The New Jersey Department of Education recently adopted revised regulations reducing the minimum number of credits completed at an accredited college or university from 60 to 30, for an individual to qualify for a substitute credential. In doing so, the NJDOE expects an increase in qualified substitutes to temporarily fill vacancies, according to an advisory.

A local educational agency that employs an individual holding a substitute credential may request an extension of the service limit of 20 days for an additional 20 days, pursuant to N.J.S.A 18:16-1.1(a). Therefore, the maximum number of instructional days for an individual holding a substitute credential is 40 days, in one classroom.

LEAs may also employ substitutes that hold a certificate of eligibility, a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing or a standard certificate. The service limits for these individuals vary. If the substitute holds any of these certifications and is teaching in a classroom not in the subject area of their certification, the service limit is 20 days with a maximum of 40 days upon notification to the executive county superintendent. The same service limits apply to the career and technical education substitute credential.

If an LEA has a substitute holding a CE or CEAS in the subject area of the classroom they are substituting, the service limit is 60 days. The LEA must notify the respective executive county superintendent if an extension beyond 60 days is necessary. To be considered for an extension of service beyond 60 days, for up to one academic year, in the same classroom, the CE and CEAS substitute must:

  • Hold a provisional certificate.
  • Be enrolled in or have completed a mentoring program.
  • Be enrolled in or have completed a CE or CEAS educator preparation program.

For more information on substitutes service limits, please visit NJDOE’s substitutes webpage. Questions should be directed to your county office of education.