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Educator Preparation Institute

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) at Eastern Florida provides an alternate path to becoming a teacher in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 setting.

If you already hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in a field other than teaching, EPI courses prepare you to earn a Florida Professional Educator's Certificate.

The program helps meet the need for more teachers in all subject area disciplines, especially in high-demand areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Exceptional Student Education (ESE).

By offering comprehensive training in the most important components of K-12 instruction, the EPI certificate provides a clear path forward for those who want to change professions or move in a new direction.

There are on-campus options for some of the required courses, and the program's courses can be completed online, except for the required in-person field experience and practicum in approved Brevard Public Schools classrooms. Courses may be taken year-round, however, courses that involve field experience in a school setting are only offered in the Fall and Spring terms.

Educator Preparation Institute - COURSE CURRICULUM

The college courses associated with this certificate cover topics such as classroom management, educational psychology, and teaching and learning processes.

Educator Preparation Institute

Program Overview

Certificate Type
Delivery Methods
On-Campus, Hybrid
Total Credit Hours
Academic Community
Contact Information
Jo Harland

There are two catalog curriculum choices: both lead to the ability to be certified to teach in Florida, but one includes a Reading Endorsement. Each curriculum link includes graduation requirements. An advisor can help with any questions.

How to Apply to the Educator Preparation Institute

Applicants who hold the required bachelor degree should follow all the steps in the accordion to apply for the Educator Preparation Institute. Carefully review each step and if you have questions at any stage, contact Jo Harland at or 321-433-5199.

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

To be eligible to apply to the EFSC'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. 

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 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 Programs Academic Chair 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 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 all four sections of 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 the Florida Teacher Certification Exam registration website managed by Pearson 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 manager 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 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.

Brief Costs & Financial Aid Eligibility

The EPI program includes lower level, 1000 and 2000 numbered courses, plus upper level courses at the 3000 level and above as outlined in the official curriculum. Based on the Florida resident tuition rates for those course categories, the program's tuition is an estimated $2,863.65, plus course materials and fees.

Students could be eligible for financial aid, scholarships, or Veteran's Educational Benefits — which may help offset or reduce out of pocket costs.

College Courses You Would Take

Here's a closer look at some of the college classes associated with this certificate.

What Students Say ...

Regina Dutcher, EPI Class of 2021 Graduate

I found my three semesters in the EPI program to be both helpful in my education career, as well as a very positive experience. It's a fast-track program that offers both in-person and online class options with the best teachers in the field. The classes focus on classroom teaching and prepare students as future educators.

Related Programs 

For those considering the Educator Preparation Institute, there are other degree and certificate programs at Eastern Florida that might be of interest.