Educator Preparation Institute
All new teacher candidate applications for admission into the EPI program with Polk State College for placement in the Fall 2023 semester will be closed on Friday, July 28, 2023. Any new admission applicants will need to create an Etrieve account, complete the EPI Entrance Interview, and submit the required FTCE documents listed below in the Etrieve portal for admission into the program by the deadline date. After Friday, July 28, 2023, all applications will only be processed for placement in the Spring 2024 semester. These are the required documents needed:
- Official bachelor’s degree transcripts (send directly to the Registrar’s office)
- Official FTCE Test Score Report reflecting a passing score on the Subject Area Exam (SAE)
- Statement of Eligibility letter (SOE)
- Temporary Teaching Certificate (TTC)
Please allow 2-4 weeks for the Registrar’s Office to receive and evaluate official transcripts.
Master’s or higher degree: If you have a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university, you will be exempt from all sections of the FTCE General Knowledge Test (GKT). Please send an official copy of your master’s degree or higher transcripts to:
- The Registrar’s office at Polk State College along with your official transcripts of your bachelor’s degree when applying for admission into the EPI program.
- The Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Educator Certification.
Highly Effective Rating: If you have received a Highly Effective final rating score [3.5-4.0] on your recent (within one school year) official Teacher Evaluation from a Florida K-12 public, charter, or magnet school will exempt you from the FTCE Professional Education Exam (PED). The Form must be signed and dated by the principal and the teacher. Please send a copy of that official Form to Dr. Tony De Souza (firstname.lastname@example.org). Private K-12 schools or institutions are not eligible for this waiver.
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.
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.
Polk State College offers two types of EPI accelerated training–Fast Track (one semester), and accelerated (2 semesters) 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.
Teacher candidates in Track A (PreK/Primary (PK-3), Elementary Education (K-6), ESE (K-12), and English (6-12), will receive an EPI Certificate of Completion with the full Reading Endorsement upon the completion of the program.
Teacher candidates in Track B (all other content areas K-12), will receive an EPI Certificate of Completion with credit for Reading Competencies 1 and 2 upon the completion of the program.
Additionally, for all teacher candidates (Tracks A and B) in Polk or Hardee Counties, you will also receive ESOL credit for:
- Curriculum and Materials Development (60-hrs)
- Cross-Cultural Communication (60-hrs)
The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) program at Polk State College is offered in an 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 as little as one semester (Fast Track model), or in less than 9 months through the accelerated model (2 semesters). Refer to the EPI Schedule posted under the IN THIS SECTION link for starting dates offered.
The FTCE Subject Area Exam (SAE) will need to be passed before being admitted to the EPI program and before registering for EPI0003 Technology, EPI0001 Classroom Management, and EPI0095 Field Experience.
With the exception of a conferred master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university, all four subsections (Math, Essay, ELS, and Reading) on the FTCE General Knowledge Test (GKT) will need to be passed before registering for EPI0010 Foundations of Research-Based Practices in Reading, EPI0004 Teaching and Learning, EPI0002 Instructional Strategies, and EPI0015 Reading Implementation of Research-Based Practices.
The Professional Education Exam (PED) will need to be passed before registering for EPI0020 Professional Foundations, and EPI0030 Diversity.
EPI teacher candidates will need to satisfy all FTCE requirements and successfully complete all EPI coursework and Field Experience before being eligible for graduation from the EPI program and become eligible for the Florida Professional Educator Certificate.