Program overview

The 2-year NJ Alternate Route process is for individuals who have earned an Instructional Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and have been provisionally hired by a NJ public school district to teach in their intended area of certification and need to complete a formal teacher preparation program.

We understand that you want to employ your passion in learning to become a professional educator. We’re here to help you every step of the way, and support you in realizing your goal of becoming a dynamic and effective practitioner.

How to pursue the NJ Alternate Route teaching certificate

Follow these steps toward earning your certificate.

Obtain a CE for the subject/grade level you wish to teach

Candidates must have obtained a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) through the NJ Office of Licensure and Academic Credentials (OLC). View the New Jersey Department of Education Certification Application Checklist.

Is the program right for me?

  • You have a passion for teaching.
  • You want to turn what you have learned through your work experience into a career as a professional educator.
  • You have an offer to work as a teacher in a New Jersey public school, and have not completed a formal teacher preparation program.

Don’t have a teaching contract yet? You should consider our Post-Baccalaureate teaching programs.

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Program highlights

Rider offers a streamlined program of professional studies that combines the best of theory, research and practice.

Highlights include:

  • Participate in classes alongside adult students and colleagues in our formal teacher preparation programs.
  • Get personalized support from experienced faculty.
  • Complete the Master of Arts in teaching degree with just one additional course.
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Program requirements

The NJ Alternate Route Teaching Certificate Program provides rigorous teacher preparation and individualized guidance to help you to develop your knowledge, skills and confidence as a teacher while you teach with your CE under provisional agreement with the district. This 2-year program comprises 27 graduate-level credit hours, and meets the educational requirements for certification. With the addition of just one 3-credit course, students in the program can earn their 30-credit Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.

Areas of study

All areas of study lead to a teacher certification in the state of New Jersey. Area of study or specialty is based on the NJ teaching certification intended.

Students will be able to apply all of their certification credits (27 credits) from the Alternate Route certification program toward the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree if they choose.

Programs include:

  • Art
  • Business Education
  • Dance
  • ESL
  • Science
  • Elementary K-6
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Early Childhood P-3
  • Social Studies
  • Theater
  • Music
  • World Languages

Frequently asked questions

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Certificates and endorsements explained

Initial teaching certification is the first step while additional certifications, endorsements and degrees add qualifications to an existing license.


Kathleen Pierce, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Master of Arts in Teaching and Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Programs

Graduate Education, Leadership and Counseling

Bierenbaum Fisher Hall

kpierce [at]

Academic Focus: Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education

Education building with flowers in front of it.