New Teachers Celebrate "Capstone Conference" at MCCC


Dr. William Librera, New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education, addresses the nearly 400 new teachers who completed the “New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey” program.

Nearly 400 new and aspiring New Jersey teachers who participated in the first ever class of the "New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey" program met for their "Capstone Conference" at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) June 4 and 5. They received their training at one of the state's 19 community colleges. Dr. William Librera, N.J. Commissioner of Education, who pioneered the program, gave the keynote address.

Representing MCCC, Dr. Lynn Coopersmith said, "I've heard so many people say 'I have always wanted to teach.' You have done it and I applaud you for striving and persevering and reaching your goals."

Those who participated in the alternate route teacher education program were able to earn 15 graduate credits through New Jersey City University (NJCU), who partnered with the New Jersey community colleges. The program's curriculum builds upon the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree available through NJCU. Students are introduced to the realities of teaching as a career and focus on needed skills and classroom management.

This summer a new group of participants will begin the program, which has three components: a summer Pre-Service program (Phase I), the Core program (Phase II) from September through May, and a Capstone Summer Institute in June 2005. To begin the program, students must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. At the end of the summer participants may continue in Phase II if they are employed as an alternate route teacher, or if they are continuing with the program for graduate credit and have obtained a Certificate of Eligibility and have access to a hands-on teaching position with children.

For more information visit or contact Dr. Lynn Coopersmith, associate dean of MCCC's Division of Corporate and Community Programs, 609-586-4800, ext. 3281, or email

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