New Jersey Department of Education

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Certification & Induction

Alternate Route

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How Do I Enter the Alternate Route Program?

The Alternate Route program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program designed for those individuals who HAVE NOT completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, but wish to obtain the necessary training to become a NJ certified teacher.

Completing the Alternate Route program requires that the following series of steps be taken by a prospective applicant in the order listed:

  1. Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) through the Office of Licensure and Academic Credentials (OLC).

The requirements for a CE are listed on this link:

**New requirement for Certificate of Eligibility: As of October 31, 2009, applicants for a Certificate of Eligibility for elementary, middle school specialization, N-12 subject area and career and technical education CEs must complete 24 hours of formal instruction prior to issuance of the CE.  This requirement also serves as an introduction to the teaching profession for those individuals who are exploring career options.  This requirement became effective on September 1, 2009, for candidates seeking a pre-school through grade three CE.

All Instructional Certificates available for which a CE may be issued are listed at this link:

Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure all necessary documents are received by the OLC so that your file can be reviewed by an examiner.  The waiting time for your application review does not begin until all documentation is received. You must submit a completed and notarized Oath of Allegiance (Non-citizen Oath and Non-citizen Affidavit if you are not a US citizen) and the proper fee. Only official transcripts and official copies of test scores, where applicable, are acceptable. You will find all necessary Forms & Documents on our website as well as a current Fee Schedule. Applicants may now Apply Online. You may also find it helpful to review Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility and accept employment.

    A Certificate of Eligibility is issued once a candidate meets all the requirements for the particular endorsement. The Certificate of Eligibility authorizes an individual to seek and accept employment in a New Jersey public school requiring certification. Once all requirements for a certificate have been met, it will be issued by the OLC and mailed to your home address.

  2. Enter the Provisional Teacher Program.

    Once you have secured employment, it is the responsibility of the hiring school district to enroll all Novice Teachers in the Provisional Teacher Program. A Provisional teaching certificate is then issued for a period of two years.  The PTP is a school-based training and evaluation program provided during the first year of teaching in New Jersey. This link describes in detail the requirements of the PTP program:
    Make sure your school district completes this step in the process

  3. Meet mentoring and formal instruction requirements

While working as a provisional alternate route teacher you must be mentored by   a colleague in the district and be supervised and evaluated by district personnel.
Concurrently, you must attend formal instruction that is required for the certificate you are seeking.  The formal instruction requirements are:

  •  Elementary CE: A minimum of 200 hours of formal instruction at a state approved regional training center or alternate route Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Elementary K-5 alternate route candidates hired on or after October 31, 2009, must complete 45 hours of study in teaching language arts/literacy and 45 hours of study in teaching mathematics.
  • Elementary School with Middle School Specialization CE:  In addition to completing requirements for the K-5 standard certificate, middle school specialization candidates must complete a course in adolescent psychology.
  • Subject Area CE:  A minimum of 200 clock hours of formal instruction at a state approved regional training center or alternate route Master of Arts in Teaching Program.  For World Language candidates, a course in methodology must also be completed.
  • Preschool through Grade 3 CE: An approved New Jersey college-university program of 13-17 credits.
  • Teacher of Students with Disabilities CE:  An approved New Jersey college/university program of 21-27 credits (and the requirements for the candidate’s subject area or grade level certificate).
  • Bilingual/bicultural CE:  An approved New Jersey college/university program of 12 credits (and the requirements for the candidate’s subject area or grade level certificate).
  • ESL CE:  200 hours of formal instruction at a state approved regional training center and a college/university program of 15-21 credits.
  • Career and Technical Education CE: 200 hours of formal instruction targeted to CTE candidates.  A pilot program is currently operated by Brookdale Community College.  See CTE Alternate Route Teacher Preparation Program Link:
  1. Successfully complete the Provisional Teacher Program and receive a Standard teaching certificate.

    Once the PTP program has been successfully completed, a Standard teaching certificate can then be issued by the OLC. The Standard certificate is a permanent certificate issued to candidates who have met all requirements for State certification.

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