During the past decade, the New Jersey State Board of Education has adopted revised regulations for teacher licensure, which require the issuance of provisional licenses for novice teachers in virtually all instructional areas except special education. In 1985, the State Board of Education introduced the nation's first "alternate route" to licensure for qualified liberal arts graduates who have not completed professional education in a traditional teacher training program. "Alternate route" candidates attend a program of formal instruction that takes place concurrently with on-the-job support and evaluation. The State Board of Education revised regulations in 1989 to require provisional licensure and on-the-job support for all first year teachers in New Jersey - beginning with May 1993 college graduates who completed approved teacher-training programs in all instructional areas except special education. Regulations were further revised in April 2001 requiring two years of mentoring for all novice teachers, including holders of a standard license in special education.
The regulations established a sequential three-step licensure process as follows:
A. CERTIFICATES OF ELIGIBILITY: These certificates provide the opportunity to seek employment. These are NOT teaching licenses.
1. CERTIFICATES OF ELIGIBILITY (CE): The CE is issued to those qualified applicants who have not completed a state-approved college teacher-training program (i.e., alternate route candidates).
2. CERTIFICATES OF ELIGIBILITY WITH ADVANCED STANDING (CEAS): The CEAS is issued to all graduates of state approved college teacher training programs. Teacher candidates who can document one year of full time teaching experience under a valid state license will be issued standard licenses.
B. PROVISIONAL LICENSE: This one year license allows the holder to begin working in the classroom and legalized employment. It signifies that the applicant holds a CE or a CEAS and has accepted an offer of employment. In addition, it signifies that the employing school district has registered the applicant in the Provisional Teacher Program and has agreed to provide the required support and supervision.
C. STANDARD LICENSE: The permanent credential allows the holder to serve without condition in all New Jersey public schools. It signifies successful completion of Provisional Teacher Program requirements while serving under a provisional license during the first year of employment.
PROVISIONAL TEACHER PROGRAM
A. Provisional Teacher Holding a CE: In May 2003, two new options were announced to pursue an alternate route to certification in New Jersey - the MAT Plan and the Community College Provider Plan. Those teachers NOT participating in either of these two plans must attend one of the regional training centers. The formal instruction consists of approximately 200 clock hours of study in essential areas of professional knowledge and skills. The instructional focus is clinical, emphasizing the relationship between theory and actual classroom practice. Instruction at these sites is available only to those candidates who have accepted employment in a school and are registered in the Provisional Teacher Program. Candidates must complete 34 weeks of mentoring.
B. Provisional Teacher Holding a CEAS: Candidate must complete 30 weeks of mentoring.
Currently the cumulative grade point average requirement is 2.5 or better when a GPA of 4.0 equals an A grade. Beginning 9/1/04, the cumulative GPA will change to 2.75 or better.
For additional certification information, district employees may contact Susan Luker at extension 1021. All others should contact your county's NJ Department of Education office for the application package. The Burlington County office is located at 2 Academy Drive P.O. Box 6000 Westampton, NJ 08060; telephone number 609-265-5060; or at the state website, or call 609-292-2070.