How to Apply for a Substitute Teaching Certification

Will I need substitute teaching certification as a pre-professional or a professional intern?

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Most New Jersey school districts require you to present evidence of substitute teaching certification before accepting a university student for clinical practice.

The process of procuring certification as a NJ substitute teacher will take eight (8) to ten (10) weeks.  Please start this process the semester prior to applying for the pre-professional field experience.


What are the requirements to become a substitute teacher?

             There are two major requirements:

         60 college credits earned at Kean University or at any other accredited (two or four year) college/university.

         Fingerprinting and a completed criminal background check that show no felony conviction(s).

Where do I go to start the process to obtain a NJ substitute teacher certificate?

1.      Contact the Board of Education in the town in which you live or the town in which you have been accepted for placement.   Ask for a substitute teacher application and criminal background check forms.

2.      Complete these forms and return the completed forms to the Board of Education from which the forms came.

3.      Important addresses:

Fingerprinting:             Morpho-Track:  1-877-503-5981 (toll free)



 Criminal Background

Check:                                    www.nj.gov/education/educators/crimhist




Disqualifying Offenses For Teacher Certification

As required by New Jersey law, the State Department of Education will not issue a teaching certificate, in most cases, to anyone with a criminal history of certain disqualifying offenses.  Similarly, New Jersey facilities, centers, schools and school systems under the supervision of the Department of Education are barred from employing such individuals in positions which involve regular contact with pupils under the age of 18.

A conviction or charges pending for any of the following crimes or offenses may preclude a student from participation in field experiences (Introductory, Preprofessional or Professional Internship) and placement in school districts/agencies.

Any College of Education student or intended education major who believes that he or she may have been convicted of or have charges pending for any of the above crimes/offenses should contact the College of Education program coordinator and/or the Teaching Performance Center immediately.

Beginning in the Fall 2004 semester, Kean University is requiring all education students who are performing any type of field experience (Introductory, Preprofessional, or Professional Internship) to indicate if they have ever been convicted of a crime or have any charges pending in this or any other state.  Students who answer in the affirmative will be contacted by the Teaching Performance Center and asked to complete and have notarized an Eligibility Certification Affidavit.


Criminal History Background Check

Since 1986, the New Jersey Department of Education has required all new employees to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal history background check. 

A student is not an employee of the school district where he/she performs a field experience; however, a district may require a student intern to provide assurance that he/she has not been convicted of any disqualifying offense.  Local school districts, in order to ensure themselves and  the public that a student intern has not been convicted of a disqualifying offense, may require the intern to submit, have notarized, and keep in their records, the second part of the "Applicant Authorization and Certification Form" which provides this assurance.

Many school districts are now requiring field students to be fingerprinted and have a NJ Criminal Background Check performed in place of having a substitute certificate.  If this is a requirement of the school district in which you have been placed, you will receive notification with your placement letter.  Please follow-up with the school district office to proceed with the fingerprinting.