School of Education: FAQ: Certifications
Q: I already have a bachelor’s degree. I want to become a teacher. What are my options?
A: If you have a cumulative grade point average of above a 2.75, Georgian Court University has four different programs that can earn you NJ Teacher Certification:
Graduate Credit Option: Accelerated Degree Program
The accelerated dual certification elementary K-5 and K-8 and subject specific (secondary) programs are cohort and field-based in a design stressing continuous theoretical and applied learning. The programs require 36 credits in the professional sequence, plus three credits in educational technology, three field experiences plus prerequisite credits. Accelerated schedules include weekly district classroom experiences plus university classes Monday through Friday, 8-6, from late-August through May. Prerequisite credits and Praxis II exams must be completed before student teaching. Completion of a master's degree is an option, which requires an additional 15 credits. It is recommended to complete one year of full-time teaching prior to enrolling in the 15 credits leading to an MA degree. Online Application
Q: What are my certification options?
A: There are four main certification options offered at Georgian Court University:
Dual Certification Early Childhood Education (Preschool to 3rd grade) and Teacher of Students with Disabilities.
Dual Certification Elementary Education (Kindergarten to 5th grade) and Teacher of Students with Disabilities.
Dual Certification Elementary Education with middle school subject certification (Kindergarten to 8th grade) and Teacher of Students with Disabilities. The subject choices for middle school certification are: English, Mathematics, Physical Science, Social Studies, & Spanish.
Dual Certification Subject Certification (teach through 12th grade) and Teacher of Students with Disabilities. The subject choices for certification are: Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Music, Physical Science, Physics, Social Studies & Spanish.
Q: I want to teach in the Middle School. Would I need an elementary or secondary certification?
A. New laws have determined that Elementary certification allows you to teach K-5. The K-8 certification requires a minimum of 15 credits in a teachable subject area with the liberal arts requirements and a passing score on the appropriate content-specific Praxis II test(s).
Subject specific certification will allow you to teach through 12th grade. Subject specific certification requires a minimum of 30 credits in the subject (12 credits must be 300/400 level courses) and a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II test(s)
Q: Are there prerequisite courses involved?
A: This depends on your educational background and what you are interested in teaching. For example:
The most common prerequisite coursework for Elementary Education K-5: Three credits each in composition II, American or World Literature, American History, and in Geography are required. Six to eight credits in the natural sciences; 6 credits in mathematics, and 9 credits in behavioral science courses comprised of the following: 3 credits in educational psychology, 3 credits in multicultural studies, and 3 credits in child psychology.
The most common prerequisite coursework for Middle School certification: Three credits each in composition II, American or World Literature, American history, and Geography are required. Six to eight credits in the natural sciences; 6 credits in mathematics, and 9 credits in behavioral science courses comprised of the following: 3 credits in educational psychology, 3 credits in multicultural studies, and 3 credits in adolescent psychology. Middle School certification also requires a minimum of 15 credits in the following content area/subjects: English, Mathematics, Physical Science, Social Studies, and Spanish.
The most common prerequisite coursework for Subject (Secondary) certification: 3 credits in educational psychology, 3 credits in multicultural studies, and 3 credits in adolescent development. Subject Specific (secondary) certification also requires a minimum of 30 credits in the content area/subject (12 credits must be 300/400 level courses). The subject choices for certification are: Art, Biology, English, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Music, Physical Science, Social Studies, and Spanish.
Each applicant receives an evaluation of credits from the School of Education at Georgian Court University. This evaluation will indicate what is needed prior to entrance into the program. ONLY applicants to the university can receive an evaluation.
Q: When and where can I take my prerequisite courses?
A: Prerequisite courses should be taken at a four-year college. All prerequisite courses MUST appear on a four year institute transcript for certification. An option for students is to take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams or DANTES examination, and present passing scores for the required prerequisite courses.
Make an appointment with your advisor or graduate admissions to discuss your other options AFTER your evaluation is complete.
Q: How long does it take to get my evaluation back from the School of Education?
A: The process usually takes a minimum of two weeks.
Q: Will I be in the same elementary or secondary classroom throughout the nine month period for the Accelerated program?
A: Yes, usually you will be with the same K-12 teacher and students for nine months.
Q: My B.A. is not in the liberal arts; how will this affect my acceptance?
A: A Bachelor degree in liberal arts or in a teachable major (Math, English, Science, Social Sciences, and Spanish) are preferred and will possibly reduce the number of prerequisite courses needed; however, majors in other areas are acceptable. You must have earned a degree from a “regionally accredited institution” and have an undergraduate CGPA of 2.75 or above.
Q: Can I hold a job while enrolled in the accelerated program?
A: No. You will be occupied from the hours of 8AM-5PM, Monday - Friday. Our experience has shown that most accelerated students are completing work online as well as in classrooms during that time.
