Early Childhood (P3) Alternate Route Certificate Program

Program Advisor:
Dr. Anita Kumar
Phone: 973-720-2331
Office: Valley Rd Room V4094
Email: kumara1@wpunj.edu

Entry Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an academic major (or 60 credits in liberal arts) and a baccalaureate grade point average of at least 3.0 when 4.0 equals an A grade, if you graduated on or after September 1, 2016 (or a minimum of 2.75 GPA if you graduated before September 1, 2016).
  • Certificate of Eligibility (CE) for P-3 from the NJDOE.
  • 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.)

If you meet these requirements, apply online WPU Graduate Admissions

View Requirements and Course Descriptions: Early Childhood Education - Alternate Route, CERT

Apply Now

General Information

  • All courses are offered in the evenings or on Saturdays.
  • Most students complete the courses in two years, taking 1 course in the summer and 1-2 courses plus practicum during Fall and Spring Semesters.
  • Students must hold a Certificate of Eligibility for P-3 to take Seminar credits and be employed as a teacher, but may begin the courses while they are awaiting their CE.
  • Courses 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 up to 21 credits of the P-3 coursework to the Master's program with an early childhood concentration.

Certification Process

Simply taking the coursework will not grant you certification. As this is a Specialized Alternate Route Certificate program, the University does not recommend your certification. Alternate Route Certification involves your district/school enrolling you in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP), providing you with a Mentor and Supervisor, and you completing the 24 credit course program. In order to be registered as a Provisional Teacher, you also need to complete a 50-hour pre-professional seminar/experience. At WPU this is a non-credit course offered each semester on-line. Upon successful completion of the PTP Mentoring, District/School required evaluations, and the completion of the Specialized Alternate Route 24-credit course program, you are recommended for certification by the district/school. In addition, NJDOE requires that you complete and pass a Performance Assessment called edTPA (unless you currently hold another NJ Standard Certificate or CEAS).

Initial Steps

Apply on line at http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license/ to the NJ Department of Education for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) for P-3.

Register at www.ets.org and pass the required Praxis tests (Early Childhood Content Knowledge #5025 AND the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test.

Upon review of your undergraduate transcripts, passing score on state-approved basic skills tests (CORE or SAT or ACT or GRE), and passing score on Early Childhood Praxis II, NJDOE will issue a CE, if you meet the GPA requirements and have an appropriate academic major (or a minimum of 60 credits in Liberal Arts). The process can take anywhere from 2-4 months.

The CE allows you to seek employment with a public school or an approved nonpublic school. When the CE holder accepts an offer of employment and provides verification of completion of a 50-hour Pre-professional Experience, the district/school must register employment with the Office of Professional Development (609) 984-6377, and request issuance of a provisional license. This two-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 PTP mentoring and evaluation.

Additional Resources

NJ DOE Office of Licensing and Academic Credentials: 609- 292-2070, Monday - Friday between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

NJ DOE website: http://www.state.nj.us/education Go to Licensing and you can apply on line for your Certificate of Eligibility or track its progress. Grow NJKids http://www.grownjkids.com/getattachment/Providers-Educators If you are employed by a child care center involved with Grow NJKids, scholarships are currently available for tuition for the Specialized Alternate Route coursework. If you are employed by a public school district, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

Grow NJKids http://www.grownjkids.com/getattachment/Providers-Educators If you are employed by a child care center involved with Grow NJKids, scholarships are currently available for tuition for the Specialized Alternate Route coursework. If you are employed by a public school district, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

WPU Graduate Admissions: 973-720-2237 8:30 - 4:30, Monday - Friday; email: graduate@wpunj.edu

View Requirements and Course Descriptions: Early Childhood Education - Alternate Route, CERT

Apply Now