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FAQ - Alternate Route


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

A: Candidates who hold a 24-Hour Certificate will now need a Verification of Program Completion to document the 50-Hour Pre-professional experience required by the NJDOE as of July 2017.  Candidates may enroll in our Bridge Course to fulfill this new requirement. 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 course?

A:  As of July 2017, you will need to complete the 50-Hour Pre-professional experience prior to 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 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?  

A: This is more appropriate for the Interactive Service with Youth Experience which requires you to simply engage with the age group with which you will be working.  It is very important that each pre-service teacher experiences the process of creating a lesson and delivering it in a classroom setting.  "Working with students" and "teaching a lesson with all of the required components and within a specific time-frame" are not the same.  If you could design your interactions into a formal lesson delivery experience, perhaps you could then leverage the opportunity to complete the guest lesson delivery requirement.

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?

A: 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?

A: The easiest place to start is with your district or the school where someone you know works or attends. 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?

A: 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: 


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?

A: Congratulations on arriving at this final step in your certification journey! 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 a payment of $100 (alternate route administrative fee).  
  • 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?

A: 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?

A: Yes, every time you apply you must complete the online oath.

Do you have a direct link to the survey that I have to submit to the DOE?

A: There is no direct link; this is generated only after a standard online application is completed.


Where do the classes meet? Are these online classes or do you have to attend class?

A: The meeting locations are found on page 23 of our catalog. You can also find detailed information about the course delivery format in the catalog.  Some classes meet in person while others are conducted online or as independent study sessions.

I understand that the classes are offered in a blended environment, providing both in-person and online class. Is there a way to tell if a class is in-person or online?

A: Face-to-face and online sessions are scheduled at the discretion of the instructors.  Candidates must wait until their first meeting day to learn the details of the in-person and online requirements.

What changes can I anticipate for 400 hour program?

A: The course operated by our Regional Training Centers (RTC) meets the 400 hour requirement of the new 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 a blend of online and in-person sessions.  At some centers, the coursework may take you up to 2 years to complete.  The Rutgers Alternate Route program only requires 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 new catalog has just been uploaded and includes the cost of our various courses.  


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’s do not expire.


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?

A: 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 your 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.


I am inquiring about the Alternate Route Program.  I received my CE through New Pathways and completed Stage 1.  How can I continue with the certification process?

A:  Under the new regulations effective September 1, 2017, you will be allowed to take your Pathways hours and and apply them to a Regional Training Centers (RTC) if the Center agrees to accept them.  Rutgers is currently exploring the possibility of accepting up to 100 hours of coursework from candidates transferring from other programs.  The arrangement will require a copy of your course syllabus and a review fee of $25.