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FAQ - Alternate Route


How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility (CE)?
  • Getting a CE is Step 1 of the Alternate Route, and it is issued by the NJ Department of Education. You can read more about the alternate route process on the state website HERE. Enrolling in an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) like the Rutgers Alternate Route is Step 2.
How long is a CE good for? Does it ever expire if you do not get hired full time by a school district?
  • A CE does not expire. 
I have a Limited CE. Can I enroll in this program? 
  • Yes, we can accept Limited CEs. Please note: Before signing up for a course, you must first apply to the program and be accepted. You can find our free, online application HERE. If you hold a Limited CE, you must have a job at a school district approved to participate in the NJ Department of Education’s pilot program. You can find a list of approved school districts on the State website HERE.


How do I sign up for classes? 
  • Before signing up for a course, you must first apply to the program and be accepted. You can find our free, online application HERE. After applying, you will receive an email verification of your submitted application. Please allow two business days for the review of your application. Applicants will be notified of a decision via email from Applicants accepted into the program will receive instructions on registering for courses.


 I have 24-Hour Certificate but would like to upgrade to a 50-Hour Pre-professional Document. How can I do that?

 As of 2017, the NJ Department of Education requires candidates who hold a 24-Hour Certificate will now need a Verification of Completion form to document the 50-Hour Pre-professional experience. Upon acceptance to the program, candidates may enroll in our Bridge Course to complete the additional hours required to be eligible for the 50-Hour Pre-professional document. Learn about our Bridge Course here.

When I started this process, I was told I had to take the 24-hour pre-service before I could get my CE which I did through Rutgers. I did notice that now there is a 50-hour course. How does this apply to me since I completed my 24 pre-service courses?

As of July 2017, you must complete the 50-Hour Pre-professional experience before your first day of teaching. See steps above for instructions on how to upgrade your certificate to the newly required 50-Hour Pre-professional Document.


I received my CE and completed the 50-hour Course with a different program, how can I continue with the certification process?
  • If you completed more than 50-hours with a different EPP, complete our Transfer Form so we can review your completed hours. It asks you to provide a copy of the course(s) syllabus and record of completed coursework (i.e. transcript or letter from the program). You are allowed to take your hours from a previous EPP and apply them to a different EPP if the provider agrees to accept them.


I currently work full-time as the Director of Music at my church. As part of my current position, I direct three different choirs and bell choirs of intermediate and high school students. I work with these groups for a total of 90 minutes each week.  We even take a field trip to perform and sight-see. Would this qualify as a simulated classroom experience? 
  • This is more appropriate for the Interactive Service with Youth Experience which requires you to simply engage with the age group which you will be working with. It is very important that each pre-service teacher experiences the process of creating a lesson and delivering it in a classroom setting, which is different than "working with students" in an informal capacity.
I completed a volunteer experience with students prior to the start of this course. May I use that experience to meet the requirements of the enhanced clinical experience?
  • Unfortunately, the experience must be completed while you are taking the course. The good news is that this requirement now gives you an excuse to dedicate a few extra hours to helping young people. 
Where can I complete my observation & guest lesson?
  • The easiest place to start is with your district or the school where someone you know works or attends school. We’ve also compiled a list of districts and schools which have hosted our candidates for observations and guest lessons which can be found here
How is the clinical component completed over the summer when school is not in session?
  • For summer classes, candidates should reach out to districts about their summer school offerings. Most districts have some sort of summer program where there are students coming to learn. You may choose any district to complete the requirements, here is a sample list of districts where other candidates have completed their clinical experience.


Where do the classes meet? Are these online classes or do you have to attend class?
  • Different classes have different formats (synchronous, asynchronous). You can find the class format as part of each course description. In response to the global health pandemic, all classes are online. You will not be expected to report to the Rutgers campus.

For Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 Courses, is there a way to tell if a class meeting is synchronous or asynchronous?
  • Synchronous and asynchronous sessions are scheduled at the discretion of the instructors. On the course management system, Canvas, you will see each session will be labeled as Synchronous or Asynchronous.  

I started the alternate route prior to 2017, what has changed?
  • The NJ Department of Education increased the required hours of instruction from 200 hours to 400 hours. The course operated by our Educator Preparation Program (EPP) meets the 400-hour requirement of the current NJDOE regulations; however, it is delivered such that the time and investment and costs are comparable to the current offering.  For the candidates' convenience and professional learning purposes, instruction is offered through online sessions.  At some centers, the coursework may take you up to 2 years to complete. The Rutgers Alternate Route program only requires synchronous class attendance in the first year of teaching; the second-year requirements are met through job-embedded experiences in the candidate's school. While the changes appear significant, we are committed to ensuring that the program remains manageable with respect to time and costs. Our course catalog includes the cost of our various courses. 


 Does being hired as a maternity leave teacher or teacher’s aide/paraprofessional allow you to be eligible to take the rest of the courses needed to obtain your teaching certificate? Or do you need to be a full-time teacher for the entire school year?

 Candidates must be hired as the teacher of record and be enrolled in the Provisional Teaching Program to take the required coursework and have teaching experience count towards the Standard Certificate.  It does not matter if you are a part-time teacher, covering a maternity, medical or other leave. As long as you are working under a provisional certificate in the district, your time will be credited, and you are eligible to attend courses. Per diem substitutes, teachers’ aides and paraprofessionals do not typically qualify for the Provisional Teaching Program, and therefore are not eligible for the courses.


My CE endorsement* requires that I complete credit-coursework in addition to the Rutgers Alternate Route courses. How can I complete these at the GSE? 

*World Language, Teacher of Students with Disabilities, English as a Second Language, Middle School with Subject matter Specialization 


I recently finished all my requirements for the Alternate Route process. Do I need to submit anything to the school or the state in order to get my standard certificate?
  • Congratulations on arriving at this final step in your certification journey! While you are not required to provide anything to the state, be sure that your district requests the issuance of a standard teaching certificate from the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) upon successful completion of the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP).

The standard certificate is a permanent certificate issued to a teacher who has met all requirements for state certification. Below you will find a reminder of what is needed in order to procure a Standard License.

  • Complete 30 weeks of mentoring.
  • Complete required coursework for all CE holders. 
  • Two ratings: one from each school year of effective or highly effective
  • The standard certificate is a permanent certificate issued to a teacher who has met all requirements for state certification. The district/school will request the issuance of a standard teaching certificate upon successful completion of the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP). Please note that the online application expires after six months, so it is advised that application is only completed when all the above requirements are met. The online application includes an oath of allegiance and requires an administrative fee  of $100 to the NJDOE . 
  • Complete NJDOE survey generated upon submitting your online application.

For the mentoring, coursework, and ratings, do I need to submit any papers regarding that information?
  • No, but be sure that your district has submitted evidence that you have been mentored along with your effective or highly effective evaluation ratings.
Do I need to submit a new oath if I submitted one with my original application for the provisional certification?
  • Yes, every time you apply you must complete the online oath.
Do you have a direct link to the survey that I must submit to the NJDOE?
  • There is no direct link; this is generated only after a standard online application is completed.