Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students in Education
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding our programs. The brief answers provided are intended to be a quick guide. For further details and explanations please refer to the information in the NJCU Graduate Catalog and/or contact your advisor.
What is the grade point average requirement for admission as a graduate student?
- Students are required to have an undergraduate grade point average minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in order to be admitted.
What entrance tests and scores are required for admission?
- The GRE (with a combined minimum score of 900) or the Miller Analogies Test (with a score within at least the 25th percentile for the total group) is required for admission. In addition, for the MAT program students must also take the PRAXIS II. (Note: Test scores over 5 years old are not acceptable).
- The State of New Jersey is requiring teacher candidates to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test in math (test #5733), reading (test #5712), and writing (test #5722). Passing scores on the tests are 150, 156, and 162, respectively. You can register for the tests at https://www.ets.org/praxis. View additional information, including how to prepare for the tests.
- The Praxis Core must be taken and passed prior to entry into an educator preparation program. This requirement is waived for candidates with at least:
- 1660 combined SAT score (critical reading, writing, math)
- 23 ACT score
- 4.0 analytical writing and combined 310 quantitative and verbal GRE scores
- This requirement is also waived for candidates who successfully complete all phase I coursework before September 2015 with a grade of B- or above.
What is the minimum GPA to remain matriculated in a graduate program?
- Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to continue their graduate education.
Are the graduate programs designed for full or part-time students?
- The programs can be undertaken on a full or part-time basis. Most courses are offered in the afternoon (4:30 PM) or the evening (7:05 PM) in attempts to accommodate working students. Additionally, some courses are taught fully or partially on-line. However, keep in mind that the Student Teaching Internship will require students to be in the K-12 classroom during traditional school hours (approximately 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM). The Internship is usually taken during the student's final semester.
What's the difference in preparing to teach in an elementary school, junior high or middle school, or high school?
- As described above, you can prepare to teach in elementary school (grades K-5), by following the Elementary Education major (K-5). Students in this major prepare to teach all core subjects. If you are an Elementary Education major and want to teach in grades 6, 7 and 8, you need to add a middle school extension in a content area to your license. This will require additional coursework and another Praxis exam. If you want to teach in a specific content area (i.e. mathematics, English, Spanish, social studies, etc.) follow the "Content (Secondary) Teachers" (K-12) program described above. This will certify you in the content area for grades K-12, however, most job opportunities will be from grades 7 through 12. Often the K-12 content certification is referred to as the "secondary" certification.
When do I actually work with kids in schools?
- Your course work integrates field experiences throughout. However, your primary teaching practice will come during your Student Teaching Internship, usually taken during your final semester.
How do I know who my advisor is?
- Upon acceptance to the program you will be contacted with information as to who your faculty advisor is.
How often should I see my advisor?
- Office hours for education faculty are posted each term. You may visit with your advisor whenever you have a question or concern; however you should find out how your advisor handles advisement and see him or her for any issues you may be having. Faculty contact information is included at the end of this packet.
Do I get to choose where I student teach?
- Usually not. You should discuss your placement with your advisor. Student teaching placements are arranged based on established partnerships with quality schools. Call the Center for Teacher Preparation & Partnerships (201-200-3015) for details.
Can I work a job while I student teach?
- This is an important issue for graduate students. Many of you are used to working full time, however, the time required to student teach is essentially equivalent to working a full time job. As a result, you will have to modify any outside work obligations to fit your new schedule.
In order to become a certified teacher in New Jersey, what teacher certification exams must I pass?
If I finish this program, what state(s) will I be eligible to teach in?
- You will be certified to teach in New Jersey and any state that has a reciprocity agreement with New Jersey. Check the New Jersey State Education Department website for updated reciprocity listings.
What opportunities are there to get involved in campus life activities?
- In additional to traditional college clubs and organizations (e.g. Student Government, Caribbean Students Association, etc.), there are organizations specific to the College of Education, such as the Student Affairs Committee and the Education Club. These are good ways to get involved, and have your voice heard.