Q: I am afraid that my Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) does not meet the 2.75 state requirement. I really want to be a teacher. What can I do?
A: A bachelor’s degree CGPA is a good prediction of success in further education. The certification requirements are established by the New Jersey Department of Education. At the present time a CGPA of 2.75 is required to apply for certification in New Jersey. A student could obtain an additional bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree with a CGPA of 2.75 to meet the state GPA requirement.
Q: What are the Admissions Procedures for Teacher Certification students?
A: Admissions Procedures are the following:
- $40.00 application fee
- Transcripts from EVERY college/university attended
- (for the Traditional Certificate with Degree Program) Three letters of recommendation and statement of objectives
At this point your transcripts will be evaluated for prerequisite coursework and a decision will be made regarding your acceptance. You will be sent a letter from the school of education listing the required prerequisite coursework. Next:
- Submit Praxis I scores or equivalent
- Submit results of federal fingerprint check (or substitute certificate). Information is available by contacting administrative assistant, Mrs. Louise DeNoia at 732-987-2741.
- The last step is the advising interview with the School of Education PRIOR to registration. Information will be sent to accepted students.
Q: Do I have to take the Basic Skills exam?
A: Yes, a test of Basic Skills is required of all teacher education candidates. A passing score on the Accuplacer or Praxis I tests of basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics is required. Accuplacer tests are administered at GCU in the Academic Development Center (located in the library). You may call 732-987-2787 for an appointment.
Q: Do I need to take the Physiology & Hygiene exam?
A: Yes, a passing score on the P&H exam is required. This test is administered in the School of Education at scheduled times throughout the semester. Check with the School of Education main office for future test dates. A study guide is available.
Q: Where are the placement schools for student teaching?
A: Students are currently placed in the districts of Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, Atlantic and Middlesex counties. Placement is dependent upon district and grade level availability. Requests for specific grades or schools can not be made.
Q: How do I register for classes?
A: Registration varies by program.
Undergraduate Teacher Certification:
- After a $100 tuition-deposit fee is received, a registration packet with directions is sent out. You must schedule an interview with the admissions coordinator for the School of Education prior to registration. Please call 732.987.2750 to schedule an appointment.
Accelerated Graduate Teacher Certification:
- You will receive information as it is released. The students in this program register and work as a cohort. There is no fear of being locked out of classes since you are part of a unique program. You must schedule an interview with the admissions coordinator for the School of Education prior to registration. Please call 732.987.2750 to schedule an appointment.
Traditional Graduate Teacher Certification:
- After a $100 tuition-deposit fee is received, a program registration packet with directions is sent out. This is also a cohort and you must follow the appropriate section and sequencing of courses. You must schedule an interview with the admissions coordinator for the School of Education prior to registration. Please call 732.987.2750 to schedule an appointment.
Q: How do I obtain my substitute-teaching certificate?
A: Contact the Board of Education in the school district closest to your home. Request the appropriate documents for Substitute Teaching. This starts the process for the Criminal History background check (fingerprinting). Once the criminal history background check letter is received, a student must file a copy with the School of Education.
Q: My transcript has transfer credits from other schools. Do you still need official transcripts from those other schools?
A: Yes, official transcripts are required from each and every school attended since high school. Unofficial transcripts may be used for the evaluation only. Officials must be received for acceptance.
Q: How much does each program cost?
A: Costs are:
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Scholarships are not available for all programs. Please contact the individual department for more information regarding scholarships.
Student loans are available. You must fill out the FAFSA forms online to determine eligibility. Contact the Financial Aid department at 732.987.2258 for additional information.
Q: Do I have to take the Praxis II exam?
A: The Praxis II exam must be completed prior to beginning student teaching. Georgian Court prides itself on having a 100% passing rate over the past five years.
Q: I received my evaluation back from the School of Education. I think that I already completed one of the required prerequisite courses. What should I do?
A: Sometimes the classes may have obscure titles and further evidence is needed. You can appeal a prerequisite by writing a letter or e-mailing the School of Education stating which class you completed and what you feel it is equal to. Be sure to include a copy of the course description from the catalog when you were enrolled.
Q: What is the difference between 60 hours, 90 hours and student teaching?
A: 60 hours is a lecture/ field experience. Students must be available for the lectures as well as placement in a school for observation of the classroom. The placement is for 10 days (usually one day per week)
90 hours is a lecture / field placement. Students must be available for the lectures as well as placement in a school for observation, lesson plans, and supervised teaching of the classroom. The placement is for 15 days (usually one day per week)
Student teaching is full time supervised placement in a classroom and 8 evening lectures. The student must be available during school hours Monday – Friday (usually 7am – 5 pm) for the semester (usually 15 weeks).
Q: Can I work while I am student teaching?
A: It is not recommended to work while student teaching as teacher candidates will be placed in a classroom during school hours (between 7 am & 5 pm, depending on the school) Monday – Friday, for the entire semester.