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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: May 7, 2003


Commissioner Librera Announces Two New Alternate Route Programs

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today announced the availability of two new programs in the state’s Alternate Route system that will be available for teacher candidates under consideration for employment in the next school year.

"Starting this July, Alternate Route candidates will have two options beyond the conventional program," said Commissioner Librera, who announced the new programs at the monthly meeting of the State Board of Education.

The Commissioner said that each of these new additions address concerns about the lack of pre-service experiences and problems associated with the 20-day mentoring requirement in the original alternate route program.

"Both of these options are designed to provide more choices as to how prospective Alternate Route candidates will be able to teach in our schools," Dr. Librera said. "Recognizing the different needs of prospective schools as well as Alternate Route teachers, we are pleased to expand our important Alternate Route Program."

The MAT Plan

The first program is a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT), which will be offered by New Jersey City University in the northern part of the state and at Stockton University in the southern part of the state. Both of these institutions will seek to provide satellite locations for increased access and convenience.

Each will also offer a one-year program that will provide a minimum of 13 graduate level credits eligible for acceptance into a master’s program to be offered by each university. These credits will be a part of an approved master’s degree process.

Central to this option is the four-credit course in the summer of 2003 and thereafter as well as joint mentoring by the college/university and the school districts. This summer experience will replace the 20-day initial mentoring requirement as exists in the conventional Alternate Route Program.

The program will consist of:

  • a four credit summer program which will provide experiences in related to the initial needs of new classroom teachers;
  • a three credit experience in both the fall and spring semesters; and
  • a three credit summer experience following the first year of teaching.

The initial summer experience will replace the twenty-day initial mentoring requirement. The year-long mentoring requirement for all new teachers will remain.

"We anticipate that other New Jersey institutions will join this effort for the 2003-04 school year and beyond," Librera said.

The Community College Provider Plan

New Jersey’s community colleges will be offering a new program option for the education component of the conventional Alternate Route Certification that capitalizes on the resources of the statewide community college network.

The program, developed in collaboration with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, will feature a uniform curriculum at all community college sites.

A major innovation of the program is an "Introduction to Teaching" pre-employment course that will begin during the summer. This course will count for 45 of the 200 required hours that teachers in the conventional program must fulfill.

To learn more about this new community college alternate route program, contact the continuing education department at your local community college or visit www.njccc.org.

Additional details about these program options are available through the department’s Website as well as through the county offices.