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Educator Preparation

Ensuring the preparation of effective teachers and other professional educators for the State of Florida is fundamental to the mission of the Florida Department of Education. The Office of Educator Preparation is responsible for the initial and continued approval of educator preparation programs that lead to certification to teach in Florida's schools. Public and private universities and colleges throughout the state offer Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) Programs. Many of the Florida colleges and universities have state-approved Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs) through which they deliver alternative certification programs for baccalaureate degree holders. Also, the majority of Florida public school districts offer Professional Learning Certification Programs. Florida also offers state-approved educational leadership programs at various institutions.

Educator Preparation Programs Information

Initial Teacher Preparation Programs

Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) Programs prepare candidates to demonstrate mastery of subject area knowledge in one or more specific subject area(s), mastery of general knowledge, and mastery of professional preparation and education competence. ITP Programs are offered at Florida postsecondary institutions and typically culminate in a bachelor's or master's degree. Completers of an ITP Program are eligible for a Florida Professional Educator's Certification upon program completion.

Educator Preparation Institutes

An Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) provides an alternative route to a Florida Professional Educator's Certification for those that already hold a baccalaureate degree. EPIs are offered by many postsecondary institutions and qualified private providers. EPIs provide professional preparation and education competence for career-changers and recent college graduates who do not already possess a Florida Professional Educator's Certificate.

Professional Learning Certification Programs

A Professional Learning Certification Program (PLCP) provides a cohesive competency-based program leading to a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate through a Florida public school district, charter school or charter management organization. In a PLCP, a member of the instructional staff shall meet the professional preparation and education competence requirements.

Educational Leadership Programs

Educational Leadership Programs lead to initial certification in educational leadership for the purpose of preparing individuals to serve as school leaders. Many program candidates aspire to be school principals. These programs may be offered by Florida postsecondary institutions, school districts, charter schools and charter school management organizations.


Individuals that have general certification questions should contact the Bureau of Educator Certification for assistance. For more information on Educator Preparation Programs, please contact:

Educator Preparation Unit
Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development and Retention
Turlington Building, Suite 124
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Phone: 850-245-0435