Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Provided below are testimonials from past NPTNJ Students, Principals and Superintendents with their experiences with NPTNJ.

From Kindergarten Teacher to Principal, yes, over a 20 year span I have had a phenomenal career in education, yet not certified. NPTNJ opened the door for me to achieve a most critical career endorsement, my Standard Certificate (no expiration date). With schools moving in a new direction and the State of New Jersey demanding highly qualified, CERTIFIED teachers, I had to improve my status. NPTNJ really made it as easy as ABC.

A – Alternate Route with an experienced dedicated staff, plus 15 graduate credits B - Broader knowledge by engaging teacher candidates in various methods and techniques, deepening our understanding to implement and deliver curriculum and Yes!

C – Certified, Highly Qualified Teacher, now tenured.

Thank you so much NTPNJ,

J. Lewis ‘08

"The best part of the program is the networking and the sharing from the classmates. I also liked the observations at the beginning of the program, which really gave me the insight of a high school classroom." -Joyce Huang, 2005-2006 New Pathways student, Union County College        

"The New Pathways program was convenient, cost-effective, informational, experiential, and preparatory. First, it was convenient in that it was held at my local county college at nights, which enabled me to cope with the difficult first year of teaching without an overtaxing additional long commute. It was cost-effective: the tuition is reasonable and is not all required at the beginning, enabling students to attempt the course without an undue amount of financial risk. It was informational in that it touched on a variety of aspects of teaching. It was experiential: for example, students are required to observe summer school classrooms during Session I. Finally, it was preparatory: during my first year of teaching I was able to recall and use many teaching techniques and strategies I had been exposed to in New Pathways." - John Bechtel, 2005-2006 New Pathways student, Union County College         

"The NPTNJ program was a totally comprehensive, enjoyable, and very applicable study of the real-life classroom. It prepared me to stand out as a teacher who knows the business of teaching...and knows it well!" -Sherri Keenan Baker, Spanish teacher and technology teacher, Pope John XXXIII Regional School, NPTNJ Class of 2006, Brookdale Community College 

The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey is a wonderful program and has been such a positive growing experience for me. There are lessons I learned that I put to use each day. Among the most valuable was that of re-clarifying the reason that I became an educator. I now feel stronger and better equipped to handle the day-to-day issues that arise. Professor Panigrosso has been a tremendous source of generous support and inspiration. As an educator, he created a comfortable atmosphere in which graduate learning is a gratifying experience. - Rosalie Jayde Uyola Middlesex County College       

The New Pathways program is excellent. It made it possible for me to learn this new career while training on the job at the same time. The teachers have been wonderful. Their real-life experiences are ultimately what helps me get through the “first year problems” that I see every day in the classroom. I can’t imagine that I would have gotten this kind of direct knowledge by going through a traditional program. Thanks!-Donna Falk, Science Teacher, Manalapan-Englishtown, Middle School, Middlesex Community College.        

Dear Ms. Coombs,

As the principal of Pennsville Memorial High School we have had the pleasure of hiring several teachers that have gone through the NPTNJ Program. This program has afforded the opportunity for the “nontraditional” professional to enter the world of education. We have found that the alternate route candidates that take advantage of this program are far more successful than those who have not participated.

The men and women are prepared to conduct student-centered lessons, and provide ample opportunities for the students to display their skills. I have been impressed with the work ethic and the desire to improve. The biggest challenge less experienced teachers confront is classroom management. Working with this program has taught them to have clear expectations and classroom procedures in place that encourages learning.

I would support the continuation and expansion of this program. All alternate route candidates should have to go through this program, to ensure they are properly equipped to become teachers.


