Educator Preparation Institute

Application Deadline for Spring 2024 EPI Program at Polk State College: December 8, 2023

Prerequisite Requirements:

      • A conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
      • A passing score on the FTCE Subject Area Exam (SAE).

Application Process:

    1. Send official transcripts for the bachelor’s degree to the Registrar’s office. Complete Polk State’s online Admission Orientation here. *There are three demographic options for the Admission Orientation. Please make sure to select the Bachelor Degree Students option.
    2. Complete the required online Fundamentals of Reading Test here.
    3. Set up a student Etrieve account and complete the online EPI Entrance Interview here. Also, upload the following FTCE documents in the Etrieve portal before the deadline:
      • Official FTCE Test Score Report with a passing score on the SAE
      • Statement of Eligibility letter (SOE)
      • Temporary Teaching Certificate (TTC)

Important Note

      • Applications received after December 8, 2023, will be considered for the Fall 2024 semester only.
      • Please allow 2-4 weeks for the Registrar’s Office to process official transcripts.

  1. + Exemption from the FTCE General Knowledge Test for Master’s or Higher Degree Holders

    If you hold a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university, you are exempt from all sections of the FTCE General Knowledge Test (GKT). To be eligible for this exemption, please follow these steps:

      1. Submit official transcripts to Polk State College:
        • Along with the official transcripts of your bachelor’s degree, send an official copy of your master’s or higher degree transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at Polk State College when applying for admission into the EPI program.
      1. Send Transcripts to the Florida Department of Education:
        • Additionally, forward these transcripts to the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Educator Certification for verification.
  2. + About the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) at Polk State College

    The EPI offers a state-approved alternative certification route for individuals seeking a Florida Professional Teaching Certificate. This competency-based program is designed for those with bachelor’s degrees in any field from regionally accredited institutions. It aims to equip aspiring teachers with essential skills and training for certification, preparing them to be highly effective educators in their chosen fields.

  3. + EPI Course Sequence Options

    Option 1: Fast Track

      • Complete the EPI program in one semester.

    Option 2: Regular Track

      • Complete the EPI program in two semesters.
  4. + Mandatory Course Connections

    The EPI0095 Field Experience course must be taken concurrently in the same semester with the following courses due to their interrelated content:

      • EPR-0001 Fundamentals of Reading
      • EPI0002 Instructional Strategies
      • EPI0004 Teaching & Learning
      • EPI0010 Foundations of Research-Based Practices in Reading
      • EPI0015 Reading Competency 5

    This integration is a state-mandated requirement, allowing for no deviations. 

  5. + FTCE Requirements for Graduation

    Before graduating from the EPI Program, all of the following FTCE requirements must be satisfied, with an updated official FTCE Test Score Report on file with the EPI office:

      • Subject Area Exam (SAE)
      • General Knowledge Test (All 4 subtests: Math, Reading, Essay, ELS)
      • Professional Education Exam (PED)
  6. + Program Outcomes

    Our program fulfills the requirements for professional preparation and Professional Education Competence (PEC), which are crucial for obtaining the 5-Year Florida Professional Certificate. The EPI at Polk State College offers individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any field (from a regionally accredited institution) a pathway to achieve teacher certification. This certification prepares candidates to be highly qualified teachers, making the program ideal for those with a passion for teaching and education.

  7. + House Bill 7011 Provisions [Effective July 1, 2022]

    Effective July 1, 2022, candidates entering a teacher preparation program in the 2022-2023 academic year and earning certification in a coverage area identified in section (s.) 1012.585(3)(f), Florida Statutes (F.S.) must successfully complete all competencies for a Reading Endorsement.

    This impacts the following coverage areas per State Board Rule 6A-4.0051, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.):

      • Elementary Education (grades K-6)
      • Prekindergarten-Primary Education (Age 3 through grade 3)
      • Middle Grades English (grades 5-9)
      • English (grades 6-12)
      • Reading (grades K-12)
      • Reading (endorsement)
      • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (grades K-12)
      • ESE (grades K-12)
  8. + Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) Program Tracks at Polk State College

      • Track A: For teacher candidates holding any of the eight listed FTCE certifications.
      • Track B: For candidates with FTCE certifications in all other areas.
  9. + ESOL Credit for Polk and Hardee County Candidates

    Teacher candidates in Polk or Hardee Counties are eligible for additional ESOL credit, covering:

      • Curriculum and Materials Development (60 hours)
      • Cross-Cultural Communication (60 hours)
  10. + Program Delivery and Duration

    The EPI program at Polk State College is delivered entirely online by highly qualified, certified teachers. We offer two completion models:

      • Fast Track Model: Complete the program and all required Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) in as little as one semester.
      • Regular Track Model: Complete the program over two semesters, less than ten months in total.

For detailed start dates and schedules, please refer to the EPI Schedule.