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Clearances Required

There are a variety of clearances that students will need prior to working in any school. Listed below are clearances that a district may require. There are more than 600 school districts in New Jersey and most require a combination of the following clearances.

Fingerprinting Instructions

 You must be fingerprinted before participating in any field placement.  It can take several weeks to get an appointment, so be sure to schedule one well in advance of the start of the semester.

  • When you complete the form for fingerprinting, be sure to use the “substitute teacher” as the job category. This will allow you to transfer them in the future for a small fee. If you use “college student” as the job category you will not be able to transfer them and will need to pay to have them retaken.
  • Follow the instructions on the certification office website for having your fingerprints taken for a sub cert. This does not mean you are obligated to continue the process of obtaining a sub cert. You may choose to do so later and can use these same fingerprints. 
  • You will not be notified when your fingerprint results are available. Two weeks after your appointment, you should begin checking this site.
  • When the results are available, print a copy of the approval certificate to provide to your professor and save a copy for future use.
  • Transferring prints to a specific district: If you have previously had your fingerprints taken with ” substitute teacher” as the job category and you now need to transfer them to a specific district, click here for a direct link to the transfer prints page. The district requiring you to transfer your prints will provide you with the necessary code. 
  • Getting your fingerprints taken is the first step in obtaining your sub certificate. It is also required before you are able to begin your first practicum in a school.  Students are strongly encouraged to obtain their substitute teaching certificates. Subbing provides you with experience in a wide range of classrooms and subject areas. Most of our partner districts have a great need for substitutes, and a sub cert is something that many districts require when they consider student teaching placements. Having substitute teaching experience on your resume is also a positive when applying for permanent teaching positions.  You are eligible to apply for a substitute certificate once you have earned 60 college credits.  The directions for applying can be found here on the Certification Office website.  When all of your paperwork is completed, you may submit it to the Certification Office and they will submit it to Mercer County for processing. Once you have the certificate, it will be accepted in other counties as well.

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.  Testing is available at Student Health Services for $20. To schedule an appt and learn more about the test go to:


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.

Praxis Results

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.