Steve Hindman 


Pennsville Memorial High School         

In the spring of 2005, I decided to return to my teaching roots after a 25-year career in the private sector. My biggest concern was whether I would be "relevant" in today's classroom. Through the New Pathways to Teaching Program (NPT-NJ), I was able to overcome this concern and focus on the business of effective teaching. The program instructors understood the requirements of the classroom and the current direction of education. My fellow students brought their own varied backgrounds and experiences to each class and in so doing, enriched the curriculum. I am now in my second year of teaching English at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, NJ. It would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my district and the faculty, staff, and students of the NPT-NJ program. - Norm Dannen English Department Southern Regional High School Manahawkin, NJ 08050 

I am writing to tell you about the positive experiences we have had with the teaching candidates from the New Pathways Program (NPTNJ). The Monroe Township School District in Middlesex County, NJ has hired several candidates from your program over the last two years. I am happy to report that each candidate is doing well thanks to the preparation provided during the program. We find the NPTNJ candidates to be well prepared in basic lesson design and implementation as well as classroom management skills compared to candidates that participate in a traditional alternate route program. The NPTNJ candidates seem to have a deeper background and understanding of what it takes to be successful in the classroom. They have all had positive dispositions and exhibited the willingness to learn and grow. Because of the consistently positive experiences we have had with your candidates we actively seek them out. Please continue the NPTNJ program because it works!


Christopher H. Tienken, Ed.D. 

Assistant Superintendent 

Office of Curriculum and Instruction 

Monroe Township School District 

"When I decided that teaching was really what I wanted to do with my life, the NPTNJ program was the innovative blend of instruction and support for new teachers that was just what I needed. The instructors in the program foster a learning environment that is tailored to the needs of the students and double as a support system for new teachers. Having the support of other students also helped me feel that I was not alone in the problems or successes that I encountered during my first year in the classroom. The New Pathways program also gave me a chance to experience classroom learning with great teachers who may not have normally considered the field of teaching. Overall, the NPTNJ is a program that benefits new teachers, our students, instructors, and school districts alike. It has been a priceless experience for me that would not have been possible without the foresight of the faculty and staff of the program. I cannot praise it enough."


- Lindsay Steuber, High school English teacher, Monroe Township

The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) is a wonderful program to teach the essentials of the art of teaching and education theory to adults looking to change their careers to education. NPTNJ focuses on the key skills and theories that new teachers need to know in order to start their new careers in the classroom. The heavy early emphasis on planning and classroom management, especially Harry Wong, made a big difference in my ability to succeed in the classroom my first year. I believe that I was handed all of the tools that I needed to start - the primary task left to me was to master the use of the tools in my own classroom.

The NPTNJ program presented the essential elements in the summer session so that the new teachers could get themselves started. The additional information, education theory and broader perspectives came later through the school year as we were able to better appreciate and absorb it.

I have spoken with other aspiring teachers who already have their bachelors and are pursuing graduate education credits through other programs in northern New Jersey. In light of their experiences, I am even more impressed and appreciative of the NPTNJ program that trained me. Some of the assignments that the other programs have given their student teachers in addition to their student teaching load have been excessive, unproductive and seemingly pointless. The value and objectives of every NPTNJ assignemt was readily apparent - whether I found the particular assignment enjoyable or not. I always felt that my time was put to good use and never wasted. As a working mother of three children, I do not have any time to waste.

The Sussex County NPTNJ instructor, Gaylon Powell, was fabulous. His insights, warnings and sage advice were and are still very helpful. His criticisms were constructive and instructive. Mr. Powell's impromptu example mini-lessons on everything from kindergarten reading to advanced placement science courses were always very enlightening and entertaining. Despite the amount of time that the NPTNJ classes took away from my family and school work, I enjoyed the classes. The time spent at the start of each class discussing our classroom challenges and successes gave us a sense of comraderie and allowed us to learn from each other as well as from Mr. Powell. Getting his insights on our particular situations was invaluable. Mr. Powell's observation assistant, Howard Whitten, was also wonderful. I learned so much from the 1/2 hour that I spent with him following his observation of me. I truly enjoyed the reassurance that he offered for that which I was doing well and his suggestions for improvement.

I have and will continue to strongly recommended the NPTNJ program to anyone who has asked about alternate route teaching options. One of my recommendations is finishing this NPTNJ program this month.

Stephanie Hontz 

Math Teacher 

Kittatinny Regional High School 


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