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 crime of the first or second degree;
Any crime involving sexual offense or child molestation;
An offense involving the manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, distribution or habitual use of a drug(s) or any violation involving drug paraphernalia;
Any crime involving the use of force or the threat of force to or upon a person or property, including but not limited to robbery, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, arson, manslaughter and murder;
Any crime of possessing a weapon;
A third degree crime of theft or related offense;
An offense of recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, criminal restraint, luring or enticing a child into a motor vehicle or isolated structure;
An offense of causing or risking widespread injury or damage;
Any crime of criminal mischief, burglary, usury, threats or other improper influences, perjury and false swearing, resisting arrest, or escape;
Any conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit any of the crimes described above.
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.
Substitute Teacher Certification
Some school districts require that field placement students possess a current substitute certification including a criminal background history check.
Kean University strongly recommends that all College of Education students obtain a New Jersey Substitute Teacher License as soon as they have earned 60 credits. Students will then be prepared for all placement opportunities. Substitute certification also allows students an opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience in addition to field work, as well as providing a bridge to gaining employment between completing an approved program and obtaining the standard teaching license from the state.
In order to obtain a substitute certificate, students should apply to be a substitute teacher in their hometown by going to the human resources department of their local board of education building. There they will be able to obtain all of the necessary paperwork to apply for county substitute certification and to be fingerprinted for a criminal history background check.
How to Apply for a Substitute Certificate
FAQ About Substitute Teaching