program. Many colleges offer these and provide coursework in the specific endorsement in which you would like to teach. For instance, some schools offer early childhood education or chemistry endorsement programs, while others provide a generic alternative route program. The State of New Jersey Department of Education Alternate Route webpage has the specific education hours and requirements needed for each type of teacher; however, most often you will need at least 200 hours of formal education in the area you want endorsement in.

Certification Resources for New Jersey Teachers

Though you may not find yourself taking a content knowledge test immediately, you will need to sit for the Praxis Core Academic Skills exams. Here, we've include a couple of links that can help you get ready for any Praxis exam that may fall in your path.

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