The College of New Jersey

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Clearances Required

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.

Fingerprinting Instructions

Students are strongly encouraged to obtain their substitute teaching certificates. Subbing provides you with experience in a wide range of classrooms and subject areas. Many of our partner districts are in need of substitutes, and a sub cert is something that many districts are asking for 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 sub 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. 

  • 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.   You do not need to obtain a substitute certificate but you do need to use the “substitute teacher” job category when getting your prints taken. 
  • 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 may see that there is an option for “College student” when filling out the form. Do not choose this because you will not be able to transfer your prints to a specific district if/when needed. You will need to have your prints taken again. 
  • When the results are available, print a copy to provide to your professor and save a copy for future use.
  • 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, see this page :   The district requiring you to transfer your prints will provide you with the necessary code. 

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.

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.

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.