Educator Recruitment, Preparation, and Recognition
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Frequently Asked Questions

Recruitment

Q: What is the Department doing to attract educators to the state of New Jersey?

A: Our focus on recruitment includes analyzing current employment and retention policies and opportunities for improvement across the state. We will develop recommendations for pursuing additional principal pipelines or expanding existing ones, as well as policies that allow and encourage a robust, diverse pool of educators to come to and stay in New Jersey and to continuously improve their practice. We also aim to provide more effective and efficient resources for those hiring educators.

Preparation

Q: What are the praxis requirements for NJ certification?

A: This is the link to our Office of Licensure and Certification page where the current testing requirements, cut scores and flexibility options are available. http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license/praxis/

Q: Where can I find a list of traditional and alternate route educator preparation programs in New Jersey?

A: A list of the current approved traditional route educator preparation programs is posted here, and more information about the alternate route is found on the Alternate Route to Certification page. To learn about New Jersey's available certificates and endorsements please visit the Office of Licensure and Certification website.

 Q: Will the new evaluation system impact cooperating teachers hosting student teachers in the state?

A: If implemented effectively, student teaching experiences in the advent of AchieveNJ should not negatively impact any element of a teacher's evaluation. Additionally, components of the new system offer cooperating teachers opportunities to improve evaluation outcomes as a result of working with student teachers. One of the most significant benefits to this collaboration, which remains unchanged, is the positive impact student teachers can have on classroom instruction and student growth. A student teacher becomes an additional team member who can offer added classroom capacity, thus raising the effectiveness of a cooperating-teacher. A student teacher can assist with small group instruction, one-on-one assistance, and other team teaching strategies. This extra support may help students better understand the content being taught and better demonstrate that knowledge on a variety of assessments. In addition, student teachers might help increase the score of the cooperating teacher on the "professional responsibility" component of the teacher practice evaluation instrument.

Financial Aid and Loan Forgiveness/Cancellation

Q: What financial aid resources are available for individuals in educator preparation programs in New Jersey?

A: There are a variety of financial aid resources available to individuals who are planning on becoming educators.  In particular, TEACH Grant is a federal program that provides up to $4,000 each year for individuals that agree to teach in a high need elementary school, secondary school, or educational services agency for 4 years after graduating.  More information about program eligibility and requirements can be found via the link above.

Q: What are the requirements for qualifying for loan forgiveness and cancellation as a New Jersey educator?

A: This summary of the federal loan forgiveness and cancellation programs provides an overview of all relevant information. Please do not hesitate to email loans@doe.state.nj.us if you need further assistance.

Q: If I don't qualify for forgiveness or cancellation, is there any other way to provide assistance to paying off student loans?

A: Yes, through a program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness (eligibility and requirements described at this link).  This program was created in 2007 and is for individuals who are working full time in public service jobs.  After you have made 120 payments, the remaining balance of your loan principle will be cancelled.  The first cancellations will not be granted until October 2017. 

Recognition

Q: How does the Department recognize educators for outstanding contributions to the profession?

A: The New Jersey Department of Education recognizes the outstanding contributions of teachers and leaders in a variety of ways. Please visit the Educator Recognition and School Recognition sections of this website for more information on state and national recognition programs

Q: How will educator recognition change upon implementation of AchieveNJ?

A: As AchieveNJ, the new evaluation and support system, rolls out over the next several years, state recognition programs will eventually be tied to the results of educators' summative annual evaluations. For example, teachers selected to serve on the School Improvement Panel (ScIP) must be rated "Effective" or "Highly Effective" in their most recent evaluation starting in school year 2015-16. More information on this link between evaluations and educator recognition will be provided as it becomes available.