New Pathways to Teaching

Please read the Overview completely before contacting the office for more information. See the glossary if you are unfamiliar with the terminology. After reading the overview we suggest enrolling in a 24-Hour Introduction to Teaching Pre-Service class or attending an information session if you have additional questions. You may obtain program information in any of the following ways:

NPTNJ Office: 609 894-9311, ext. 1468
NPTNJ Website:


  1. General Information
  2. Getting Started
  3. Subject/Grade Level Academic Requirements
  4. Getting A Job
  5. Resources
  6. Glossary of Terms

General Information

New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) provides an opportunity for people to become teachers who have a B.S., B.A., or higher degree and who did not complete a traditional teacher preparation program. The program is a collaborative effort between participating New Jersey community colleges and New Jersey City University (NJCU). This unique partnership provides students the opportunity to earn up to 15 graduate credits toward numerous NJCU graduate degrees in education as well as transfer of up to 15 graduate credits to other colleges and universities.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree.
  • 2.75 minimum GPA in your Bachelor’s or higher degree (DOE has proposed a 3.0 GPA minimum).
  • Certificate of Eligibility (CE).
  • This program is not appropriate for individuals seeking the Pre K-3, Career and Technical CEs (with the exception of Teacher of Technology), Business CE, or Family and Consumer Science CE.

**Requirement** Anyone applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) after October 30, 2009, is required to complete a Department of Education (DOE) approved Introduction to Teaching 24-Hour Pre-Service Program. The New Pathways to Teaching in NJ 24-Hour Pre-Service Program is DOE approved. Completion of the course however is only one of the CE requirements and does not guarantee the applicant qualifies for a CE.

Please contact the NPTNJ Office at 609 894-9311, ext. 1468 for the New Pathways to Teaching in NJ Introduction to Teaching 24-Hour Pre-Service course schedule.

Information Session

If you are interested in learning more about NPTNJ after reading the overview, please plan to attend one of the information sessions held throughout the year. For session dates/times please email or call the NPTNJ office.

NPTNJ Offered In Two Stages

Stage I is a 60-hour course introducing the participant to the world of teaching in the K-12 classroom. Fifteen of the 60 hours are spent observing in a K-12 classroom. A teaching job is not required for Stage I enrollment and students may continue current employment but must arrange time off to fulfill the 15 hours of observation.

Burlington County College offers Stage I in the spring of each year. All participating community colleges offer the same program for the same fee with the same admission requirements. The dates and times when colleges offer Stage I vary.

Students must complete Stage I with a grade of B or better to be eligible for Stage II.

Completion of Stage 1 satisfies the DOE requirement for 4 weeks of “intensive mentoring” for alternate route teachersa plus for employment and a cost savings measure for new teachers.

Stage II registrants must have a full or part-time (15 hours per week or more) K-12 provisional teaching job in a public, charter, or private school in the subject in which they hold a CE. Stage II is offered September-June at all participating community colleges. Stage II combines classroom teaching with NPTNJ classes that include coaching and mentoring and completing academic assignments. Classes meet one night a week throughout the provisional teaching year with a combination of in-person and online sessions.

Completion of Stage I and II fulfills the 200 hour DOE academic requirement for standard (permanent) certification for alternate route teachers with the following exception.

Additional Requirement for Alternate Route Teachers Holding an Elementary and Middle School (5-8) CE

All novice K-6 and middle school (5-8) alternate route candidates hired as of October 31, 2009, will be required to complete a 45-hour methods course in the teaching of literacy and a 45-hour methods course in the teaching of math prior to receiving their standard instructional certification. These courses may be taken at any timeeven before receiving the CE.

Change of Venue

Applicants may complete Stage I at one community college and enroll in Stage II at another participating community college.  

Completion Time Sequence

Students may complete Stage I in one year and come back to complete Stage II another year. There is no time limit between completing Stage I and returning to complete Stage II

Choose From Two Options

  • Graduate credit option: New Jersey City University (NJCU) offers 15 graduate credits applicable toward numerous NJCU education master’s degrees or master’s degrees at other partner programs. Stage I earns 4 credits and Stage II earns 11 credits. Graduate credit enrollees will receive a packet of information from NJCU and other institutions regarding the continuation of graduate studies and the choice of majors.
  • Noncredit option: Offers a certificate.
    The course requirements and workload are identical for both options. Both equally fulfill the Department of Education (DOE) requirements for certification. Most students feel that since both options require identical work it is advantageous to select the graduate credit option. Not only have you earned up to15 credits toward a master’s degree, your school district may advance you on the pay scale and additional graduate credits may eventually increase pension income.

