Educator Preparation Program Approval Process
Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) seeking to operate programs leading to an instructional certificate in New Jersey must gain approval from the Commissioner of Education prior to operating. All new preparation programs will follow the process below for initial approval, accreditation, periodic review, and continued approval. Already approved preparation programs will follow the process below for accreditation, periodic review, and continued approval.
Click on each step for additional details:
Prior to gaining approval to operate an EPP designed to lead to New Jersey certification, all institutions looking to offer credit-bearing programs need authorization from Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) to operate an institution of higher education. EPPs within existing authorized institutions will skip this step. Additional information on how to initiate this process can be found at the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.
*Certificate of Eligibility (CE)-EPPs that are non-credit bearing and are housed outside of institutes of higher education do not need to seek OSHE authorization to gain approval.
*Out-of-state providers, including online providers, cannot gain program approval without a physical presence in New Jersey.
- To Gain Approval for Instructional Program:
Please see this draft Program Approval Application, Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing Program Approval Rubric, and Certificate of Eligibility Program Approval Rubric: This application serves only as a guide to help providers begin preparing for the online program approval application. No paper-based applications will be reviewed unless the provider receives written permission from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) prior to sending an application.
- To Gain Approval for Educational Services or Administrator Programs: Until the new online application for these program types is available, please email the NJDOE (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain and submit an application.
Application Submission to the Department
Applications for new preparation programs will be reviewed in 2 windows each year:
- Fall window:
- Providers must submit a program application by November 1 to be reviewed in the fall review window. Programs reviewed during the fall window will receive approval notification by March 31.
- Spring window:
- Providers must submit a program application by April 1 to be reviewed in the spring review window. Programs reviewed during the spring window will receive approval notification by August 31.
- Providers may access the online application at any point in the year to input information.
- Applications received after the cut-off date will not be reviewed until the next open window.
The New Jersey Department of Education Review
- The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) completes initial scan to ensure application is complete and all regulatory requirements have been met
- If application is not complete and/or requirements are not met, the review process is on hold until the provider makes revisions
Content Expert Review
- The NJDOE program office and/or external subject-matter experts review the application to check for content alignment to standards (regulatory standards for applicable endorsement; national content standards) and, if necessary, provides feedback on areas for improvement
- Provider may be contacted for revisions
State Program Approval Council (SPAC) Review
- SPAC reviews application and all New Jersey Department of Education feedback
- Provider may be contacted for revisions
- Commissioner reviews all NJDOE and SPAC feedback on program application, and determines final approval status
- Final approval decision sent to provider electronically
Upon satisfactory completion of the program application review, providers receive approval to operate the proposed EPP. Approval will be granted for the duration of the provider's current accreditation cycle. In the event that the provider has not yet gained accreditation, the approval may be granted for a period of no more than 5 years while the provider seeks and gains accreditation.
All EPPs must be accredited by an approved accrediting body. Currently, there are two Commissioner-approved accrediting bodies for the State of New Jersey: the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Information on the accreditation process for CAEP can be found at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Programs (CAEP). Information on the accreditation process for AAQEP can be found at the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).
- CE-EPPs must be accredited by January, 2022 to continue operating in New Jersey.
- Every seven years, or as aligned with the accreditation cycle, all EPPs undergo a periodic review by the New Jersey Department of Education. A successful periodic review is required for continued program approval. More information on the periodic review will be forthcoming.
- As part of their scheduled periodic review, providers must update their initial approval application and indicate any program revisions.
Upon successful completion of the periodic review, EPPs are issued approval to continue operating for the duration of the new accreditation cycle. One possible outcome of the periodic review is continued approval to operate educator preparation programs in New Jersey.