This 9-month online alternative certification program offered through the Institute for Innovative Community Learning (ICL) at the University of West Florida (UWF) is designed to help college graduates across the country to receive Florida professional teaching certification. Graduates of TeacherReady™ who complete the program and pass the three state tests can transfer 12 semester hours into a Teacher Education graduate program at UWF. Students who fulfill these requirements will receive a Florida professional teaching certificate. Prior to ICL sending candidates an application, the Hometown Heroes Teach Project Manager must send a memorandum to the ICL Director verifying that the applicant meets the following criteria: 1) hold a bachelor's degree, 2) hold a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of coursework and 3) be able to complete field experiences in a school where the individual is living for nine months. For more information on the TeacherReady™ program, click here to be directed to the program's website.
The Florida Department of Education issues two types of teaching certificates for academic subjects, a Temporary Certificate, valid for three years, and a Professional Certificate, valid for five years. Florida has several avenues available to complete your teacher training, but before selecting a specific route to certification, you should compare the cost and the time required to complete the requirements, consider your ability to demonstrate your subject knowledge through testing, and then choose the route that best fits your needs. See http://www.fldoe.orq/edcert/.
General Requirements: Anyone seeking academic certification or degreed vocational certification must hold at least a bachelors degree or higher with at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA). Your GPA is based on the grades received in the courses you completed that apply toward the certification requested.
Temporary Certificate Eliqibilitv: To qualify for the temporary certificate, you must demonstrate subject content knowledge. You must at least complete the requirements for a temporary certificate prior to employment and there are four options available to establish eligibility for a temporary certificate.
- Hold at least a bachelor's degree with an acceptable major, a degree major in a certification area.
- Hold at least a bachelor's degree and complete the specified minimum required courses* in the content area.
- Hold at least a bachelor's degree, take and pass the subject area exam for a certification area that requires only a bachelor's degree.
- Hold a bachelor's degree and complete the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), www.abcte.org, certification program.
* The minimum required courses in the content area vary by grade level. A certification that is designed as 6-12, K-12 or K-6 requires 30 semester hours in content, and a certification designated a the middle grades requires 18 semester hours. The content requirements also require the completion of specific credits in the content area, for example, calculus, geometry, biology, physics, advanced composition, literature, US History, geography, etc.
Professional Certificate Eligibility: To qualify for a professional certificate you must demonstrate a mastery of general knowledge, subject area knowledge, professional knowledge, and teacher competencies. In most cases you can complete many of the requirements for the professional certificate after employment while you are teaching with the temporary certificate. However, you can complete most of the requirements prior to employment.
Option #1 :
- Complete 15 semester hours of education courses*
- Take and pass the three teacher certification examinations
- General Knowledge Exam
- Subject Knowledge Exam (not required if used to establish eligibility for the temporary certificate
- Professional Knowledge Exam
- Teach for one year with a Temporary Certificate
- Complete the district Professional Educator Competency System
* Professional Training Option (PTO). The education course must include credit in the following:
- Classroom management including safe learning environment
- Human development and learning
- Educational assessment to include the content measured by state achievement test and the interpretation and utilization of data to improve student achievement
- Instructional strategies including the needs of diverse learners
- Curriculum and special methods of teaching the subject
- Foundations of researched based practices in teaching reading; competency two of the State Board approved reading endorsement competencies.
- Complete a district's alternative certification program (can be completed only after employment
- Take and pass the teacher certification exams:
- General Knowledge Exam
- Subject Knowledge Exam (not required if used to establish eligibility For the temporary certificate)
- Professional Knowledge Exam
- Hold a temporary certificate via American Board for Certification of Teacher
- Complete the district's Professional Educator Competency System
- Verification of at least two semesters of full-time college teaching experience earned at an accredited or approved institution
- Take and pass the Subject Knowledge Exam for one of Florida's certification areas that only requires a bachelor's degree
Option #5: Complete an Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) such as TeacherReady™ (see above). A list of EPI contacts is located at www.teachinflorida.com. At this site select Education as a Career.
Option #6: Hold a valid standard teaching certificate from another state.
Option #7: Complete a degree in education at a Florida College or University that is a state approved teacher training program.