Changing Options

  • Registrants must stay with the Stage I option they have chosen through completion of Stage I. They may, however, change options between Stage I and II.

  • Non-credit students have a five-year window from course completion to “buy back” the NJCU graduate credits by paying the difference between the non-credit tuition paid and the current graduate tuition rate.

Getting Started as an Alternate Route Teacher Candidate

There are numerous steps to qualify to become a teacher candidate through the alternate route and to complete the requirements for standard certification. Alternate route candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and careers. If you like working with young children or teens and decide to pursue this challenging career change, you will enjoy the camaraderie and support of an interesting group of colleagues as you go through the program.

*Note Steps 1, 2, and 3 may be done in any order.

1. 1. Take an Introduction to Teaching 24-hour Pre-service Program approved by the DOE.

(See Basic Eligibility Requirements, page 2, for information on the DOE approved NPTNJ 24-hour program). Anyone who does not have a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) or whose complete CE application documentation packet was not received by the Department of Education (DOE) by October 30, 2009, is required to take this course as one of the requirements for a CE. Those who have a CE issued prior to the October 2009 deadline are not required to take this course.

This is one of multiple requirements for the CE and completion does not guarantee you qualify for a CE.

2. Pass the Praxis II Exam in Your Subject Area.

A passing grade on the Praxis II test in the subject area/s you plan to teach is required to show subject matter competency. Some subject areas require more than one test; a few subjects require no Praxis II test.

The tests are given September, November, January, March, June and July at various locations throughout the state. Certain Praxis II tests are given by appointment at local testing centers including the Pemberton or Mount Laurel campuses of BCC. Go to the ETS website,, or call 609-771-7395 for testing and registration information.

After taking the test, ETS will forward your Praxis score to you and to the DOE. Be sure to use the code for the DOE Office of Certification and Induction, code R7666, on the Praxis registration. You must include your Social Security number on the application. This is the only way to ensure your Praxis II score goes directly to your file at the DOE.

Passing the Praxis II is required to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CE). A Praxis score does not expire but ETS does not keep records for more than five years. Print out sufficient copies of your Praxis II scores when they become available.

3. Request Official Transcripts

Request official transcripts from each college you have attended and deliver or have the transcripts mailed to the NPTNJ office at the address on the page 8. NPTNJ does not accept electronic transcripts. Copies are not acceptable.

You will need a total of four (4) official transcripts from each college attended during the total application process (three if you have a CE). All transcripts must be sealed in separate envelopes. Three official transcripts from each college attended are required for the NPTNJ application process and one official transcript from eachcollege attended is required for the CE application. If you receive the transcripts, do not open. Mail or deliver them to the NPTNJ office. A transcript is not official if it has been opened. All transcripts will be held in your file until needed.

4. Apply for the CE

You must apply and pay for your CE online and obtain your personal tracking number at:

Twice each year (April and July) the NPTNJ coordinator can expedite your application to the DOE. At other times of the year you may submit the completed packet directly to the DOE. It is recommended that you have the NPTNJ Coordinator review your packet prior to sending the information on your own. Make a copy of all documents for your personal record. The following documents must be assembled:

  • Original copy of the New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey Introduction to Teaching 24-Hour Pre-Service Program completion certificate if required (see No. 1 above).
  • Copy of Praxis II score from ETS (see No. 2 above).
  • Official transcripts (see No. 3 above).
  • Notarized Oath of Allegiance (downloaded from the DOE website).
  • Completion of Physiology and Hygiene requirement.
  • Completed NPTNJ checklist (available from BCC’s NPTNJ office).

NOTE: It is important to fulfill the above requirements and apply for your CE as soon as possible. You must have your CE “in-hand” rather than “in-process” to enroll in Stage 1.

5. Take Physiology and Hygiene Test

If your transcript does not indicate study in any of the following areas you must take the Physiology and Hygiene Test.

The areas of college study that exempt you from the test include: human biology, personal health problems, community health, school health, family health, health counseling, nutrition, or health administration. Military service will also fulfill this requirement. If you are not certain you have fulfilled this requirement in your college studies, we suggest you take the test by making an appointment at the NPTNJ Office at BCC as soon as you meet all other requirements.

