How NJCU is helping outgoing faculty train to become high school teachers — for free

University is allowing retrenched teachers to take its alternate pathways to teaching programs — a move that could help high schools with their shortage

Faculty at New Jersey City University who are to be let go at the end of the year due to a financial crisis at the school are getting an opportunity to train to maintain a spot in the profession — without cost — with the help of the university.

On Monday, the school announced that faculty who find themselves facing retrenchment will be able to complete one of the school’s alternative pathways to teaching programs — tuition-free.

The opportunity is being offered in collaboration with AFT Local 1839.

Acting Provost Donna Adair Breault said the school aims to offer these faculty members an opportunity to continue to serve students in New Jersey.

“We believe this opportunity would allow faculty to remain in New Jersey and to continue to impact the lives of students,” she said.

There is clearly a need.

New Jersey continues to face a teacher shortage. Reports indicate the number of students in New Jersey completing degrees in education has declined by 60% in the past seven years — and that New Jersey colleges and universities produce fewer teachers than colleges and universities in the rest of the country.

NJCU has three alternative pathways to teaching: PK-3, ESL and K-12. Each pathway includes graduate programming that is completed while the individual is employed full-time in a pre-K-to-12 classroom.

For each, a faculty member would first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility through the New Jersey Department of Education. The individual would then complete a noncredit 50-hour Introduction to Teaching course that could be completed this summer. The faculty member would begin teaching under a provisional certificate this fall while completing the program coursework over two years. Each of the programs includes 24 hours of graduate credit, and the coursework can be completed online.