Alternate Route Program Teach of Students with Disabilities Certificate Program

The Alternate Route Program is for candidates who have a position as a special education teacher while simultaneously pursuing certificate as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities.The 22 credit program includes coursework in principles and practices of special education (beginning in September 2018, the program will be 21 credits). This program prepares individuals to instruct students with diverse learning and social needs in a variety of special education programs.

Alternate Route candidates must possess a Standard NJ Teaching Certificate or a NJ Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in regular education and must have a teaching position in a state-approved educational setting.


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Program Advisor: Dr. Kelly McNeal
Entry requirements, in addition to the University's admission requirements, beginning September 2018:
  • Possession of a standard instructional license or CEAS in regular education
  • A certificate of eligibility (CE) in teacher of students with disabilities (TSD)
  • Verification or promise of full-time employment in a state-approved educational setting
  • Letter of recommendation from an educator
  • Interview

Required Coursework

Foundational Courses (Required Credits: 21)
The following courses are required for certification:

SPC 5010     Introduction to Special Education 3
SPC 5710     Specially Designed Instruction 3
SPC 5640     Managing Challenging Behaviors 3
SPC 5830     Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology 3
SPC 5730     Literacy: Advanced Instructional Content and Strategies  3
SPC 5850     Co-Teaching and Collaboration 3
SPC 6750     Assessment of Learning in Clinical Practice  3

Entry requirements prior to September 2018:
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Standard NJ Teaching Certificate or NJ Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in regular education
  • NJ Certificate of Eligibility in TSD
  • Employment contract or letter of promise of employment
  • Application form plus one letter of recommendation from an educator
Please allow 4-6 weeks for applications to be processed.

View Program Requirements & Courses

Exit Requirements
  • All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. Courses in which candidates earned a grade lower than C minus
    cannot be counted towards certification.
  • Completion of program requirements.

Information Regarding Field Experience/Demonstration Teaching Application
All placements are supervised, on site, by a William Paterson University Supervisor. If you are currently teaching AND have access to students who are classified, you may do SPC 6540 Demonstration Teaching in your own classroom. If you need a placement, the Office of Field Experience will provide one for you.

In order to register for Demonstration Teaching (SPC 6540), you must submit the following paperwork:

  • Clinical Experience Application
  • Four copies of the Resume for Clinical Work

  • If you are doing Demonstration Teaching in your classroom, you must also hand in the District Permission Letter.

    All of the necessary paperwork can be found on the Office of Field Experience webpage. 

    Please keep the following dates in mind as you complete the paperwork:

    Semester of Placement for SPC 6540 Application Due     
    Fall 2018 March 30, 2018
    Spring 2019 September 15, 2018
    Fall 2019 March 30, 2019
    Spring 2020* September 15, 2019
    *This is the last semester that SPC 6540 will be offered.
    Please contact the Graduate Director if you are unable to 
    complete the TSD/TSDA program by Spring 2020 so
    alternative arrangements can be made. 

    Please turn all completed paperwork in to the Graduate Director by the above due dates and be sure that all paperwork is neat and complete, or it will not be accepted. Please be advised that late applications will not be accepted. Because of this, it is recommended that you submit the paperwork if you intend on taking the class and, should it be necessary, the paperwork can be withdrawn if needed.

Information about applying for your endorsement can be obtained from the Office of Educational Enrollment and Certification.