New Jersey Department of Education

DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Certification & Induction

Chapter 9: A One-Stop Reference To Policies, Regulations And Implementation

Licensure and Certification

Substitute Credential
1. Should a substitute be registered into the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP) at the start of employment if the employing district knows he or she will be employed in the position for more than 60 days?

Yes. The Department strongly recommends registering candidates in the PTP as soon as the district is aware that he or she will be employed in the same position for more than 60 days.  Once registered, the candidate must start receiving mentoring.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.4(3) Time period limitations for serving as a substitute

2. Does the Executive County Superintendent need to approve a substitute teacher staying longer than the regulatory service limit?

No; as of January 1, 2016, the Executive County Superintendent will not need to grant approval. School districts will be required to report to the county office when any substitute exceeds the regulatory service limit. Note: A substitute credential holder, CTE substitute credential holder, or holder of a certificate with an endorsement outside of the subject being taught may not, under any circumstances, serve more than 40 total days in the same classroom per year.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.4 Time-period limitations for serving as a substitute

3. On what date did amendments to the substitute teacher rules go into effect?

January 1, 2016.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.1 et al  Subchapter Seven: Substitute Credential

4. Is there a change in who processes substitute applications?

No; county offices will continue to process substitute applications.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.2  Substitute credential application and approval process

5. Do the same requirements for certification and service limits apply to substitute teachers employed through vendors such as Source4Teachers?


N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.1(f) Issuance of substitute credential for positions requiring instructional certificates

6. Does a candidate seeking a substitute credential need to be "sponsored" by a school district?

The candidate need not be sponsored by a school district, but must be sponsored. The sponsoring organization could be the candidate's teacher preparation program, a school district, or a vendor organization that the candidate will serve (Source4Teachers or Insight Educational Workforce Solutions). If the candidate plans to substitute in multiple districts, he or she must select at least one sponsor for record keeping purposes.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.2 Substitute credential application and approval process

7. Does a candidate need to have two years of relevant work experience to get a CTE substitute credential?

Yes, further, any candidate who holds a CTE substitute credential must be eligible to serve in the same classroom for up to 40 days per school year.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.4and 7.5  Time-period limitations for serving as a substitute and Career and Technical education substitute credential

8. Can a person with a substitute credential serve as a substitute for a Teacher of Students with Disabilities? 


N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.1 Issuance of substitute credential for positions requiring instructional certificates

9. If a provisional teacher serves as a substitute for part of the year, is there guidance on how this impacts their required "year-long" mentorship in terms of time or payment?

Districts have the flexibility to define "year-long" to be a duration of at least 30 weeks but no longer than one school year. The Department strongly recommends defining the exact length in district policy and communicating this policy with longer-term substitutes.

Pro-rating Time & Payment: For any candidate serving less than an entire year in the district, the Department recommends pro-rating the mentorship program and subsequent payment based on the length of their mentorship program.

N.J.A.C. 6A:.9B-8.4 Requirements for the provisional certificate

N.J.A.C. 6A:9C-5.1 Requirements for district mentoring program

10. Do districts have to evaluate long-term substitute teachers under AchieveNJ?

School districts have the discretion regarding whether or not to formally evaluate long-term substitutes under AchieveNJ. However, the Department recommends that the district implement a consistent policy for evaluating or not evaluating long-term substitutes.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-8.6 Evaluation of a provisional teacher for a standard certificate

11. If a provisional teacher is evaluated as a substitute in one district one year and another district the following year, do the ratings follow them?

Yes. For the purposes of certification, evaluations completed in one district will follow a provisional teacher to the next district.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-8.6 Evaluation of a provisional teacher for a standard certificate

12. Must the applicant submit the substitute application or should the district/sponsoring entity do so?

Either the district/sponsoring entity or the candidate may submit the sub application to the county office.

13. What exactly does a "provisional certificate" mean if it is not leading to a recommendation for standard licensure if a district chooses only to register and not evaluate long term substitutes?

Legally, "provisional certificate" simply means that one is entitled to hold a teaching position in a public school. Historically, some percentage of provisional teachers annually has always stopped short of earning a standard certificate. For the larger percentage that do seek the standard certificate, new changes are intended to ensure rigorous and relevant preparation for teacher and student success.

14.What can be done for those candidates who complete their mentoring but are not evaluated from district to district as they serve leave replacements over several years?

For this reason, districts can choose to evaluate candidates serving as long-term substitutes. School districts should communicate their intention to evaluate or not evaluate the substitute upon hiring him or her, so the candidate can make an informed employment decision.

15. Will the district be able to see scores/evaluations on long term substitutes that were evaluated in another district? How will districts know if a long-term substitute has had any satisfactory ratings and when his/her standard certification will be issued? Or will the DOE take care of this?

The Department will ensure that the district is able to access information regarding a candidate's past evaluations and eligibility for the standard certificate. This will be done through the new online Provisional Licensure Registration Management System (PLRMS), which districts will use starting in the winter of 2016 to register and track the progress toward standard certification of provisional teachers.

