EPI+ Program Description

Why EPI+

Each year a few students in the EPI struggle with English proficiency making the work more difficult. In addition, these students have also found passing some of the Florida Teacher Competency Exam (FTCE) subtests to be problematic; especially the essay portion of the General Knowledge subtest. Through funds given by the Mayor’s Hispanic Council and The Schultz Foundation, the Educator Preparation Institute is offering the EPI+ program to assist in students in this area before entering the regular EPI program.


EPI+ is Step 1 to Florida Teacher Certification. To gain certification, continuation into the EPI program is necessary.


EPI+ Purpose


  • Prepare individuals with limited English proficiency for the EPI
  • Meet the need for more teachers in the Hispanic Community. 
  • Increase access into the teaching profession for Hispanic professionals.
  • Increase diversity in Florida’s teaching force.
  • Positively impact the education and lives of Hispanic students.


EPI+ Mission


With the growing need for Hispanic teachers in the public school system, Hispanic students need role models, coaches, and mentors who can inspire and spark dreams of success and innovation. EPI+ taps into the talents of the Hispanic community to develop qualified teachers with a better understanding of language, culture, and literacy.


EPI+ Program


The University of North Florida (UNF), College of Education and Human Services provides an EPI+ to prepare candidates for entry into the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) as part of the State’s effort to address teacher shortages.  


EPI+ is designed to assist Hispanic individuals interested in teaching with the written language proficiency necessary to be successful in the EPI and in a teaching career. Candidates will also learn about the laws and cultural differences that make up the education in America. 


EPI+ is designed to prepare students with limited proficiency in written/spoken English. EPI+ completers will have learned language proficiency skills required to be successful with the requirements of the EPI. Students will learn cultural differences, general routines and rules, and some aspects of policy and law affecting teachers’ roles in America. 

EPI+ is meant to meet the need for more teachers in the Hispanic community. It is designed to increase access into the teaching profession for Hispanic professionals, increase diversity in Florida’s teaching force, and positively impact the education and lives of Hispanic students.  


EPI+ Course


EPI+ students will meet on 8 Saturdays, between May 31 and August 2, from 9am – 12pm. During the first session, students will have an opportunity to be part of a session of the present EPI Cohort. Both of the EPI+ instructors have advanced degrees in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). 


EPI+ Program Cost


The cost is $150 which includes all materials. In addition, upon completion, students receive a $400 scholarship toward tuition for the EPI program. To be eligible for Florida Professional Certification, you must complete the regular EPI program beginning in August.


Step 2 to Florida Professional Teacher Certification


Once participants complete the EPI+, each will receive a $400 scholarship to attend the Educator Preparation Institute which immediately follows the EPI+ program in August. The EPI offers a ten-month combination of seven connected instructional modules, field experiences, and mentoring. It is here that each participant will satisfy the requirements to earn a Florida Professional Teaching Certificate and qualify for a teaching position in any Florida public or private school.


Programmatic components of the EPI are integrated in ways that provide in-depth instruction and support to career changers as they prepare to become highly qualified, committed teachers. The EPI program addresses the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices and the Florida Department of Education professional competency testing requirements. Mastery of competencies is demonstrated in K-12 classroom settings and documented using state-approved formative and summative instrumentation. Mentoring is provided for the duration of the program. 


EPI completers are awarded a credential from UNF’s College of Education and Human Services confirming completion of State EPI requirements for professional certification and eligibility to apply for the Florida Professional Teaching Certificate.


Step 2 EPI Program Cost


Tuition: $1865 (this includes a $400 scholarship, regular tuition is $2265)

Textbooks can be purchased used for about $50-$100 total

All other materials, just as in the EPI+, will be furnished for you.

Easy payment plan: 1st payment of $200 is not due until June 20, and then $200 on each July 18 and August 1. The balance is due by August 15th.


*All program participants are required to complete both the EPI+ and the Educator Preparation Institute. Both are scholarship programs. 


More information about the EPI program is available on this website. 


Want More Information?

Contact Betty Bennett, EPI Director

University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224

Telephone (904) 620-1823

Fax (904) 620-1619

Email bbennett@unf.edu