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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

What is an Alternate Route Program?

An Alternate Route Program is a non-traditional teacher education program designed for those individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, but wish to become a certified teacher in New Jersey.

What is the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program?

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Alternate Route Program is designed for individuals who have not completed a traditional teacher education program and want to teach career and technical education programs (formerly designated vocational-technical programs) in vocational-technical high schools or comprehensive high schools that offer career and technical education courses.

What does the Career and Technical Education Alternate Program entail?

The Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program is a 200 hour instructional program required of all first year Career and Technical Education teachers by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). It is conducted in a hybrid format which includes online sessions and in-person instruction. The Career and Technical Education Program is one of many requirements to obtain standard certification.

What is the difference between the Career and Technical Education alternate route program and a traditional alternate route program?

The curriculum for the Career and Technical Education alternate route program contains components that have been developed specifically for teachers in Career and Technical Education programs. In addition, Career and Technical Education alternate route teachers must complete the NJ Department of Education Two-hour Safety and Health Certificate Training conducted online by the New Jersey Safe Schools Program.

Where can I enroll in a Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program?

Brookdale Community College is the sole NJ Department of Education approved provider of the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program for the State of New Jersey at this time.

What is the tuition for the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program?

The Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program can be taken for noncredit or credit. Noncredit tuition is $1,450 and credit tuition is $1,732.50, plus a $25 application fee. The curriculum and requirements for the noncredit and credit options are identical.

Do I have to travel to Brookdale Community College for all of the Career and Technical Education Program classes?

No, the program has been developed in a hybrid format. Most of the classes are conducted online. Face-to-face instruction or “Cohort Saturdays”, are conducted approximately one Saturday per month. We make every effort to locate the “Cohort Saturdays” at a site that is central to the locations from which the students are traveling.

Am I eligible for the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route program?

In order to be eligible for the Career and Technical Education Program you must have a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility (CE), must be hired to teach in the subject area in which you hold your Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility, and must be enrolled in the NJ Department of Education Career and Technical Education Provisional Teacher Program by the employing school district.

What is the Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility?

The Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility is the document issued by the NJ Department of Education that certifies that you are knowledgeable in a specific content area, and have been approved by the Department of Education to teach that subject. The certificate of eligibility is good indefinitely, and you may hold more than one certificate of eligibility, if qualified. Once your certificate of eligibility is issued, you may begin to apply for teaching jobs. There are different requirements based on degree levels and work experience.

Can I earn college credits for taking the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program?

Yes, Brookdale Community College has developed an associate’s degree credit option for individuals who do not already have a college degree, or who may want to pursue credits for an additional degree. Individuals in the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program will be offered the opportunity to earn college credits toward an Associate’s degree at Brookdale Community College. Candidates can earn 15 Education credits toward a Technical Education AAS by successfully completing the components of the Stage I and Stage II curriculum. The tuition for the credit option is $1,732.50, plus an application fee of $25. The curriculum and requirements for the noncredit and credit options are identical.

Submitting A Career And Technical Education Certificate Of Eligibility Application

How do I apply for a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility?

There are several requirements for applying for a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility. The NJ Department of Education requires all applicants to apply and pay for their certificate of eligibility online through the NJ Department of Education website. You must successfully complete an “Introduction to Teaching, 24-hour Pre-Service Program” and submit the Certificate of Completion with other supporting documents. All applicants are required to take the Physiology and Hygiene Exam at the County Superintendent of Education Office. With the submission of these documents, you must provide a notarized copy of the Oath of Allegiance, which can be downloaded from the NJ Department of Education website. Other requirements may vary depending on the level of education or employment experience (see below). *All necessary supporting documents should be mailed to the NJ Department of Education Office of Licensure & Credentials.

Applicants must submit their application for a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility using the NJ Department of Education Office of Licensure and Credentials’ online application system. For further details, go to How To Apply For Certification.

What Career and Technical Education certifications are available in New Jersey?

What are the educational requirements for applying for a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility?

You may apply for a certificate of eligibility using employment or self-employment experience, a college degree, or a combination of employment experience and education. If using employment or self-employment experience, the experience must be in the occupation identified on the certificate of eligibility endorsement for which you are applying. If using a college degree, the degree awarded must be in the subject area that you are seeking on the certificate of eligibility endorsement for which you are applying.

Note: If an individual is required by the State of New Jersey to hold an occupational license or certificate for employment, then the applicant must also have a current occupational license or certificate for employment in addition to other certificate of eligibility requirements.

How do I apply for a certificate of eligibility using a Bachelor’s or higher level degree?

You must request official copies of transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended and submit them to the NJ Department of Education with other supporting documents.

How do I apply for a certificate of eligibility using an Associate Degree and employment experience?

You must submit evidence to the NJ Department of Education of at least two years employment experience (approximately 4,000 hours) in the occupational field of the endorsement. Experience must have occurred within 10 years of the certificate of eligibility application date and must be documented and verified by the applicant’s employer(s) on the NJ Department of Education “Statement of Employment Experience” form.

How do I apply for a certificate of eligibility using employment or self-employment experience only?

You must submit evidence to the NJ Department of Education of at least four years of employment experience (approximately 8,000 hours) in the occupational field of the endorsement. Experience must have occurred within 10 years of the certificate of eligibility application date and must be documented and verified by the applicant’s employer(s) on the NJ Department of Education “Statement of Employment Experience” form. If applying for a certificate of eligibility using self-employment, you must submit a notarized letter to the NJ Department of Education from a tax preparer and/or attorney verifying that you have filed state and/or federal taxes for the self-employment using a federal U.S. Census North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code in the occupational field of the endorsement.