16. What guidelines does the Department have around how long a substitute should be in a school before you set SGOs, conduct observations, submit the teacher as part of the course/roster submission?

Substitute teachers may at district discretion receive a summative evaluation if they come under the appropriate AchieveNJ category and rule.

17. For long term substitutes, is it 60 actual teaching days or calendar days?

The sixty days represent teaching days.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.4(3)/
Time-period limitations for serving as a substitute

18. How do we keep up with long term substitutes who come in for 70 days and then leave and substitute at a different district?

It will be up to the school district and candidate to determine prior mentoring completed.

Note that districts are required to keep a mentoring log and should use that to provide documentation of mentoring to their substitutes and to other districts. N.J.A.C. 6A:9C-5.1(d)6.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.4(3)/
Time-period limitations for serving as a substitute

19. The New Jersey Professional Development (PD) requirements in statute and regulations do not specifically address long-term substitutes.  Is a district required to have those substitutes complete the required PD, for school safety, code of student conduct, suicide, diabetes and asthma?

If a long-term substitute is enrolled in the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP), that individual must receive the required professional development in safety areas, (e.g., code of student conduct, suicide).

20. If a district enters long-term substitute teachers into the Provisional Teacher Process who work for too short a time to receive a summative evaluation by working only a month or two or works in several districts within the same year, how will this affect their ability to ever get a standard certificate?

Since the candidate for standard certification needs two AchieveNJ ratings of effective or higher, a district should establish a policy that sets the minimum amount of time someone needs to be placed in order for him or her to go through the evaluation process.

If a candidate is in multiple districts in a year, one district should inform the candidate if it will complete the protocol so that the candidate can inform any future districts.

Basic Skills Assessment
1. If a candidate is advised that he/she meets the SAT/ACT/GRE composite score guidelines prior to the updated change from composite to individual scores on such tests effective November 2015, is he/she exempt from the new guidelines?

Candidates who were advised and met the guidelines that were in effect prior to November 2015 are grandfathered under the prior guidelines. If candidates were advised not to take the CORE (based on Department guidance that was available at the time), they are not expected to go back and take the assessment.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

2. Do all CE holders with CTE endorsements have until issuance of the standard certificate to meet basic skills requirement?

No, CE holders with a business related endorsement or family consumer science endorsement must meet basic skills requirement prior to being issued a CE.  Because of the academic nature of the courses and/or content business endorsement and family consumer science endorsement holders may teach, it is important that candidates demonstrate basic skills competency prior to receiving initial certificate.

3. What is the new regulation regarding individuals who are applying for a CEAS in the spring of 2016 but went through a teacher prep program out -of -state? Will they also need to take the basic skills exam or will they, too, get a waiver because they completed a teacher prep program?

Since this is a program entry requirement rather than a certification requirement for CEAS holders, candidates completing a preparation program out-of-state will not need to meet the basic skills requirement prior to applying for the CEAS. Candidates will not need a waiver for this requirement since this is a requirement for entering a New Jersey teacher preparation program.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

4. Must a candidate pass the PRAXIS CORE to begin his/her teacher preparation coursework or can an alternative assessment be used, such as ACCUPLACER?

The basic skills assessment in N.J.A.C. 6A:9-10.1(d)2 is intended to serve as a requirement for admission into a teacher preparation program.  Accordingly, the Praxis tests, SAT, ACT, and GRE all are designed to serve as in-depth tests used to make high-stakes admission decisions.  In contrast, the Accuplacer serves as a much shorter test designed to determine a candidate's placement in specific college-level classes that meet his or her skill level. While the Accuplacer is less expensive, the purpose of the test renders it insufficient as a basic skills assessment to be used for admissions decisions.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

5. What are the requirements for passing a Basic Skills Assessment?

For acceptance into an educator preparation program, a candidate must pass a Commissioner-approved test of basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills. A candidate will have met this requirement if he or she has completed and passed all sections of either the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (Praxis I) or the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Praxis Core).  Currently, only the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test (Praxis Core) is offered by the testing company; the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (Praxis I) has been discontinued.

6. By when must programs require passage of a basic skills assessment?

A program must require any candidate starting a teacher preparation program during or after the fall semester of the 2015-2016 academic year to pass the basic skills assessment prior to starting coursework.

7. Do candidates enrolled in educator preparation programs prior to the 2015-2016 school year who have started coursework need to pass a basic skills assessment?
8. Do circumstances exist when a candidate is not required to pass a basic skills assessment?

Yes. Students, whether undergraduate or graduate, who score in the top one-third percentile of scorers on the SAT, ACT, or GRE in the year the respective test was taken are not required to pass the assessment. Candidates are exempt from the basic skills requirement if they can demonstrate a score on the SAT, ACT, or GRE at or above the cut score for the year in which they took the exam, shown below:

9. Do graduate-level candidates need to pass a basic skills assessment?

Yes, the requirement applies to graduate level candidates who have never before held a CE, CEAS, or Standard instructional certificate.

