The Board of Governors Office of Academic and Student Affairs collaborates with the SUS Colleges of Education, the Florida Department of Education, and external agencies, such as The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), to support efforts to increase the number of qualified teachers entering the profession, especially in the areas of: math, science, engineering, and technology (STEM), and the state's other critical shortage areas.
Pathways to the Classroom
Florida offers several different pathways in which a prospective teacher may become certified and employed in a K-12 classroom.
Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) Programs exist at twelve campuses of ten State universities. ITP programs enable students to complete an undergraduate degree in education from a state approved teacher preparation program. Traditional teacher preparation programs generally take four years to complete an undergraduate degree. Students are typically admitted to these programs in the junior year after completing all of the lower division, general education coursework and satisfying the common prerequisites for each program.
Several SUS institutions offer education degrees at the master's and doctoral level for teachers who want to enhance their skills or move into administrative roles within the K-12 setting. The Master of Arts in Teaching is a popular program, allowing individuals holding a bachelor's degree in another field to become certified as a teacher in Florida.
Alternative Preparation Programs offer alternative routes for individuals interested in teaching but who need more flexible options in their preparation. Alternative certification programs prepare newly hired teachers, or individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree, with the professional preparation needed to qualify for a Professional Certificate to teach in a K-12 classroom. Prospective or practicing teachers who hold a Florida Temporary Certificate may choose to enroll in either of the following alternative programs to complete the requirements for a Professional Certificate in Florida.
- District Alternative Certification Program (DAC):Individuals holding a valid degree in a specific subject area may apply for a Temporary Certificate to teach in Florida and then complete a district alternative certification program to meet the professional preparation requirements, gain competency in the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPS), and satisfy the remaining credentials needed for the Professional Certificate.
- Educator Preparation Institute (EPI):
offer competency-based programs as an alternate route to certification for mid-career professionals and non-education baccalaureate degree holders.
For a complete listing of SUS institutions that offer an EPI, please go to http://www.teachinflorida.com/.
- Professional Training Option (PTO): Professional Training Options were developed by the Florida Department of Education as an alternative route designed to offer professional preparation in education for individuals who already hold a degree in a particular subject area or for students working towards an undergraduate degree in a content area.
- Florida A&M University
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Florida International University
- Florida State University
- University of Florida
- University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
- University of West Florida
- Troops to Teachers Program. The Troops to Teachers Program offers assistance to eligible military personnel to support their career transition to the teaching profession. Click on the link for information on eligibility, financial assistance, requirements for certification, and obtaining employment.
Below are links to the six SUS Colleges of Education sites with state approved Professional Training Options.
Financial Aid for Prospective and Practicing Teachers in Florida
Florida is dedicated to recruiting and producing highly qualified and effective teachers in its public K-12 classrooms. Prospective and practicing teachers are directed to the Florida Department of Education for financial support in their educational and career endeavors.
Additional Resources for Prospective and Practicing Teachers in Florida
- Critical Teacher Shortage Areas
- Florida Statute 1004.04 - Public accountability and state approval for teacher preparation programs
- Florida Teacher Certification Requirements
- State Approved Teacher Preparation Programs
- Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development, & Retention
- Teaching Opportunities in Florida