If you want to be a teacher in New Jersey, you need to possess a teaching license. If your question is, “Doesn’t the degree allow me to start teaching right away?” The answer is that you need to get licensed to teach in any state in the United States of America, like New Jersey.
So how do you get a teaching license in NJ?
Basic Requirements for Teacher Licensing in NJ
All educators in New Jersey get ratified by the New Jersey Office of Licensure and Credentials. This office is under the State Board of Examiners. Usually, to get certified to teach in New Jersey, three things are required, namely:
- Having a Bachelor’s Degree in your teaching area
- Completing a New Jersey Teacher Preparation Program
- Passing the required examinations
The result of doing these things properly is that you get a CEAS, also referred to as the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing.
Pro Tip: With the CEAS credential, you are now free to apply for teaching employment in any education institution in New Jersey.
Note: The college where you will get your degree certification needs to be accredited as well. This means that the college needs to be certified by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation(CAEP).
Now that you know the requirements for getting a teaching license in New Jersey, what follows is knowing how to get licensed.
Steps to Getting a Teaching License in New Jersey
The process of getting teaching certified in New Jersey is straightforward. All you need to do is take a teacher preparation program and pass the required examinations.
The teacher preparation program in New Jersey is different from that of other states. For instance, you need to ensure that you conclude a particular range of coursework in your field. Here’s what to do for some of the fields:
- English for Kindergarten(12th Grade) requires 30 credit areas in an English program and 12 advanced class hours.
- Mathematics for Kindergarten(12th Grade) requires 30 credit areas in a Mathematics program plus 12 advanced class hours.
- Elementary Education for 5th Graders requires 60 liberal arts majors, credits, or science majors. If you desire to do grades 5-8 in particular fields, you may need an endorsement.
- Science for 12th Grade Kindergarten requires a minimum of 30 credit areas in Physics or Chemistry. Of the hours taken, allot 12 hours to Physics or Chemistry advanced levels. Moreover, you need to have taken 15 hours of chemistry or biochemistry, thermodynamics, and mechanical design, among others.
Once you complete the teacher preparation programs, what follows is tacking the required exams and passing them. There are two kinds of tests you will come across: basic skill tests and subject tests.
- Basic skills test: This is a must-take exam usually approved by the commissioner to get certified in New Jersey. An example of the basic skills test is the Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators.
Pro alternative: If you scored 23 or more in ACT or 1660+ in an SAT, or a 4 or more in the analytical writing section, this can be used in place of a basic skills test. Also, aim for a combined score of 310 in GRE. It is also applicable.
- Subject test: It is a rule in New Jersey that you must pass the exam in your specialty area. Also known as the PRAXIS II, there are practice tests and study guides for each version of the PRAXIS II you wish to take.
Note: Seek the guidance of a school advisor to ascertain that you’re signed up for the right test. Your test will be made constructed response essay questions and multiple-choice questions.
Now, doing your teacher preparation program and passing the required tests doesn’t mean that you now have the NJ teaching license. But, you are a step closer to getting your credential.
All you need to do is follow the above steps with the New Jersey teacher licensing process, that includes:
Making your application to the New Jersey Department of Licensure and Credentials. In your application, include the following credentials:
- Official transcripts proving the possession of a bachelor’s degree.
- Teacher preparation program proof of completion
- Complete application for a teaching license
- Scores for required tests passed.
- Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee
- Clearance from criminal records proof.
Important to note: The volume of applications is massive. Therefore, make your applications three to four months in advance.
All teaching license applications are processed via the Teacher Certification Information System(TCIS) online.
Note: The above license process involves having a Bachelor’s Degree, then a teacher preparation program, and some tests.
Before we forget, above, we talked about getting your NJ teaching license online, so how can you go about it?
Applying for NJ Teaching License Online
Getting your teaching license in NJ online is quite straightforward. Here’s how you can go about it?
- Foremost, go to the State of New Jersey Department of Education official website. Click here to go directly to the site.
- Secondly, click “Apply Online Through TCIS.”
You will land on the Teachers Certification Information System – Online homepage.
- Thirdly, navigate to “New Users Must Register First” and click on it.
You will land on the New User Registration page.
- Here, enter the required details in the form provided and click “Submit” to conclude the registration.
- Now, login with new details, “the registration email,” and a “password.”
- Lastly, follow hints on site to apply for an NJ teaching license.
Note: The application for a license cannot be completed online. Therefore, attach every required document to:
NJ Department of Education
Office of Licensure & Credentials
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
Pro advice: Wait and receive your transcripts first before mailing them alongside other documents to the above address.
Another approach: Getting licensed to teach is the alternate route, meant for individuals that have not taken the teacher preparation program in a certified college but still want to teach.
Alternative Route of Teacher Licensing in New Jersey
The alternative route speeds up the process of getting licensed to teach in New Jersey. Note, there are unique requirements for taking the alternative certification route, as follows:
- A Bachelor’s Degree with a G.P.A of not less than 3.0
- Completed pre-service coursework
With the above items, the usual step is acquiring a Certificate of Eligibility(CE). With this credential and a completed teacher preparation program, you can get your teaching certificate or do a master’s degree.
The CE is what we refer to as the alternative route to teacher licensing in New Jersey. Getting a Certificate of E requires taking the following:
- A 24-hour pre-service program formal instruction, or equivalent coursework from a certified university.
- Praxis content-area examinations for subject and grade level you wish to teach.
With the certificate of eligibility, you can now be hired to teach in New Jersey. Note that you have to continue and conclude the 200-hour alternate training center program requirement.
Once you have a CE, what follows is enrolment in a Provisional Teacher Program(PTP). This PTP program allows you to participate in school-based mentorship and training. Moreover, you’re accessed by an education administrator in New Jersey.
Bottom line: You’re now fully licensed to teach in New Jersey.
A teaching license is an important document to prove the legitimacy of your teaching profession. In the guide above, you will learn how to how to get a teaching license in NJ. All you need to do is take the necessary steps above to get the required credentials, apply for an NJ teaching license, and get started with your teaching profession in New Jersey.