Teachers of young children must be trained in research-based best practices that support quality teaching and learning. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Education (SOE) offers a QUEST track leading to New Jersey certification in Preschool – Grade 3 (P-3).

Candidates earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in a liberal arts/science major.  They begin their graduate studies towards their P-3 certification in their third year and continue with graduate-level advanced coursework to complete both their B.A./B.S. in the chosen major (content area) and  a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree.

Candidates may also earn a second certification in special education through the QUEST dual certification program.  The Dual Certification Program must be started no later than the sophomore (2nd) year of the QUEST Program.

Admission requirements

Freshmen entering the QUEST Program are required to have a high school GPA of 3.0 or greater and a minimum of 1080 on the SAT (combined verbal and math). Sophomores and juniors requesting admission to the QUEST Program must have a college/university CGPA of 3.0 or greater.

Students entering the QUEST program are not formally matriculated into QUEST until they have 60 credits and met the following requirements:

  • 60 earned credits
  • CGPA 3.0 or greater
  • Pass the new Praxis CORE Battery which consists of 3 tests in basic skills as follows:
  Code Number    Minimum Passing Score
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics 5733 150
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading 5713 156
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing 5723 162

Candidates are required to take the CORE Battery by the end of their sophomore year to continue in the QUEST program. Juniors seeking admission to QUEST must take the CORE Battery their first semester in the program. Candidates must pass all three exams to become matriculated. Students who do not pass all three exams may be restricted in taking education courses.

Candidates may be exempted from the CORE Battery if they meet one of the following alternatives:

  • SAT: Math 570, 610 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or 30 Reading Section
  • ACT: 23

Candidates will be advised when to take their Content Knowledge Praxis II exams. Students will be advised as to the current exam(s) required for the certification sought. The Praxis II exam is needed to obtain New Jersey State certification.

Information about the CORE Battery including study guides and registration can be accessed here 

Praxis II Requirement (for licensure)

The correct Praxis II exam for Early Childhood in New Jersey is #5025.  This is the licensure exam and must be passed before the candidate does his/her student teaching.  We require candidates to take this exam at the beginning of their fourth year, prior to Field Experience IV. 

For further information on the exam, please go to ets.org.

QUEST Preschool – Grade 3 (P – 3) New Jersey Initial Certification

Program Outline

  • Candidates in the QUEST program must major in a liberal arts/science discipline. Candidates in the QUEST program must satisfy all general education requirements, and specific departmental requirements for their liberal arts/science major in order to be eligible for a B.A. or B.S. degree in their area of specialization. They must also complete the requirements for the School of Education.  No more than 15 credits in education courses, taken at the graduate level in the junior and senior years, may be applied as dual undergraduate and graduate credit.
  • At the end of four years, students who have met all requirements will be eligible for a B.A. or B.S. degree and will have up to 15 credits toward their Master of Arts in Teaching degree (which requires a total of 36 graduate credits). Student Teaching occurs in the fifth year.  
  • The State of NJ requires two (2) semesters of student teaching:  the first semester is part-time and is called Advanced Clinical Practice; the second semester is full time and is called Apprenticeship Teaching. Upon completion of the Apprenticeship Teaching, students will have met eligibility requirements for teacher certification. Completion of the master’s degree is not required for certification in New Jersey.
  • New Jersey teacher certification requires that 6 credits be taken in behavioral sciences (sociology, anthropology or psychology); and 3 credits be taken in biology, physiology or health. The courses also may be taken to satisfy college core (general education)  requirements, or the liberal arts /science required courses, or electives.
  • Eligibility for entrance to the QUEST program requires a 3.00 cumulative grade point ratio (CGPR).  The 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout the program. Additionally, all candidates must pass the Core Academic Skills for Educators exams by the time they complete 60 credits in their program.
  • In order to complete the Master of Arts in Teaching program in five years, students may need to take courses in summer and winter sessions in years three through five, depending upon their particular liberal arts/science program requirements.
  • Dual Certification requires an addition 6 graduate level credits as noted below.
  • For those interested in our Dual Certification Program, Special Education is a “second certificate” in the State of NJ.  Teachers must first (or concurrently) earn their elementary certificate.

Degree Plan

General Education Requirements – as per University Requirements

Major Requirements – as per requirements for specific major

QUEST (EDUC) Requirements 

Year 1

  • EDUC1108   Seminar in Professional Practice I
  • EDUC2401   Field Experience I
  • EDUC2202   Child & Adolescent Development (Dual Certification ONLY)

Year 2

  • EDUC2209   Seminar in Professional Practice II
  • EDUC2402   Field Experience II
  • EDUC3309   Seminar in Professional Practice III
  • EDUC2202   Intro to Special Education Including Autism  (Dual Certification ONLY)
  • EDUC2202   Classroom Management / Positive Behavior  (Dual Certification ONLY)

Year 3

  • EDUC3403   Field Experience III
  • EDUC6818   Language Dev & Literacy I (course given credit for both undergraduate and graduate degrees)
  • EDUC6819   Language Dev & Literacy II (course given credit for both undergraduate and graduate degrees)
  • EDUC6820   Problem-Based Strategies in Elem Math (course given credit for both undergraduate and graduate degrees)

Year 4

  • EDUC3404    Field Experience IV
  • EDUC6852    P-3 Curriculum and Assessment (course given credit for both undergraduate and graduate degrees)
  • EDUC6853   Family & Community in Education (course given credit for both undergraduate and graduate degrees)
  • EDUC6792   Assistive Technology in the Inclusive Classroom  (Dual Certification ONLY)(course only used toward the MAT degree)
  • EDUC6797   Multisensory Math Instruction for Students with Disabilities  (Dual Certification ONLY)(course only used toward the MAT degree)

Year 5

  • EDUC6583   Advanced Clinical Practice
  • EDUC6575   Apprenticeship Teaching
  • EDUC6825   Apprenticeship Teaching Seminar
  • EDUC7812   Final Project
  • EDUC6584   Computer as a Teacher’s Aid (course for candidates NOT in Dual Certification)(P-3 only certification)
  • EDUC6740   Intro to Students with Disabilities including Autism (course for candidates NOT in Dual Certification)(P-3 only certification)
  • EDUC XXXX  Approved Graduate Elective (course for candidates NOT in Dual Certification)(P-3 only certification)
  • EDUC6747    Multisensory Reading  (Dual Certification ONLY)
  • EDUC6750    Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom  (Dual Certification ONLY)
  • EDUC6793    Education of Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities  (Dual Certification ONLY)