Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
New Jersey offers its alternate route candidates streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
New Jersey's Provisional Teacher Program requires 200 hours of formal instruction in professional education aligned with the Professional Standards for Teachers. Elementary candidates must complete a minimum of 290 hours of formal instruction. New Jersey requires instruction to be focused on six areas: subject matter, human growth and development, diverse learners, instructional planning, assessment and professional development.
New Jersey is commended for both the length of its alternate route program and its coursework requirements, which offer the flexibility and content that new teachers need to succeed in the classroom, without being overly burdensome.
On-going mentoring of the provisional teacher is provided over a period of 34 weeks or proportionally longer if the provisional teacher holds a part-time teaching position. Mentoring consists of four weeks of intensive observation and coaching at the beginning of the program. New Jersey is commended for its mentoring program.
Provisional teachers can successfully complete their program within one year and then be recommended for standard licensure.
N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.4 http://www.nj.gov/education/educators/license/provprogram.htm
New Jersey was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. New Jersey reiterated that the mentoring program is 34 weeks for alternate route teachers, whereas traditionally trained teachers receive only 30 weeks. Further, the state asserted that although the mentor is not required by regulation to be certified in the same subject/grade level area as the novice teacher, guidance and technical assistance to districts emphasizes this preference.