The UNF Educator Preparation Institute is a 10- month competency-based educator certification program that offers a state-approved pathway to a renewable, five-year Florida Professional Educator Certificate. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline from a regionally-accredited college or university.
The UNF Educator Preparation Institute offers two tracks that will learn together as a cohort:
- Novice teachers who have a four-year degree outside of education. (Novice Teachers)
- Professionals who have a four-year degree outside of education, and are not currently teaching. (Teacher Candidates)
This program will satisfy professional preparation and professional education competence (PEC) for the Florida Professional Certificate. This requirement can be found on your Statement of Status of Eligibility. 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.
Our EPI is housed at the Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP) in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). The EPI curriculum has a strong focus on urban education and teaching for social justice. The goal is to prepare teachers for assignments in critical shortage areas and to work with marginalized youth and their families. Embedded themes include: social justice, equity, cultural responsiveness and diversity. Program instructors are highly-qualified, education professionals who have unwavering devotion to teaching and learning.
EPI participants will receive an EPI Completion Certificate and Reading Competency 2 Certificate after program completion.
The EPI program at the University of North Florida is delivered face-to-face. Most sessions are held at UNF. There is a community component that may require some travel in and around the Jacksonville area. The cohort meets twice a month, usually on Wednesday evenings from 6-9 pm beginning at the end of August and going to the beginning of June. The schedule is available in the summer, during orientation.
The EPI program is cohort-based and has participants ranging from K-12 in various subject areas. Each session is tailored to meet individual and group needs.
The General Knowledge Exam, Subject Area Exam(s) and Professional Exam need to be passed in order to complete the program as the goal of the program is to become eligible for a five-year professional certificate that is renewable.
- Possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.7
- Possess a suitable disposition for becoming an educator
- Possess a Statement of Status of Eligibility for the Florida Department of Education
Visit the UNF EPI website at http://www.unf.edu/epi. Here you will find all of the application information and instructions for submission.
- Complete and submit UNF EPI Application
- Submit $30 Application fee (cash or check made payable to: The University of North Florida)
- Submit a copy of Official College Transcript (Bachelor's degree 2.7 or higher)
- Submit a copy of your Official Statement of Status of Eligibility (www.fldoe.org.edcert/)
- Submit a copy of Official Score Report. This will show any passing scores or attempts of the Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCEs). (If applicable) (www.fl.nesinc.com)
- Submit a copy of Temporary Teaching Certificate. You must be the teacher of record in a public school district. (Current Teachers)
- Interview with EPI Director and staff to determine if the candidate possesses a suitable disposition for becoming an educator. Interviews will be scheduled by the EPI Office after review of application
- Have a valid Statement of Status of Eligibility www.fldoe.org/edcert
- Successfully complete all EPI required coursework with 80% or better.
- All applicable FTCE exams must be taken and passed. A copy of your Score Report must be on file with the EPI office. To register for FTCE exams, please visit http://www.fl.nesinc.com. There are checkpoints in place to keep you on track.
- An electronic EPI portfolio must be maintained in Canvas and up to date according to established checkpoints. EPI portfolio must be completed and approved.
- Complete the online 'EPI End of Year Survey.' You will be required to print and submit the confirmation page to the EPI office.
- Complete the Teacher Disposition Checklist and submit a copy to the EPI office.
- Complete the FEAPs Self Post-Assessment and submit a copy to the EPI office.
- If you have completed the Florida Online Reading Professional Development (FOR-PD) in lieu of Reading Competency 2, a copy of your FOR-PD certificate must be on file with the EPI office.
- After the EPI Completion Checklist is complete, the EPI Assistant Director will review your portfolio, sign your CT-133 (Verification of Completion of EPI form) and submit the paperwork to the Florida Department of Education. You will receive your completion certificate and a copy of your CT-133 upon completion from the EPI office.
After this process has been completed, and you have already obtained a Temporary Certificate, you may apply for your Professional Certificate and enjoy being an educator of our youth.
If you have not been issued a Professional Certificate, you will receive a letter stating you are eligible for a Professional Certificate. When you have been hired and passed the fingerprinting and background check, you will be issued your Professional Certificate. If you wish to request your Professional Certificate before being hired, you may do so, but you will have to be fingerprinted and have a background check as part of the process.