Alternate Routes Policy
The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: New Jersey does not limit the providers of its alternate routes. The state outlines preparation program requirements in both credit hours and contact hours, making it clear that both institutions of higher education (IHE) and non-IHE providers can offer programs. In addition, some alternate route programs housed within IHEs provided flexibility in how candidates may complete the program, rather than having credit-based requirements. The state is commended for allowing a diversity of alternate route providers. Currently, three of the state's approved Certificate of Eligibility (CE) preparation program providers are not based at an IHE.
N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-8.3 New Jersey Department of Education, Certificate of Eligibility (CE) Educator Preparation Programs: http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/rpr/preparation/alternate/
As a result of New Jersey's strong alternate route provider policies, no recommendations are provided.
New Jersey was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
Alternate routes should be structured to do more than just address shortages; they should provide an alternative pipeline for talented individuals to enter the profession. Many states have structured their alternate routes as a streamlined means to certify teachers in shortage subjects, grades, or geographic areas. A true alternate route creates a new pipeline of potential teachers by certifying those with valuable knowledge and skills who did not prepare to teach as undergraduates and are disinclined to fulfill the requirements of a new degree.
Some states claim that the limitations they place on the use of their alternate routes impose quality control. However, states control the criteria for who is admitted and who is licensed. With appropriate standards for admission and program accountability, quality can be safeguarded without casting alternate routes as routes of last resort or branding alternate route teachers "second-class citizens."