The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) is a competency-based certification program for mid-career professionals and college graduates who do not have a degree in Education but have a desire to teach children in a K-12 setting. An individual with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university may enter the EPI Program to prepare for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) in Professional Preparation and Education Competence. The program candidate must also demonstrate General Knowledge and Subject Area Competence.
The Polk State EPI Program is offered as a fully online program. There are nine courses, including a field experience course, and an individual can complete the program in less than a year. A teacher candidate who completes the Polk State EPI Program exits with a full Florida Reading Endorsement. The individual must pass all three Florida Teacher Certification (FTCE) exams to complete the program and receive a five-year Florida Professional Teaching Certificate.
Upon enrollment at Polk State College, a teacher candidate must designate the Educator Preparation Institute as the program of study. The participant can register online in PASSPORT for courses. Institutional credit is earned for all program courses; this credit is only transferable to other colleges in Florida that offer an EPI program. The EPI website provides additional information regarding course offerings (www.polk.edu/epi), or an individual can contact the Polk State EPI Office by phone (863.298.6870).
The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) at Polk State College provides instruction in the requirements for teacher certification in Florida. A prospective candidate from out of state should contact the entity responsible for teacher certification in the state of residency to determine if reciprocity is offered for Florida teacher certification.