Early Childhood (P3) Alternate Route Certificate Program


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This program is designed for post- baccalaureate candidates with Certificate of Eligibility (CE) from the state and employment as a P-3 teacher. The 24-credit program helps candidates complete the formal instruction required for the P-3 certificate.

View required courses and course descriptions in the University Course Catalog
Click Here:Early Childhood Education - Alternate Route, CERT

Application Deadline

August 1st: Fall semester
December 1st: Spring semester
May 1st: Summer semester
*Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space availability basis

*International students are advised to apply by:
April 1st: Fall (September intake)
November 1st: Spring (January intake)
December 1st: Summer (May intake)

General Information:

  • All courses are offered in the evenings.
  • Students can complete courses in two years.
  • Students can begin courses as a non-degree graduate student while they are awaiting their CE.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for P-3 is required to take Seminar credits
  • Students can apply up to 21 credits of the CP-3 – Alt route coursework to the M.Ed in Curriculum and Learning – Early Childhood Education Concentration.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University’s admission requirements, candidates must:

  • Hold a NJDOE Certificate of Eligibility for P-3 (Requirements include a bachelor’s degree with an appropriate academic major in either liberal arts or a science program or 60 credits of liberal arts, a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, passing of Basic skills test requirement and Praxis II ECE (5025) test. See https://nj.gov/education/license/endorsements/1013CE.pdf
    Provide 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. 
  • Complete a 50-hour pre-professional seminar/experience. At WPU this is a non-credit course CIEC 5999 ($300), offered 2-3 times per year. Applicants who have completed a 24-hour pre-professional program should contact the program director to discuss the possible transfer of previously completed hours to satisfy the 50-hour requirement. 

Contact Us

Professor Anita Kumar 

Phone: 973-720-3086

Email: kumara1@wpunj.edu

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, 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 zero-credit course CIEC 5999 ($300) offered 2-3 times per year. 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, candidates must earn passing scores on NJDOE's performance assessment called edTPA to meet requirements for P-3 certificate and to be considered program completers (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 Combined Test (5752) combined or individually 5713, 5723, and 5733. See https://www.ets.org/praxis/nj/requirements/

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). This 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.

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