1. Complete an approved teacher preparation program from an accredited college or university.
Requires prospective teachers to meet and maintain a high academic standard while completing the necessary coursework to become certified. Additionally, many programs require that students participate in student teaching experiences in order to gain hands-on experience working with students and a classroom environment. Prospective teachers should consult with the college or university they attend to ensure they are meeting all requirements.
2. Pass a criminal history background check.
The NJ Department of Education requires that prospective teachers pass a criminal background check before they can become certified. This includes a review of records from state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as reviews of any prior professional misconduct.
3. Obtain two letters of recommendation from previous employers.
Prospective teachers must submit two letters of recommendation from individuals who have direct experience working with them in a professional capacity or have supervised them in an academic setting. These letters should provide detailed information about the applicant’s qualifications for teaching and any experiences that demonstrate their commitment to education and/or students.
4. Complete the Praxis I and/or Praxis II exams in your area of certification.
The Praxis tests are examinations designed to measure the skills and knowledge needed for successful teaching. Prospective teachers must pass each test with a minimum score before they can be certified.
5. Submit official transcripts for all post-secondary education, including any courses taken at another institution.
Prospective teachers need to submit their official transcripts from every college or university they attended in order to become certified as an NJ teacher. This includes any coursework completed at another institution that may not have been part of their degree program, such as summer classes or online programs.
6. Register with the New Jersey Department of Education's Educator Information System (EIS).
Prospective teachers must register with the New Jersey Department of Education’s Educator Information System (EIS). This system is used to track and record all certification information related to a teacher, including their credentials, qualifications, and experience. It also stores important documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation.
7. Submit to fingerprinting by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
In order to ensure the safety of students and staff members in New Jersey schools, prospective teachers must submit to fingerprinting before they can become certified. All fingerprints are sent directly to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission for review.
8. Apply for your NJ educator certificate using the online application system available through EIS.
Once all of the other requirements have been met, prospective teachers should use the online application system through EIS to apply for their NJ educator certificate. This application must include a signed statement of eligibility and a payment of applicable fees.
9. If applicable, submit evidence that you have completed student teaching experiences outlined by your academic program.
If student teaching experiences were part of the requirements of your academic program, you must submit evidence that these experiences have been completed in order to become certified. This can include written evaluations from supervisors or other documentation as required by the college or university.
10. Submit any additional documents required by the NJ Department of Education.
The NJ Department of Education may require applicants to submit additional documents such as test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, or criminal background checks before they can be granted certification. Applicants should consult with their college or university for a full list of requirements and any additional documents needed for certification.
11. Renew your NJ teacher certification every three years by submitting a renewal application and completing all other requirements.
NJ teacher certification must be renewed every three years. To do so, teachers must submit a renewal application and verify that they have met all other requirements for renewal, such as completing continuing education courses or earning professional development credits. Teachers should consult the NJ Department of Education website for a complete list of requirements for certification renewal.
12. Complete the necessary steps to upgrade or add additional endorsements and certifications as needed.
Teachers who wish to upgrade or add additional endorsements and certifications may do so by completing the necessary steps. These can include passing additional tests, submitting transcripts, and meeting any other requirements outlined by the NJ Department of Education. Teachers should consult with their college or university for specific information about upgrading or adding endorsements and certifications.