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Frequently Asked Questions

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Alternate Route Pre-service Workshop at Kean University

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 24 hour pre-service program?

The state of New Jersey requires that alternate route candidates complete 24 hours of study in basic pedagogical skills including four hours of classroom observation. Content of the program includes overview of the teaching profession, classroom management, lesson planning, diversity, and technology. Participants must also complete 4 hours of classroom observation.

Who can attend the workshop?

The pre-service workshop is open to all.  You do not have to have taken any prerequisite courses or have any prior teaching experience.   For those who are considering a career in teaching, the workshop is a good way to get the inside scoop and find out if it is right for you.   

What is the alternate route to teaching?

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.

Where can I do my four hours of classroom observation?

You can observe at a public or charter school of your choice.  Consider schools with which you have an established personal connection or professional relationship.  When seeking opportunities, be sure to remind school staff that your observation is a New Jersey Department of Education requirement.  Click here to download the field observation assignment guidelines and the verification letter, or simply click on "Observation" on the sidebar.  The signed letter should be brought with you when you attend the workshop.

What are the certificate of eligibility requirements?

The official state of New Jersey requirements to obtain a certificate of eligibility can be found here.

What is the physiology and hygiene requirement?

You may know that one of the requirements for a Certificate of Eligibility is a passing score on the physiology and hygiene test.  This test is given to candidates at a County Office of Education, after which it is faxed to the Office of Licensure and scored by an examiner.   We recommend  that candidates go to their county office and take the test. 

For candidates, there are several important pieces of information that they should know before doing this:

  • There are exemptions for people who have taken and passed a biology,physiology, health, substance abuse, or nutrition course, or have served in the military.
  • Candidates should not try to take the test until they have a tracking number and should be prepared to provide the tracking number to the county office personnel who administer the test.
  • Candidates should call the county office to find out when the test is given.  Not all county offices have a drop-in policy.

Contact information and locations of county offices are available on the Department website at

What is the Praxis test?

Click here to find out more about the Praxis test.  More information on the Praxis test requirements in the state of New Jersey can be found by visiting

Where can I get more information?

The NJDOE Page of FAQs is:

OVERVIEW of the Alternate Route Process for K-6 & K-12 Teacher Candidates:

Once you obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, you are able to apply for teaching jobs in public and charter schools. After signing a teaching contract and starting your teaching job, you will be assigned a mentor (a teacher in your building) and you will teach during the day and take classes or courses in the evening and/or Saturdays until you complete the program of 200 hours for K-12 teachers and 290 hours for K-6 teachers.

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