10. What are the cut scores for the Praxis Core tests?

The current cut scores recommended by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which have been accepted by the State Board are:

  • Reading (Test Code 5712): 156
  • Writing (Test Code 5722): 162
  • Math (Test Code 5732): 150

Please refer to this page for the most current cut scores for all exams administered by ETS.

11. Is the Praxis CORE test merely a computer version of the Praxis I or is it substantially different?

The Praxis Core test is an entirely different test reflecting the Common Core State Standards. The test is administered via computer only. In July 2013, the State Board passed a resolution accepting the Praxis Core test as a Commissioner-approved test of basic skills.

N.J.A.C. 6A: 9A-4.3 Admission to CEAS educator preparation programs

N.J.A.C. 6A: 9A-5.2 Admission to CE educator preparation programs

12. Does a passing Praxis score trump the need for a basic skills assessment?

The Praxis II is not an allowable assessment to meet the basic skills requirement, since the assessment is content-specific.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A-4.3  Admission to CEAS educator preparation programs

13. Must candidates seeking charter school certification take the basic skills assessment?


N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.12 Requirements for the charter school certificate of eligibility (CSCE)

14. Does the old PPST/Praxis I satisfy the new basic skills requirements?

Passing scores on the PPST/Praxis I can count if the candidate completed and passed the entire assessment before June 2014.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

15. What happens if the SAT, ACT or GRE scores of a candidate were obtained earlier than 10 years?

All candidates can now have the ability to utilize a "top-third" cut score regardless of the year they took the assessment.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

16. Do candidates need to submit an "official" score report to utilize an SAT, ACT GRE score?

Candidates seeking certification must submit an official score report.

CEAS EPPs have discretion to determine what evidence candidates must submit to them to substantiate their qualifying score on the SAT, ACT or GRE.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A-4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

17. What happened when the SAT changed in Spring 2017?

The Department will update guidance after the SAT changes and the College Board can provide updated test-taker percentile data when available.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A-4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

18. Can "superscoring" i.e., taking the highest subscores on a particular test from different test dates, be used?

The Department has moved away from composite scores and specified qualifying cut scores on each sub-section to allow super-scores to be used.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9A:4.3 Admissions to CEAS educator preparation programs

19. Can we offer a "conditional admission" to students who have not passed the Praxis? More importantly, would it be okay for us to make that known in our recruitment materials?

Providers may conditionally accept candidates into their programs who have not yet met the basic skills requirement for a set amount of time as long as the providers have a consistent policy in place. They may also advertise this feature in their recruitment materials.

20. There is no longer a need to include the Writing section of the SAT's/ACT's? With that said, would we still need all three sections of the Praxis Core passed including the writing?

Correct.  Candidates do not need to include the writing section of the SAT/ACT/GRE. Candidates meet the basic skills requirement if they demonstrate a score at or above the Department-designated verbal and math scores on the SAT, ACT or GRE.

The Department made this decision for the following reason:

The general requirement is that all candidates have to achieve a passing score on the CORE assessment. To avoid layering on additional testing burdens, any candidates who scored in approximately the top third of all test-takers on the SAT, ACT or GRE assessments are granted an "exemption" from taking the Praxis Core (note: achieving a top-third score on these assessments is a more rigorous bar than achieving a passing score on the CORE).  Because not all versions of the SAT, ACT and GRE include a writing component (e.g. the version of the SAT administered before 2005 did not include a writing section), a writing score is no longer required to qualify for the "exemption."

Yes.  If candidates do not qualify for the "exemption" they must pass all three sections of the CORE: reading, math and writing.

21. Can we still mix SAT/ACT scores with the Praxis Core test for admittance into the program? Example, if a student has a fantastic math SAT score, but a below par verbal score, can we have the student just take the reading section of the Core?

No.  Candidates may not submit sections of multiple assessments to meet the basic skills requirement. Candidates need to achieve a passing score on all sections of the CORE or qualify for the SAT, ACT, or GRE exemption.

General Certification Questions
1. Do elementary education and early childhood education candidates need to have a liberal arts/science major or can they have just the "elementary education major"?

Elementary education and early childhood education candidates must have either:

  • A liberal arts or sciences major; or
  • Complete a minimum of 60 credits in liberal arts.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-10.2 Elementary school (K-6)

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.2 Preschool through grade three

2. Can a P-3 candidate who completes a CE preparation program (formerly called alternate-route) be eligible for other instructional certificates?

No, a candidate who has completed a P-3 CE preparation program and who seeks other certificates must apply for the specific CE and complete the general pedagogy classes for holders of other instructional areas. P-3 instruction is unique to the age group and does not address the full range of preparation.

N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.2 Preschool through grade three

3. Are anti-bullying instruction and the hygiene test still required?

The Department has not changed the anti-bullying or hygiene test requirements for certification. Both are still required.

4. Is Criminal Justice considered a liberal arts major?