How To Be a Teacher IN NJ: Overview of Requirements and Programs

Jan 02, 2019

Aspiring teachers in New Jersey must meet requirements necessary to obtain a state teaching license. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) ensures that candidates complete an approved training program and pass exams to demonstrate they have the necessary skills. Below is an overview of schools offering training programs for aspiring educators.

Teacher Training Programs in NJ

Aspiring elementary and secondary school teachers typically start by earning a bachelor's degree in a teaching content area, in addition to taking education courses and completing field experiences. Content areas for prospective elementary school teachers may include social studies, language arts, math and science. Chemistry, English literature and history are among the content areas for students looking to become secondary school teachers. Several schools in New Jersey offer such programs, including:

  • The College of New Jersey offers a pair of bachelor's degrees in elementary education and early childhood education.
  • Rutgers University features a 5-year program that results in both a bachelor's and master's degree.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring teachers should consider several factors when choosing a school, like enrollment numbers, tuition charges and acceptance rates. These figures, as well as other considerations, can be found in the table below.

The College of New Jersey Rutgers University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 7,552 49,577
Campus Setting Large Suburb Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $16,149 (in-state)
$27,578 (out-of-state)
$14,638 (in-state)
$30,579 (out-of-state)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 79% 69%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 48% 58%
Retention Rate (2016)* 94% for full-time students 94% for full-time students
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011)* 87% 80%

Source: NCES College Navigator

The College of New Jersey

The Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at TCNJ offers aspiring teachers two different bachelor's degree programs, one for elementary education and the other in early childhood education. There are also 5-year combined bachelor's and master's degree programs in urban education as well as deaf and special education.

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

The Elementary Education program provides students with a diverse and comprehensive learning experience. Students are considered dual majors, and must select one of 12 approved majors to double major in. Classroom instruction focuses on childhood development, social studies, and integrated learning. In addition to traditional learning, students in this program also learn by observing elementary school classrooms and students in their senior year will teach their own courses under the supervision of a licensed teacher. The teaching component can be completed locally.

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

This program aims to develop both teaching skills as well as students' own knowledge. Students are considered dual majors and must select one of 12 approved majors to go along with the education portion. Courses in this program ensure that students have a solid grasp of essential subjects such as math, science, and literacy. After ensuring that students understand these topics, instruction shifts to the teaching of these skills, as students learn fundamental teaching skills. Students gain hands-on experience by observing licensed instructors and teaching their own courses.

Rutgers University

Students looking for a more rigorous education can enroll at Rutgers University, which offers a hybrid program that awards both a bachelor's and master's degree.

5-Year Elementary Education Certification Program

Students looking to save time can enroll in this program, which awards a pair of degrees in less time. The 5-year teacher education program results in a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and initial teacher certification. Undergraduate students begin with preliminary coursework during their early years, and then complete a professional education sequence in their senior year. After completing undergraduate education, students immediately continue their education with graduate coursework. Graduate students also must finish a student-teaching internship and a field-based research project before earning the degree.

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