Alternate Route

Understanding the Alternate Route process in NJ

The Alternate Route program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program designed for individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, but wish to obtain the necessary training to become a NJ-certified teacher. Completing the Alternate Route program requires that the following steps be taken by a prospective applicant:

Step 1
Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) from the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE)

A Certificate of Eligibility is issued once all requirements are met. The C.E. authorizes an individual to seek and accept employment in a New Jersey public school. Learn for more information on the application process to obtain your CE.

Requirement for a CE include: 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or above
  • Passing Praxis I Core scores
  • Passing Praxis II Scores for certification area you are seeking
  • Physiology and Hygiene test (take or show proof that you have taken this course or completed an exam)
Step 2
Obtain Certificate of Eligibility and accept employment as a lead teacher in a classroom
  • Congratulations! Your CE will enable you to accept an offer of employment
Step 3
Apply to a University Alternate Route Program approved by the NJDOE

Once you have been accepted into the Alternate Route Program at Montclair State University, you will be able to be enrolled in the required 50-hour Pre-Professional Service Course. The completion of this course is required in order to receive the Verification of Program Completion that needs to be submitted to your school/school district. Your school/school district will need to verify that you have completed this pre-professional service course requirement in order to request your Provisional License from the NJDOE

The following items are needed for admission:

  • Online application
  • Transcripts
  • Portrait of a Teacher essay
  • Resume
Step 4
Complete the 50-hour Pre-Professional Service Course
  • Montclair offers a K-6 and P-12 50-hour pre-professional service course that can be completed online prior to admission into the alternate route program. The 50-hour pre-professional service course for P-3 can be completed after applicants gain admission into the P-3 Modified Alternate Route program.
Step 5
Enter the Provisional Teacher Program and meet mentoring and evaluation requirements
  • This step will happen after you obtain a teaching position in a public school, complete the 50-hour pre-professional service course, and provide your school district with a Verification of Program Completion for this 50-hour requirement. Then, your school district will be able to enter you into the Provisional Teacher Program so that you can be assigned a school district mentor.
  • The New Jersey DOE will issue you a provisional teaching certificate that will be valid for a two-year period. The Provisional Teacher Program (PTP) is a school-based training and evaluation program. While working as a provisional teacher you must be mentored for a minimum of 30 weeks by a certified teacher in your school district.
  • To qualify for a standard certificate, you must also be evaluated based on the AchieveNJ instrument used in your school district and receive two effective or highly effective final ratings within a three-year span.
  • $1000 is paid to the certified teacher who serves as the experienced mentor over the duration of the program. Most districts will require the mentee to pay the mentor.
Step 6
Meet program coursework requirements
  • You must attend formal instruction that is required for the standard certificate you are seeking.
  • You will also be assigned a MSU mentor, separate from your school district mentor, to further support you during your instructional program.
Step 7
Successfully complete the Provisional Teacher process and apply for standard certification

After successful completion of MSU’s Alternate Route coursework, MSU will issue you a Verification of Program Completion (VOPC) for the Alternate Route program.

Certificate of Eligibility Application and Requirements

Alternate Route Teacher Certification Subject Area (P-12)

Teacher Preparation History at Montclair State University

For over 100 years, many of New Jersey’s best teachers have been educated at Montclair State University. With its rich history in teacher education, Montclair State prepares aspiring teachers to make real differences in their classrooms and in the lives of their students.

Why choose this program?  How is this different from others in NJ?

There are certain components to the Alternate Route Teacher Certification Program that distinguish it from existing competitive programs across the state:

  • The first is that students in the program take courses in inclusive pedagogy and sociocultural context of disability in the first semester, which allows for the development of inclusive pedagogies and practices that are particularly relevant in the K-6 setting. Other alternate route programs in the state offer limited preparation in inclusive K-6 education.
  • The second distinctive component of this program is the one-credit in-service clinical practice course, which allows us to leverage our existing teacher education structures to send university mentors into students’ classrooms, and provide feedback that is removed from the evaluative and consequential observations they receive from their own district.
  • For subject area Alt Route program: Students in the program take a subject-specific methods course during the first semester of the program, which allows for the development of a content-focused pedagogy.