via Community College
Many STEM teachers in New Jersey start their teacher preparation by taking coursework at a 2-year community college and transferring to a 4-year institution. While it is not possible to complete a teacher preparation program at a 2-year community college, is is possible to prepare yourself to successfully transition to a four-year undergraduate institution. Reaching out to prospective programs is always a good idea, but here are some other things to consider:
If you wish to complete your BS and certification in a timely manner, it is important to transfer to a 4-year institution with some progress in your content area. Many programs require 6 to 9 credits in the major in order to begin a teacher education program.
Under the NJ Statewide Transfer Agreement, if you complete your Associates degree you will have completed the NJ General Education requirements for your 4-year institution.
Some community college courses in education may not transfer to all 4-year programs. It is important to look at the pre-requisite courses for the teacher education program (for example, educational psychology) and, if possible, take those at the community college level.
Some 4-year institutions permit simultaneous application to a major and teacher education program, others require you to gain admission first and meet GPA major requirements before applying to teacher education.
A great source of information for anyone transferring from a community college to a 4-year institution is NJTransfer.org
There are a number of community college "articulation agreements" with 4-year institutions, particularly in STEM fields, and these can be attractive options. However, given the additional requirements for teacher certification, these agreements often exclude STEM teachers from these agreements. When looking at such programs, make sure to inquire about the specific programs for teacher education.