Who is required to take the Praxis exams?

Individuals applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) with employment or self-employment experience only, may be issued the CE without taking the Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. However, they are required to pass three Core Academic Skills for Educators exams in the subject areas of Reading, Writing, and Math, administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) and listed under Career and Technical Education Praxis I Academic Skills Assessment in Reading (test #5712), Praxis Academic Skills Assessment in Writing (test #5722), and Praxis I Academic Skills Assessment in Math (test #5732) before their Standard Teaching Certification will be issued or prior to renewal of their Provisional Certificate. Individuals who apply for a CE and hold an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or higher level degree, are not required to take a Praxis exam unless they are seeking certification in Business, Marketing, Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology, or Technology Education. Individuals who are seeking these certifications must take the Praxis II exam in the appropriate subject area. A copy of these scores must then be submitted to the NJ Department of Education with other supporting documents.

Where can I find out more information about the Praxis exams?

Information about which Praxis exams are required for your Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility can be found at the NJ Department of Education website. You can register for the exam at the Education Testing Services (ETS) website.

What is the Introduction to Teaching 24-hour Pre-Service Program?

All first time applicants for a certificate of eligibility are required by the NJ Department of Education to complete 24 hours of formal instruction prior to applying for their certificate of eligibility. The Introduction to Teaching 24-hour Pre-Service Program provides an overview of the teaching profession, classroom management, assessment tools, lesson plans, learning strategies, job search strategies for teachers, diversity in the classroom, the implementation of technology, and classroom observations. It is a non-credit course with 20 hours of class work and a 4-hour classroom observation. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Certificate of Completion, which must be submitted to the NJ Department of Education with your certificate of eligibility application.

If I already have my certificate of eligibility, do I have to take the Introduction to Teaching 24-hour Pre-Service Program?

If you already have been issued a certificate of eligibility, you do not need to take the Introduction to Teaching, 24-hour Pre-Service program. If you have already been issued a certificate of eligibility, but have not taught in the certificate of eligibility subject area, you must take the Introduction to Teaching, 24-hour Pre-Service program prior to applying for an additional certificate of eligibility.

Does Brookdale offer the Introduction to Teaching, 24-hour Pre-Service Program?

Yes, Brookdale offers the state-approved program at different dates and times. Or you may choose from other providers. Other community colleges also offer the program.

What is the Physiology and Hygiene Exam?

Certificate of eligibility applicants must pass an examination in physiology and hygiene, including the effects of narcotics and alcohol. The examination is administered at the County Offices of Education. Some areas of basic military training or college study may exempt you from taking this test, such as human biology, personal health problems, community health, school health, family health, health counseling, nutrition, or health administration. There is no charge for the exam and no appointment is needed. Locate a County Office of Education.

What are the fees for a certificate of eligibility application?

There is a fee to apply for a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility. For fee details, visit the NJ Department of Education Office of Licensure and Credentials.

How long does the NJ Department of Education take to issue a certificate of eligibility?

Certificates of eligibility may take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to be issued. If the NJ Department of Education is missing any of the required documents, they will contact the applicant directly; however, this may delay the process. To avoid this delay, applicants are urged to send complete certificate of eligibility applications with all required supporting documents

How do I check on the status of my certificate of eligibility application?

Once your NJ Department of Education online application has been processed you may check the status of your application by choosing “CHECK APPLICATION STATUS” on the NJ Department of Education website.

How long is the certificate of eligibility valid? Does it expire?

The certificate of eligibility is not a license and does not have an expiration date.

Provisional Teacher Program

I have my Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility, how do I apply to the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Alternate Route Program?

If you hold a Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility, have been hired to teach in your certificate of eligibility subject area, and have been enrolled by your district in the NJDOE Provisional Teacher Program, you can apply to the CTE Alternate Route Program by completing the Career and Technical Education Alternate Route application. The completed application must be submitted along with a copy of your Career and Technical Education certificate of eligibility and employment contract or letter from your district verifying your employment as a provisional teacher in the certificate of eligibility endorsement area. View application information.

What is a Provisional Teacher and what is the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP)?

A “Provisional Teacher” is an individual who has been issued a certificate of eligibility, and hired by a school district as a first year, novice teacher. Provisional teachers must participate in the “Provisional Teacher Program” during which they will be supervised by experienced teachers and district staff, will be partnered with a mentor, and will complete formal course work that is part of the Provisional Teacher Program. All Provisional Teacher Program paperwork must be submitted by the school district to the NJ Department of Education prior to enrollment in the CTE Alternate Route Program. Provisional teachers must be teaching full-time or half-time. Full-time teachers may complete the Provisional Teacher Program in one year, half-time teachers in two years.

What are the components of the Provisional Teacher Program?

The Provisional Teacher Program for Career and Technical Education teachers consists of 200 hours of instruction in a NJ Department of Education approved alternate route program, which includes mentoring (34 weeks of support by a school-based, experienced teacher, including four weeks of intensive mentoring at the beginning of the program), and supervision & evaluation (three evaluations conducted by school based administrators, including a final evaluation recommending the novice teacher for standard certification). You must also complete the NJDOE Two-hour Safety and Health Certificate Training and Praxis I exams (if required). The Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Program is an NJ Department of Education approved program.

Standard Certification Requirements