You will get your tracking number at the following web address:

Bring your tracking number with you when you take the Physiology and Hygiene Test. This number should be used in all correspondence with the DOE.

6. Apply to the Burlington County College NPTNJ Program. Applications are available in January of 2015.

Your NPTNJ Application Packet is complete when the community college has the following on file:

  • Copy of CE
  • Three official transcripts from each college attended (see #3 above)
  • Completed NPTNJ Application
  • Copy of your Praxis II scores (if applicable)

7. Stage I

If you meet the eligibility requirements you will be admitted to Stage I when all items that comprise the application packet have been received by the college NPTNJ office (see No. 6). Registration and payment procedures, current fees, program dates/times and other relevant information will be given when you request the NPTNJ Application.

If Stage I at your community college of choice is full, or for any reason you cannot attend during those dates, we suggest you apply to another community college. All participating community colleges offer the same program for the same fee and have the same admission requirements. Students may transfer to another participating community college between Stages I and II.

To successfully complete Stage I, students must fulfill all program requirements and earn a minimum grade of B. Students who took Stage I for credit will receive 4 NJCU graduate credits. Both credit and non-credit students will receive a Stage I Completion Certificate.

Students may complete Stage I in one year and come back to complete Stage II another year. There is no time limit between completing Stage I and returning to complete Stage

8. Stage II

Enrollment in Stage II requires:

  • Successful completion of Stage I (see #7)
  • Provisional teaching job in a public, charter, or private K-12 school. This means you are hired as the “teacher of record” in a subject in which you have a CE. Part-time jobs (minimum 15 hours/week) are acceptable though the teacher candidate will need to teach more than one year (the equivalent of one full year of teaching) to receive standard certification. Teacher aide, teacher assistant or daily substitute positions are not acceptable.
  • A long-term substitute job is acceptable if  
    1) You have a CE in the subject area
    2) The assignment is, at a minimum, September/October through January and  
    3) The district will enroll you in the Provisional Teacher Program. All three criteria must be met.
  • Enrollment in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP): All new teachers must be enrolled by their school district in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP) with the DOE.

To successfully complete Stage II students must fulfill all program requirements and earn a minimum grade of B. Credit students will receive 11 NJCU graduate credits. Both credit and noncredit students will receive a Stage II Completion Certificate.

9. Literacy and Math Methods Courses

Starting October 31, 2009, all alternate route candidates applying for an elementary education (K-6) and middle school (5-8) CE will be required to complete a 45-hour methods course in the teaching of literacy and a 45-hour methods course in the teaching of math during their provisional year. Teachers holding a subject area CE, no matter what grade they are teaching, are exempt from this requirement. 

When all provisional year requirements have been met, the teacher candidate will receive standard certification from the NJDOE.

Send all documents to:

Dr. Carol Grant-Holmes, Coordinator

NPTNJ Office 319L Parker Center

Burlington County College 
601 Pemberton Browns Mills Road
Pemberton, NJ 08068-1599 

Subject/Grade Level Academic Requirements

How do I know if I have the qualifications to teach Elementary, Middle or High School? 
The sections below cover the academic requirements that your college transcript/s must reflect. To show subject competency, you must also pass the Praxis II in your subject area. A few subjects require no Praxis II exams.

If you are uncertain if you have the credits to teach a subject, the DOE will review your transcripts for a fee from November until April of each year. You must indicate on the application the endorsement (subject area) you want evaluated as that is the only area that will be evaluated. The fee will be applied toward your CE application. The Burlington County College NPTNJ office does not review transcripts.

  • Elementary Education (grades K-6):

To qualify for a CE in elementary education you must have 60 credits in liberal arts.

  • Middle School (grades 5-8): There are multiple requirements to qualify.

To teach middle school you must have two CEs, one in elementary education (60 liberal arts credits) and one in Elementary Education with middle school specialization (science, math, social studies, English/language arts or a world language (Spanish, French, etc.).

Your transcript must show 15 credits in the subject you plan to teach. No credits above the 200 level are required.

There are specific Praxis II exams for all grades 5-8 specialization areas, with the exception of world languages. For any of the world languages, you must take the subject area Praxis II test, and follow the additional world language regulations (not included here and available from the DOE).

