Career Development

How to Become a Teacher Through Alternate Route

Ever thought about going back to school for a different career path? It’s not too late to try to change your path. If you want to become a teacher, thankfully there is an Alternate Route to Teaching

Alternate Route to Teaching

It’s in the saying, alternate or alternative, in which a candidate can go to school and work full-time as a teacher of record. This is different from the traditional route in which a candidate obtains more years and training to work as an educator in school. The Alternate Route program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program designed for those individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, but wish to obtain the necessary training to become a NJ certified teacher NJDOE-New Jersey Department of Education-Certification and Induction.


Alternative teacher certification is a way for those who hold a bachelor’s degree to transition into a teaching career. Those who earn alternative teacher certification bypass the traditional route of earning a bachelor’s degree in education. Instead, they turn to teaching after spending time in another career field. More teachers are need due to both high retirement and high attrition rates and a burgeoning student population nationwide. 


      One does not need to hold a bachelor’s degree in education to go into the Alternate Route. It is a requirement to hold a bachelor’s degree though. Here is how to get into the program according to the New Jersey Department of Education :

  • Apply to the NJDOE for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE). This allows you to obtain a teaching job.
  • Complete a 50-hour Introduction to Teaching Course/Seminar. This allows your school to obtain a Provisional License for you. The course can be taken at a participating college or university. 
  • Begin teaching in the Provisional Teacher Program as a teacher within a cooperating district.

For the state of New Jersey, The Certificate of Eligibility (CE) is the alternative pathway to New Jersey teacher certification. To qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility, candidates must complete at least 24 hours (or credits) of formal instruction in a Pre-service Program. These programs can be completed in as little as 1-2 years. Candidates must also take and pass the appropriate Praxis content-area exams for the subject area(s) and grade level(s) to be taught.

Provisional Teacher Program

To learn more about the Praxis exam, and to register please visit the ETS’s website. After a candidate has been hired under a Certificate of Eligibility (CE), he or she is enrolled in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP). This program is a school-administered, first-year-teacher induction program. A new teacher participates in school-based training and mentoring, as well as evaluation by administrators. Nevertheless, there are various requirements for formal instruction during this time, depending on which certification area is sought. Once the new teacher completes the Provisional Teacher Program and meets all other requirements for certification, he or she may apply for a permanent Standard Certificate.

For more information, please go to the New Jersey Department of Education website. Meanwhile, keep in mind you should still look for a teaching job after applying for your teaching certificate. You must inform the school district you apply to know that your certificate is pending. Your dream job is just around the corner.

For more K-12 job opportunities in New Jersey, create a free account on K12JobsNJ. Explore the career advice section for valuable tips on enhancing your resume, crafting compelling cover letters, and honing your interview skills. Sign up now to receive job alerts via text message, ensuring you stay informed about the latest opportunities.