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
- 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).
How do I 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 and ask for a Universal Fingerprint Form (IDG_NJAPP_110113). Make sure the information on the top of the form is complete before trying to schedule an appointment.
Please be advised that effective May 1, 2014, only the newest version of the fingerprint form will be accepted at all NJ Enrollment Centers. This version, IDG_NJAPP_110113, is clearly marked in the lower right-hand corner of the Universal Fingerprint Form. Any applicant arriving to a scheduled appointment with a previous version of the form will be turned away and will only be eligible for a partial refund per the published refund policy on this website and on the Universal Fingerprint Form.
2. Schedule an appointment at the IdentoGo by Morphotrust USA web page
To speak to a live operator, call 1-877-503-5981 between the hours of 8 a.m. and
For more information about Criminal Background Checks please visit
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 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.