To ensure the preparation of quality teachers and other professional educators for the State of Florida, each teacher preparation program is evaluated by the state through a rigorous approval process.
Initial Teacher Preparation Programs:
The program approval process requires that each teacher preparation program must go through an “initial approval” process first based upon the institution's documented abilityto deliver a competency-based program. Once initial approval is received, the institution must submit an annual report based on the candidate's performance within their program and during the candidate's first year of teaching.
Programs undergo a “continued approval” process through annual reports submitted to the Department of Education and site visit reviews completed at the institution every seven years. Upon completion of a state-approved initial teacher preparation program, students are eligible for a Florida professional certificate. Currently, there are thirty-six colleges and universities in Florida that have state-approved initial teacher preparation programs.
Professional Preparation Programs:
In addition, all of Florida’s community colleges and four state universities have state-approved Educator Preparation Institutes through which they deliver alternative certification programs for baccalaureate degree holders.
These programs provide professional preparation for career-changers and recent college graduates who do not already possess professional certification. These programs must also undergo an initial and continued approval process based on candidate performance within the program and during the candidate's first year of teaching.
School Districts offer state-approved alternative certification programs to teachers employed within their district. For more information regarding district alternative certification programs visit Florida's Alternative Certification Program or other approved programs such as the American Board.
For further information on initial teacher preparation and professional preparation program approval and requirements found in sections 1004.04 and 1004.85, Florida Statutes and in Rule 6A-5.066, F.A.C. visit the Program Approval Unit's website.