Florida Teacher Certification
The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) has implemented a rigorous set of requirements for Florida teacher certification. The FLDOE issues two types of teacher certificates allowing individuals to teach in Florida:
- The Professional Certificate - The Professional Certificate is Florida's highest level teacher certificate. It is a renewable certificate that is valid for five years.
- The Temporary Certificate - The Temporary Certificate allows an individual to start teaching full time while completing all of the requirements for a Professional Certificate. It is a nonrenewable certificate that is valid for three years.
Florida offers teacher certification in specific subjects in the following coverage areas:
- Elementary Level (grades preschool-6)
- Middle Level (grades 5-9)
- Secondary Level (grades 6-12)
- Elementary and Secondary (grades K-12)
- Professional Service Areas
- Administrative Coverages
- Academic Endorsements
- Degreed Vocational Coverages
- Vocational Endorsements
- Nondegreed Vocational Coverages
The Process for Florida Teacher Certification
The process to become certified to teach in Florida is relatively straight forward and outlined below for the two types of certificates.
|Professional Certificate||Temporary Certificate|
|Complete the application process requirements. Upon submission of an application, an "Official Statement of Status of Eligibility" is issued, stating what other requirements must be met.||Complete the application process requirements. Upon submission of an application, an "Official Statement of Status of Eligibility" is issued, stating what other requirements must be met.|
|Have at least a Bachelor's Degree||Have at least a Bachelor's Degree|
|Demonstrate subject area knowledge for a specific subject that you wish to teach. This is done by one of the following:
|Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge in one of the following ways:
|Demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education competence in one of the following ways:
|Be employed as a teacher.||Be employed as a teacher.|
|Fingerprinting for a criminal background check.||Fingerprinting for a criminal background check.|
Certification for Teachers Certified in Other States
Teachers from other states may qualify for a Florida Professional Certificate if they hold a valid standard certificate issued by another state or US territory in a subject comparable to a subject issued in Florida, or hold a valid National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificate. Such individuals should start the certification process by submitting an application, and then fulfilling the requirements outlined in the Official Statement of Status of Eligibility. These requirements should be fairly minimal and not require any certification testing.
Adding a Subject or Endorsement to a Florida Certificate
Additional subjects may be added to a valid Florida Professional and Temporary Certificate by submitting an application and demonstrating mastery of the subject or fulfilling the subject specialization requirements as outlined above in "The Process for Florida Teacher Certification" section of this article. An endorsement is a rider on a Florida certificate that denotes a particular expertise in an instructional level or methodology. Riders may be obtained by submitting an application and meeting the specialization requirements.
Florida Professional Certificate Renewal
To renew a Florida Professional Certificate requires:
- Submission of the application form and appropriate fee during the last year of validity of the current certificate.
- Complete all renewal requirements within the validity period for the current certificate.
- Complete 6 semester hours of college credit to renew your certificate. At least three of these semester hours must meet the requirements for topics that are appropriate for renewing your professional certificate as outlined on the FLDOE web site. A grade of at least "C", or "pass", or "satisfactory" must be earned in these courses. There are other ways of achieving college level equivalency outlined on the FLDOE web site including: receiving sixty inservice points in an approved Florida master inservice program, passing a Florida subject area test, receiving a valid certificate issued by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and teaching a college level course.
- Individuals wishing to renew two or more subject area coverages on their Florida Professional certificate should consult the FLDOE web site for the specific requirements.