There are a variety of clearances that students will need prior to working in any particular district. Listed below are clearances that a district may require. There are 600 school districts in NJ that require any one or combination of the following clearances.
Tuberculin Screening (Mantoux Test)
In accordance with New Jersey State Law, student teachers/clinical interns must have a negative Mantoux (TB) test within 6 months of their first student teaching/clinical experience. Once you have a negative tuberculosis test, you may not need another test while you are a TCNJ student. The screening is generally good for 3 years, although each district has different clearance requirements. A record of a current negative tuberculin screening (Mantoux or another appropriate substitute) must be on file in the College Health Services Office.
Grade Point Average Requirement
Admission to the student teaching program requires a 2.75 GPA for undergraduates and 3.00 GPA for graduate students. There are no exceptions to this policy. Students must have a 3.0 Cumulative GPA to be recommended by TCNJ for graduation.
All student teachers and internship II graduates must take, but are not required to pass, the Praxis test in their major prior to participating in their Clinical II experience. The results are to be reported to the department coordinators.
Substitute Teacher Certification
The School of Education encourages teacher candidates to obtain their NJ Substitute Teacher Certification “subcert”. It is not required by TCNJ as a condition to be met in order to complete your clinical practice/internship II; however some districts are requiring student teachers/clinical interns to obtain their substitute certificates for placement acceptance. More information on how to obtain this certification can be found here on the TCNJ Certification Office website.
Criminal Background and Fingerprinting
All student teachers will need to complete a criminal background and fingerprinting check prior to placement in a school district. Students are encouraged to complete their paperwork prior to the start of their student teaching semester and to share copies with the STEP Office. Students can wait until they are placed in a specific district, but this may delay the student teaching start date.
Criminal Background Check Requirement
- Students need to go to https://nj.gov/education/crimhist/archive.htm to complete a criminal background check.
- Choose the option: All job positions, except school bus drivers and bus aides, for public schools, private schools for students with disabilities and charter schools.
- The cost for the criminal background check is $11.
- Once the student completes the criminal background check, you will be directed to another page to get the Indentgo-Fingerprinting Form. You will need this form to get your fingerprinting appointment.
- The cost for fingerprinting will vary. Students are encouraged to choose the archive option, which will allow them to affordably and quickly transfer fingerprints to another district, if needed.
- Pay the required fees and make the appointment to be fingerprinted through IdentoGo.
- Schedule an appointment at: https://nj.ibtfingerprint.com or call the toll free number 1–877-503-5981. You will need the district code and the county code to get your fingerprints processed.
- The results of the Criminal Background Check will be sent to the Department of Education and DOE will notify the school district of the results of the background check. When applying for your CBC, make sure you check the box to provide yourself with a copy.
- The College will NOT receive the results of the background check from the Department of Education. Should anyone not pass the background check, the district will void its acceptance of the student.
- In instances when the placement occurs less than two months before the date the student will begin the student teaching/clinical practice assignment, the assigned district will require the student to present a receipt for the fingerprinting; the student, in most cases, will be allowed to begin the student teaching/clinical internship placement contingent upon criminal background check clearance by the Department of Education.
- Students are encouraged to send a copy of their NJ Criminal Background Check (CBC) results to the STEP Office. We will keep a copy on file.