The Educator Preparation Institute is a competency-based certification program that offers a state-approved pathway to a five-year Florida Professional Teaching Certificate. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally-accredited college or university.

Polk State College offers two types of EPI accelerated training for:

  • Newly hired teachers who have a four-year degree but did not major in education.
  • Professionals (non-teachers) who have a four-year degree, did not major in education, and are not currently teaching.

This program will satisfy professional preparation and professional education competence (PEC) for the Florida Professional Certificate. Through the Institute, teacher candidates with teaching aspirations and bachelors’ degrees in any discipline (from a regionally-accredited college or university) can receive teacher certification, giving them the skills to become highly-qualified teachers in a fraction of the time and cost required for a traditional education degree.

Teacher candidates will receive an EPI Certificate and Reading Competency 2 credit after program completion. If teaching in Polk or Hardee County, candidates will also receive ESOL credit for:

  • Curriculum and Materials Development
  • Cross-Cultural Communication

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) program at Polk State College is offered in the online format. Program instructors are highly-qualified, professional, certified teachers that have a passion to teach. Teacher Candidates can complete the program and required FTCE exams in less than 6 months.   Candidates can double up on their courses or take one at a time depending on individuals  preferred pace.  Refer to the course and field experience schedule posted on the schedule page for starting dates  offered. The Subject Area FTCE exam will need to be passed before being admitted to the EPI program and the General Knowledge FTCE test will need to be passed before registering for EPI0020 Professional Foundations course, EPI0030 Diversity course, and EPI0095 Field Experience course.  The Professional Ed Exam will need to be passed before program completion.

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