EDUCATOR PREPARATION INSTITUTE - FAQs
What is the EPI program?
The Educator Preparation Institute is an alternative certification route for individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree in a non-education major. Through the completion of the EPI program and Florida Teacher Certification Examinations, candidates are eligible for a 5 year renewable professional teaching certificate for the state of Florida. The program consists of 21 credit hours which include 7 courses and 2 field experiences. Generally, the EPI program can be completed in three semesters, or one year.
How do I qualify for the EPI program?
In order to qualify for the EPI program candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5
- Possess a suitable disposition for becoming an educator
- Possess a Statement of Eligibility from the Department of Education
- Possess Passing scores on both the General Knowledge Exam and Subject Area Exam
How do I apply to the EPI program?
Visit the EPI Application Web page. This Web page will have all the necessary application information and documents.
What are the EPI completion requirements?
In order to be eligible for a Professional Teaching Certificate through the EPI the following must be completed:
- Complete and pass all FTCE exams; General Knowledge, Subject Area, and Professional Education (with score reports on file)
- Complete and pass all EPI coursework with a grade of “B” or better
- Have an “Eligible” Statement of Eligibility on file (which matches the Subject Area Exam the candidate has completed)
- Complete portfolio on file with the Teacher Education Department (completed during your last semester in EPI 0020-Professional Foundations)
How much does the EPI program cost?
Currently, the EPI program is estimated at $3,200-$3,500 for in-state tuition. This estimate includes tuition, textbooks, and fees. Please note that this estimate can vary depending on the semester and tuition increases. This estimate does not include any exams or fees associated with the Department of Education.
Is financial aid available?
There is financial aid available to EPI students including direct loans and scholarships. Please apply for your financial aid early on in the application process and check on it regularly. Please also reference the financial aid document on our website.
What is a Statement of Eligibility?
The Statement of Eligibility is a document that outlines the customized steps an individual needs to complete in order to become eligible for certification.
In order to receive a Statement of Eligibility please complete the following steps:
- Apply online through the Department of Education through this link http://www.fldoe.org/edcert
- Select the specific subject and/or grade level in which you wish to become certified in (such as Elementary Education k-6)
- Pay the $75 fee
- Mail official unopened transcripts from all institutions in which you earned college level credit, including the institution in which you received your bachelor’s degree to:
Florida Department of Education
Bureau of Educator Certification
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
- Once you have completed the online application process and your transcripts have been received, your Statement of Eligibility will arrive in the mail in approximately 6-8 weeks. Please make sure to print a copy of your receipt.
What are the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations?
The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) are state exams which are required in order to obtain professional certification through the Florida Department of Education. The three FTCE exams that EPI candidates must complete by the end of their first semester are the General Knowledge Exam, Professional Education Exam, and Subject Area Exam.
How do I register to take the FTCEs?
Please register for the FTCEs at this website: http://www.fl.nesinc.com. Through this website you will be able to view available appointment locations as well as specific dates and times. Please note you can generally register for these exams a month or two before your desired date. Be sure to check available appointments regularly if your desired date is not available the first time as it can change regularly.
How much do the FTCE’s cost?
The exam fees are as follows:
General Knowledge Exam - First time registration is $130
General Knowledge Exam - Retake registration is $150
Professional Education Exam - First time registration is $150
Professional Education Exam - Retake registration is $170
Subject Area Exam - First time registration- $200
Subject Area Exam- Retake registration- $220
Does the EPI program prepare me for the FTCEs?
The EPI does prepare students for portions of the Professional Education Exam through the mandatory first course, EPI 0004: The Teaching and Learning Process. The General Knowledge Exam and Subject Area Exam are completed independently by the student and are not part of the EPI curriculum.
Please note that all three exams must be completed by the end of your first semester. The Teacher Education Department strongly encourages candidates to complete these exams prior to starting the EPI program.
Are the EPI courses online?
Most of our EPI courses are available online each semester but can vary due to instructor availability. Please check the course schedule listed on the SJR State main Web page under course availability.
What courses are required for the EPI?
The following courses must be completed with a “B” or greater in order to complete the EPI program:
• EPI 0001 Classroom Management (3 credits)
• EPI 0002 Instructional Strategies (3)
• EPI 0003 Technology (3)
• EPI 0004 The Teaching and Learning Process (3)
• EPI 0010 Foundations of Reading Practices (3)
• EPI 0020 Professional Foundations (2)
• EPI 0940 Field Experience: Prof. Foundations (1)
• EPI 0030 Diversity (2)
• EPI 0945 Field Experience: Diversity (1)
Where can I find the course description for these courses?
Course descriptions can be found in the SJR State catalog or through the main EPI Web page under documents.
Is there a specific order to the coursework?
EPI 0004: The Teaching and Learning Process is required in the first semester as it prepares students for the Professional Education Exam (one of the FTCEs). Student can only take their final two courses EPI 0020: Professional Foundations, and EPI 0940: Field Experience for Professional Foundations in their last semester. All other courses can be completed in any sequence. Please note that EPI 0940 is not offered in the Summer semester. *Please refer to the suggested course sequences which are located on the EPI homepage.
Why do EPI 0020 and EPI 0940 always appear "closed"?
Please note that EPI 0020 and EPI 0940 are always shown as "closed" in the schedule. Students who wish to enter their last semester must contact the Teacher Education Department prior to the start of the next semester to determine if they are eligible. In order to be eligible to enter your last semester, the Teacher Education Department must have the following on file:
• Passing scores for all FTCE exams
• "Eligible" Statement of Eligibility which matches the Subject Area Exam
You must have fingerprint/background clearance through your chosen school district before any field contact.
Thank you for your interest in our EPI program. If you have any remaining questions or would like further information please contact the Teacher Education Department at 386-312-4242.