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Before teaching driver's education at a public or private high school in New Jersey, prospective instructors must obtain a teaching certificate from the state's Department of Education. To qualify for driver's education certification, candidates must first earn a teaching certificate in health and physical education. This health and physical education certification is earned in two steps: the certificate of eligibility and the standard certificate.
To qualify for the health and physical education teacher certification in New Jersey, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from any regionally accredited college or university. Candidates must have achieved and maintained a minimum of a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. While earning their degrees, candidates must complete at least 30 credits of coursework on health and physical education. A course in hygiene is also mandatory. In addition, prospective health and physical education teachers must complete at least 24 hours of instruction on pedagogy.
Other Initial Requirements
All candidates for health and physical education teaching certification in New Jersey must pass a criminal background check. Professional fingerprinting is necessary to begin the process. In addition, candidates must pass a standardized examination known as the Praxis II. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and lasts for up to two hours. Topics covered on the examination include personal health care, sex education, community health diseases, motor development and learning, movement forms and fitness and exercise science.
Standard Certificate Requirements
After obtaining the certificate of eligibility, health and physical education teachers spend one year completing a mentoring program and professional teaching preparation program while working in a New Jersey school. At the conclusion of this period, teachers receive the standard teaching certificate. Candidates with at least one year of teaching experience who hold a license or certificate for health and physical education can apply directly for the standard certificate. Such teachers must meet the state's education requirements and pass the Praxis II.
Driver's Education Requirement
When applying for driver's education teaching certification in New Jersey, candidates must submit proof of holding a valid standard teaching certificate in health and physical education. Candidates must also complete a state-approved driver's education course. This class is offered at colleges and universities across the state, including William Paterson University, New Jersey City University and Rowan University. All applicants must have a valid New Jersey or out-of-state license and at least three years of driving experience with their licenses. Anyone with a history of motor vehicle violations, like driving under the influence charges, is ineligible for driver's education certification in New Jersey. The state requires all candidates to submit a copy of their driving records for verification.