If you hope to teach a subject in middle school that is not one of the middle school specialization areas mentioned above (such as physical education or art) you will need a subject area CE, explained below. If you have a subject area CE, you may teach this subject K-12 and do not need an elementary or middle school CE.

  • To Qualify to Teach High School (grades 9-12):

A subject area CE is required. To qualify for a CE in a subject area such as math, social studies, English, physical sciences, psychology, etc., 30 credits in the subject field are required. Though a subject area CE is often referred to as a high school or secondary CE, a subject area CE qualifies you to teach that subject K-12.

The credits must be in a coherent sequence, 100-400 level, with a minimum of 12 credits at the 300-400 (junior/senior/graduate) level.

A subject area CE is the most versatile CE and gives you the option of teaching that subject K-12. A subject area CE does not require an elementary CE or middle school CE or the 45-hour math and 45-hour literacy courses even if hired for an elementary or middle school position.

  • To Qualify to Teach a Career and Technical subject, Business Education, or Family and Consumer Science:

All career and technical subjects (with the exception of Teacher of Technology), business education, and family and consumer science teachers are required to enroll in the alternate route program offered at Brookdale Community College. Contact Ms. Kelly Canonico ( for additional details.

  • Summary of Requirements to Teach at Different Levels, K-12
  • Pre K -3 is not available through NPTNJ
  • To teach K-6 an Elementary Education CE is required. (see subject area CE exception)
  • To teach middle school a CE in Elementary Education and a CE in a middle school specialization in one of the four areas is required. (see subject area CE exception)
  • A subject area CE qualifies you to teach the subject K-12. Thirty credits in that subject are required. A subject area CE is the most versatile and gives you the most employment options. You may teach only that subject and may not teach an elementary or middle school classroom where all subjects taught by one teacher with a subject area CE.


****Special Notice****
The NPTNJ office does not review transcript/s, advise on what you are qualified to teach, determine what credits might be missing, or if your course work has fulfilled the physiology and hygiene requirement. This is the sole jurisdiction of the DOE Office of Certification and Induction. Remember, only the endorsements (subject area/s) you list on the CE application will be considered for transcript review and approval.

You will receive your CE from the DOE when their review is complete and if you meet the qualifications. The process is sometimes a lengthy one and we suggest you start the application process as soon as possible.

Getting A Job

You are eligible to be hired as a provisional teacher after you receive your CE. The CE is an official DOE document that shows you are qualified to teach that subject in New Jersey.

It is easiest to get a job in physics, chemistry, other sciences, math, and languages. The most difficult job to get is an elementary education position in a suburban school. Urban schools, private and charter schools often have jobs in all areas, at all levels. You are responsible for finding your own job with assistance from the NPTNJ coordinator and instructors. We highly encourage you to explore teaching positions outside your “comfort zone” to increase your options for employment.

If you are hired by a school district and have not completed a traditional teacher preparation program you must be in an alternate route program. NPTNJ is one of those programs. Each year a high percentage of new teachers throughout the state are alternate route teachers. The NPTNJ program has gained a reputation for high academic standards and for graduating well-prepared teachers and is favored by many school districts in the hiring of alternate route teachers.

The county superintendent’s office is one source of county job openings, as are the websites of school districts. The following are two helpful websites:


  • New Jersey Department of Education Office of Licensing and Credentials
  • Foreign Credentials Review: World Education Services: phone 212-966-6311; fax 212-739-6139; website

Glossary of Terms

  • DOE: New Jersey Department of Education
  • Certificate of Eligibility (CE): Shows the person has the qualifications to teach in New Jersey and may seek employment in the subject area/s indicated. This is NOT a teaching license.
  • Certificate of Advanced Standing (CEAS): Same as a CE but is only issued to people who have graduated from a traditional teacher preparation program and completed
    student teaching
  • Provisional License: One-year license that allows first year teachers to begin working in the classroom and legalizes employment. Upon employment, the school enrolls the new teacher in the Provisional Teacher Program. Under certain circumstances the provisional license can be extended beyond one year.
  • Provisional Teacher Program (PTP): The combination of training, support and evaluation required by the state of New Jersey for first year teachers.
  • Standard License: The permanent credential that allows the holder to serve without condition in all New Jersey schools. The standard license is issued after meeting all requirements of the provisional license.
  • NPTNJ Liaison: The person at each community college responsible for administering the NPTNJ program.