P3 Alternate Route


Advisor: Holly Seplocha
Entry Requirements
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • An academic major in liberal arts or science.
  • A baccalaureate grade point average of at least 2.75 when 4.0 equals an A grade.
  • Verification of employment as a P-3 teacher or a letter of a promise of employment with a start date within the first semester of classes. (Note: You must be employed full time as a teacher in order to continue into the second academic semester.)

Note: 2 & 3 may be waived if the student holds a NJDOE Certificate of Eligibility for P-3.

Application Process

Apply through WPU Graduate Admissions Office for admission as a Non-Degree Student for the P-3 Specialized Alternate Route Program.

Course Requirements: Credits
Course Number and Title Credits
CIEC 6020 Curriculum Development & Classroom Management in Early Childhood
CIEC 6180 Language Development and Emergent Literacy 3
CIEC 6110 Parenting and Parent Involvement in School and Community 3
CIEC 6350 Creativity and Play
CIEC 6360 Foundations in Early Childhood Education: Environments and Authentic Assessment
CIEC 5010 Practicum & Seminar for modified alternate route certification
(Taken for 1 credit each of 2 academic semesters)


General Information
  • All courses are offered in the evenings or on Saturdays.
  • Most students complete the courses in one year, taking 1 course in the summer and 2 courses plus practicum during Fall and Spring Semesters.
  • Students must hold a Certificate of Eligibility to take Practicum/ Seminar credits and be employed as a teacher, but may begin the courses while they are awaiting their CE.
  • All courses except the Practicum/Seminar are part of our 33 credit M.Ed. program in Early Childhood Education. Students who wish to continue to complete their Master's degree, can apply to Graduate Admissions at the end of their P-3 coursework. If accepted into the Master's program, students can apply the P-3 coursework credits to the Master's program with an early childhood concentration.
Certificiation Process

Simply taking the course will not grant you certification. As this is a Specialized Alternate Route program, the University does not recommend your certification. Alternate Route Certification involves your district/school enrolling you in the Provisional Teacher Program and providing you with a Mentor and Supervisor and completing the required course program. You are recommended for certification by the district/school upon successful completion of Mentoring, District/School required evaluations, and the completion of the Specialized Alternate Route course program.

Initial Steps

Apply to the NJ Department of Education for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) for P-3. Upon review of your undergraduate transcripts, DOE will issue you a CE if you meet the GPA requirements and have an academic or science major. This can take anywhere from 2-4 months. The CE allows you to seek employment with a public school or approved nonpublic school. When the certificate holder accepts an offer of employment the district/school must register the employment to the Office of Professional Development (609) 984-6377 and request issuance of a provisional license. This one year license allows the holder to begin working in the classroom and legalizes employment. It signifies that the applicant holds a CE and has accepted an offer of employment. In addition, it signifies that the employing school district or approved nonpublic school has registered the applicant in the Provisional Teacher Program and agreed to provide the required support and supervision. Special Note: While some nonpublic schools or child development centers will employ you without a CE in hand, you must have a CE in order to complete the specialized alternate route courses and the Provisional Teacher mentoring and evaluation.

Additional Resources
  • NJ DOE Office of Licensing and Academic Credentials: 609- 292-2070, Monday - Friday between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 p.m
  • NJ DOE website: http://www.state.nj.us/education Go to Licensing and you can apply online for your Certificate of Eligibility or track its progress. Go to Early Childhood Education and A P-3 question and answer section on DOE's Early Childhood Education webpage is provided and addresses a variety of concerns and special situations.
  • NJ Profession Development Center for Early Care and Education website: http://www.njpdc.org If you are employed by an Abbott District contracted child care center, scholarships are currently available for tuition for the Specialized Alternate Route coursework from the NJ PDC. If you are employed by a public school district, you are not eligible for this scholarship. If you are employed by a non-Abbott child care center and meet income eligibility, limited scholarships may also be available.
  • Holly Seplocha , 973-720-2310 email: seplochah@wpunj.edu
  • WPU Graduate Admissions: 973-720-2237 8:30 - 4:30, Monday - Friday; email: graduate@wpunj.edu