Florida Alternative Teacher Certification

Instructor: Leah Salyer
When choosing to become a teacher, many will attend a 4-year university in order to receive their professional teaching license. Others, however, may choose to go a different route and pursue an alternative teaching license. Read on to learn more about the types of alternative certificates for teaching in Florida and what you must do to earn one.

Types of Alternative Certificates

There are a number of ways in which an alternative teaching certificate may be obtained in the state of Florida. Most pathways will require the potential teacher to complete a state-approved educator preparation program. These programs will likely be offered at college institutions, though some may be available as an extra program through the local school district. Many programs are designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree in a field other than education. Alternative teaching licensure possibilities as well as their requirements are outlined below.

Temporary Certificate

In the state of Florida, educators who have not completed a teacher preparation program can apply for a temporary certificate. This option is for individuals who are employed in a Florida school district, and who either received a bachelor's degree in an area other than teaching, or who received their degree at an out-of-state institution. Typically, you will be granted a temporary teaching certificate when you pass subject area knowledge tests. This certificate will be good for three years giving you time to finish any requirements that will grant you a full professional license. To be considered for a temporary certificate you must:

  • Fill out an application in full making sure to apply for the appropriate certificate
  • Have a minimum of a bachelor's degree
  • Pass a background check with fingerprinting
  • Show proficiency in Subject Area Knowledge or Subject Specialization
  • Have a 2.5 GPA for the subject you wish to teach

Professional Development Certification Program

You will also have the choice to go through the Florida Professional Development Certificate Program (PDCP), which will make it possible for you to take part in a teacher prep program online. This allows you to begin your career as a teacher while pursuing the professional development necessary to becoming fully licensed. This route is typically only open to candidates who are already experts in a field outside of teaching. To gain a professional certificate you must meet necessary PDCP program requirements. These requirements include:

  • Completing 20 program tasks as outlined in the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices
  • Meeting criteria for the Reading Endorsement Competency #2
  • Showing proficiency on the General Knowledge Exam, Professional Education Exam and the Subject Area Knowledge Exam for the subject you wish to pursue
  • Having sufficient evaluations of your teaching performance

More information about the Professional Development Certification Program can be found online at altcertflorida.org.

Testing Requirements

No matter the route in which you choose to go for your alternative certificate, there will be a set of tests, known as The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE), that you must complete in order to become licensed. These exams include:

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