The Alternate Route is a certification program that allows qualified candidates to begin teaching after taking a 50-hour Introduction to Teaching course. The candidates then take the remaining two years of coursework while they are teaching. Alternate route candidates begin as a regular classroom teacher. They will have a mentor assigned to them–typically another teacher in the school—for the first year. They will have all the responsibilities and salary of a fully certified teacher and must obtain an effective summative evaluation rating in two of their first three years of teaching.
The Alternate Route is not an easier route to becoming a licensed teacher. It requires 400 hours of coursework, similar to a traditional teacher preparation program. A candidate must be able to learn on the job and be able to handle the workload of graduate-level classes while teaching. The advantage is that the candidate can start teaching right away and apply their knowledge in their own classroom.
Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility
What should I do while the state is reviewing my CE application?
How do I check on the status of my CE application?
How long is the CE valid? Does it expire?
May I look for a job if I don’t have my CE?
Does my teaching job have to be in the same area as my CE?
What are the criteria for a teaching position?
May I teach in a private or charter school in New Jersey?
How can I find a job?
Here are just a few of the many resources available to help you find a teaching job:
How do I earn the Standard Certificate (SC)?
How do I apply to the program?
Application into the 50-Hour Introduction to Teaching class requires the following:
Once your materials have been approved, you may register for the 50-Hour class held online via NJCU or in-person at one of the participating community colleges.
How Do I Pay My Tuition Bill?
Do I need to have a Bachelor’s Degree to enroll in this program?
May I enroll in this program if I have an Associate’s Degree?
If I already have a Master’s Degree may I enroll in this program?
What is the minimum grade point average for the program?
If the grade point average for my Bachelor’s degree is below the minimum required for this program, but I have a Master’s degree with a higher grade point average may I use that instead?
Do I need to submit a transcript with my application?
What is the minimum course grade requirement?
What if I have a degree from outside the United States?
If I previously completed the Introduction to Teaching class under the initial Pathways program do I need to re-take the new 50-hour Pre-Service class?
If I previously completed Stage I of the program before Fall 2017 what do I do?
Do I need to have a job prior to enrolling in the First Semester of New Pathways?
What is the difference between the non-credit certification only option and the graduate credit option?
What are the advantages to taking the NPTNJ program for graduate credit?
What do I need to do if I want to pursue a master’s degree after I complete NPTNJ?
If I completed New Pathways as a non-credit student but wanted to convert non-credits to graduate credits is that possible?
What is required for dual Certification in ESL, TOSD, or Bilingual?
You may complete dual certification in English as a Second Language, Teacher of Students with Disabilities, or Bilingual Education while doing NPTNJ. Candidates pursuing these certificates will have six years to complete the coursework.
ESL: We have a separate, approved program in ESL.
TOSD: You will enroll in NPTNJ and in Graduate Studies for TOSD concurrently. Complete the application for NPTNJ. You must also enroll in Graduate Studies at NJCU by completing this application. For information on required courses for TOSD, please contact Dr. Carol Fleres.
Bilingual: You will enroll in NPTNJ and in Graduate Studies for Bilingual Education concurrently. Complete the application for NPTNJ.
You must also enroll in Graduate Studies at NJCU by completing this application.
For information on required courses for Bilingual Education, please contact Dr. Alexis Kim.
The following NJCU graduate degree programs accept course credits from NPTNJ. Please contact the appropriate department chairperson for more information and be sure the advisor knows you have credits from NPTNJ. Learn more on how to apply for matriculation into a degree program.
Elementary/Secondary Education: Please contact Dr. Morales, Department Chair.
M.A.T. in Elementary or Secondary Education – 24 credits accepted; additional 12 credits needed for M.A.T. Degree.
Educational Technology: Please contact Dr. Zieger, Department Chair.
M.A. in Educational Technology – 15 credits accepted; additional 21 credits needed for M.A. Degree.
MA in Educational Technology with School Library Media Specialist certification – 12 credits accepted, additional 24 credits needed for certification. Please contact Dr. Zieger, Department Chair.
M.A.T. in Special Education – 12 credits converted from NPTNJ; additional 24 credits needed for eligibility to apply for the Teacher of Students with Disabilities endorsement and M.A.T. degree.
Multicultural Education: Please contact Dr. Kim, Department Chair.
M.A. in English as a Second Language –3 credits accepted; additional 21 credits needed to apply for ESL endorsement.
M.A. in Bilingual Education – 3 credits accepted; additional 18 credits needed to apply for Bilingual endorsement.
The GPA requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility and entering the Alternate Route are set by the New Jersey Department of Education and we cannot change them nor waive those requirements. In order to enter any Alternate Route program in New Jersey you must have a 3.0 if you graduated after Sept. 2016 or a 2.75 if you graduate before that date. If your GPA is lower than this, you are NOT eligible for any Alternate Route program.
You may still be able to pursue a teaching career by entering a TRADITIONAL teacher preparation program: https://nj.gov/education/educators/newteacher/ . If you can gain entry and complete a full teacher preparation program, you can re-establish a new GPA at the end of that program, and then apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing. In a traditional teacher preparation program, you complete your coursework and clinical practice hours (i.e. student teaching) before applying for your certification. The challenge will be gaining entry into a traditional teaching preparation program. It may be possible to complete a program as a post-baccalaureate candidate or to transfer in credits from your previous degree and complete a second bachelor’s degree. The following is a list of institutions that have traditional teacher preparation programs: https://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/rpr/preparation/traditional/programs.pdf
Our recommendation is to contact a representative from one of these institutions to determine their admission policies for their traditional teacher preparation programs.
The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey Candidate Handbook contains important information to review prior to, and during, your time in the program.
Once you have completed your NPTNJ courses and passed edTPA, you are eligible for a Verification of Program Completion (VOPC). This form is needed in order to apply for Standard Certification. Learn more on the NPTNJ Program Completion page.
Follow these directions for requesting a VOPC and applying for the Standard license:
To begin the process, request a VOPC Form here:
To apply for the Standard Certification, apply here: