EDISON — The New Pathways to Teaching program has been created to allow mid-career professionals the opportunity to become teachers. The first step is a required course, “Introduction to the Teaching Profession: 24-Hour Program,” which is being offered at Middlesex County College on Tuesdays in November and December: Nov. 12, 19, 26, and Dec. 3 and 10. It will be held from 6-10 p.m. each evening. Contact the Office of School Relations at 732-906-2554 for more information and to register. The fee is $200.
“Most of our participants are mid-career professionals,” said Kimberlee Hooper, director of the Office of School Relations at the College. “Some have always wanted to teach but, for one reason or another, have not had the opportunity. Others may have developed this interest in teaching later in life, as they are looking for a more meaningful career helping others. Whatever their motivation, New Pathways is the program that can help them fulfill their dream. We accept people from most academic disciplines, but schools are particularly interested in hiring teachers in biology, physics and mathematics.”
Initial requirements include a 2.75 grade point average in an undergraduate or graduate degree, and a Certificate of Eligibility. In order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility, you must successfully complete the 24-hour course.
“This runs four hours per week for five weeks, plus four hours of observation,” Hooper said. “Students learn the basics of classroom management, lesson plans – that sort of thing.”
The second phase is a 12-session program that runs in the spring or summer. It includes teaching observations.
To go to the next phase, students must have an offer of employment from a school district. They teach during the academic year while attending class one night per week. “At the successful conclusion of the academic year, the teacher will have his or her Teaching Certificate,” she said.
In addition, students have the option of receiving 15 credits toward a Master’s Degree at New Jersey City University.
“This is an intensive program taking a full year to complete,” Hooper said. “We are looking for motivated and determined people to participate. But if teaching is something in your blood, something that you really want to do, then this program is for you.”
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