Student teacher working with student in classroom.

Substitute Recruitment Initiative (SubIN)

What is the Substitute Initiative (SubIN)?

This initiative helps MSU students and community members become certified substitute teachers in New Jersey schools, most of which have a great need for subs at this time. Participants receive guidance on obtaining a substitute license and introductory training on how to become an effective substitute teacher. Participants also will be given a list of select school districts within a 30-mile radius of campus that are actively recruiting substitute teachers.

This program is FREE (apart from sub license costs) and open to anyone with an active MSU NetID who meets the State requirements for being a substitute teacher–it is not just for students in or planning to be in the Teacher Education Program!

This program is ideal for those who:

  • Enjoy working with children
  • Are seeking a job with flexible days for work
  • Are considering teaching but want more experience first
  • Want to contribute to their community at a time of great need
  • Have a passion for a certain subject area (math! biology! Spanish! etc) that they want to share
  • Want to gain new skills that are highly transferable to other jobs and careers
Step 1
Attend a virtual information session!

Sessions will be about 40 minutes long. Attendance is required to participate in the initiative.

  • Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 4:00 – 4:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 5, 2022, 1:00 – 1:30 pm
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 11:00 – 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 2:00 – 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 12, 2022, 7:00 – 7:30 pm

*Additional dates may be added as needed: if you cannot attend on one of these dates, complete the registration form and indicate you would like to be notified when new dates are added.


Step 2
Attend a fingerprinting/background check/sub license session and apply for these items online

Each session will be about 40-60 minutes long. Presenters explain step-by-step how to get fingerprinted, complete a criminal history background check, and apply online for a substitute license.

Attending this session is highly encouraged but not required to participate in the initiative.

  • Thursday, May 19, 2022, 11:00 am
  • Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 2:00 pm
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 3:00 pm


Step 3
Complete a training session

The training session will be 3 hours long and will be online.

The training session will focus on the fundamentals of successful subbing: getting to know the school and its policies; safety; classroom management; teaching tips, and more.

Participants who complete the training will be given the option to be included on a list of “completers” that will be given to interested partner districts and will receive advisement on how to include completion of the Substitute Recruitment Initiative on their resume.

*Additional dates may be added as needed.

Eligibility requirements to be a substitute teacher in New Jersey

You must:

  • Have at least 30 college credits completed*
  • Be 20 years or older if you have fewer than 60 completed college credits
  • Pass NJ Criminal History Background Check
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have work visa

*Students who will have earned 30 credits upon completion of the fall 2021 semester can participate in the initiative but will not be able to apply for a substitute license until after their transcripts show the 30 completed credits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you help us find subbing positions?

We will point you toward districts that are actively hiring subs and provide contact information, but you will apply directly to the district where you would like to sub.

If I do this program, am I making a commitment to be a sub?

No. You can leave the program at any time and no “promise” is expected.

What does it cost to do this program?

The training & support are free for MSU students/community members. You must pay for your fingerprinting and substitute license fees, which total about $200. Some districts may have a nominal processing fee.

How long is this program? When will I be ready to sub?

The info sessions, workshops, and training sessions are being offered in “waves” this fall. Early waves will be done by mid-November. However, it takes 2-3 months for the fingerprinting, criminal history background check, and substitute license process to be complete. Our goal is for the first “wave” of participants to be ready to sub by early January. Later waves might not start until February.

How much to substitute teachers get paid?

Each district determines its own pay rate for substitute teachers. Currently, districts pay between $100-$175 per day.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be a sub?

No, but you do need to have an appropriate work visa. Also, you need to be willing to take an oath that you will uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Is this program required for students planning to do the Teacher Education Program?

No, but it is highly encouraged, because you do in fact need to obtain a substitute license as soon as you are able to do so in order to complete field experiences prior to and during the Teacher Education Program.

Do I have to have experience working with kids to get hired as a sub?

Districts understandably would prefer to hire candidates who have prior experience working with children, but this is not required by most districts.

I only want to work with a certain age group. Am I able to ask a school district to only be with a certain age group?

It depends on the district, but most take into account what your preferences are. When you choose a district to apply to, you will want to ask them this question to be sure you have a choice.

Do I have to have the COVID vaccine to be a substitute teacher?

Yes, or proof of exemption.