EFSC Educator Preparation Institute: Alternate Certification Program

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) at Eastern Florida State College provides an alternate path to teach in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 setting for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in a field other than teaching. The program helps meet the need for more teachers, especially in the STEM areas with critical shortages such as math and science. Coursework in the EPI curriculum provides the knowledge and skills needed to earn a Florida Professional Educator's Certificate.

EFSC's state-approved, 24 credit-hour EPI program includes seven courses that provide a foundation in classroom teaching plus a field experience practicum course that involves 30 hours of observation and demonstration in an approved Brevard Public Schools classroom. Courses may be taken year-round, with online and on-campus options, however, courses with a field experience component in a school setting are only offered in the Fall and Spring terms. Courses

Carefully review each admission's step in the accordion below and if you have questions at any stage, contact the Program Manager Dr. Holly McKnight at mcknighth@easternflorida.edu or 321-433-5355.

Accordian Table

Step 1: Obtain Required Status of Eligibility from Florida Department of Education

To be eligible to apply the Eastern Florida State College's Educator Preparation Institute, you must obtain what's known as a "Statement of Status of Eligibility" from the Florida Department of Education. This mailed letter will include the statement that "You are Eligible for a Florida Educator's Certificate: Three-Year, Non-Renewable Temporary Certificate" and list the subject area(s) and grade levels in which you have chosen to pursue full professional certification. View examples of that certificate letter, both an EPI-eligible and non-eligible version.

Click here to access the Florida DOE's online Educator Certification system to submit the required "Application for Educator Certification in Florida," which will include submission of your prior college transcripts to the state. That state process may take 4 to 6 weeks before you receive your eligibility status letter so plan accordingly.

To learn more about Florida's certification process for non-education majors or those changing careers, visit the Florida DOE website, which includes guidance on choosing a subject area specialization.

Step 2: Complete the Eastern Florida State College Admissions Process

Eastern Florida State College's Educator Preparation Institute is considered a limited access program because of the additional admission requirements outlined on this page. EFSC's process starts with completing EFSC's general online application, an intuitive-based system that requires EPI applicants to select an education level of associate's degree or higher and indicate they are applying to earn a degree or certificate in order for the EPI program choice to become available in the application. There is a $30 application fee. Once submitted, processing can take up to three weeks.

Submission of all final, official, non-EFSC college transcript(s) indicating the coursework taken and the degree(s) awarded is required as part of the EFSC admissions process. A transcript with courses in progress is not considered a final transcript. When requesting a transcript, ask that it be sent directly to the EFSC Registrar's Office.

Students with international transcripts from outside the U.S. are required to obtain a course-by-course evaluation from an approved company. Review the International Transcript Info site for more details.

Step 3: Obtain Brevard Public Schools Security Clearance

Obtain security clearance with fingerprinting for a background check through Brevard Public Schools (BPS). Prospective EPI students will be fingerprinted as volunteers, with the same Level II background check that is done for all BPS fingerprints. There is an initial $35 charge for the fingerprinting and an $8 annual renewal fee.  Complete the BPS on-line volunteer application then go to the BPS Office of District & School Security to pay by credit card/debit and have the fingerprinting done. 

Visit the BPS District and School security website for BPS hours and location.

EFSC's program coordinator will verify completion of this security requirement based on the information each applicant provides in their biographical data sheet submitted as part of Step 4.

Step 4: Schedule Interview with Eastern Florida's EPI Manager

Prior to admission to the program, the Education Program Manager will meet with potential candidates and review the process and procedures required in the EPI program at EFSC.

To be contacted to schedule an interview appointment, download and fill out the EPI Biographical Data Sheet and return a completed PDF version via email to mcknighth@easternflorida.edu or printed version via mail to:

Dr. Holly McKnight
EPI Program Manager
EFSC Palm Bay Campus
250 Community College Parkway, Bldg. 2-156
Palm Bay, FL 32909

Applicants can email or call 321-433-5355 if they have questions.

Step 5: Pass the General Knowledge Test and Prepare for Subject Area Test(s)

General Knowledge Test

Candidates must pass the state-required General Knowledge Test before entry into the EPI program at Eastern Florida State College. The Florida DOE has contracted with Pearson Education, Inc. to administer the exam. Test results must be submitted to the EFSC Registrar before a student is admitted to the program. When registering for the exam, you can request the results be sent to Eastern Florida State College.

Tests are offered locally at the Pearson Vue Test Center located at 2176 Sarno Rd, Melbourne, FL 32935

You may ask questions and register via phone by calling 866-613-3281 or 413-256-2893.

You can also visit Pearson's Florida Teacher Certification Exam registration website to view detailed information about the testing process and register online for the General Knowledge Test.

Subject Area Test(s)

Admitted EPI students also are required to earn a passing score on the Subject Area Test(s) that aligns with the subject(s) they plan to become certified to teach. Students can take the subject area test(s) before or after starting the program, but the requirement must be met before they can register for the EFSC Practicum Course that includes 30 hours in a classroom environment.

The exam registration process and testing location is the same as the General Knowledge Test.

View the Florida DOE Subject Area Knowledge Examinations web page for more information on which test is required for each subject area.

Test information guides for the Florida exams are available on the Pearson website.

Step 6: Submit a Writing Sample to EFSC

Prospective candidates must submit a writing sample following the requirements listed below before entry to EFSC's EPI program. This must be submitted to the program coordinator via email, in person at the interview, or by mail and will be filed in the candidate's individual folder.

• The writing sample should be a biographical statement that addresses the following questions: Why do you want to become a teacher? What skills and personal qualities do you have that you think will help you become an excellent teacher?

• The writing sample must be from one to three pages, double-spaced and typed in a 12-point font.

• Include your name, mailing address, email and phone number in the upper left corner.

• The finished document can be saved as a PDF and emailed as an attachment to mcknighth@easternflorida.edu or printed and mailed to:
Dr. Holly McKnight
EPI Program Manager
EFSC Palm Bay Campus
250 Community College Parkway, Bldg. 2-156
Palm Bay, FL 32909

Please Note: Errors in the writing sample could result in an applicant being denied access to the EPI program so write carefully and proofread for spelling and grammar.