Program Information

  • Program Level: Certificate
  • Area of Interest: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Location: SCF Bradenton, SCF Lakewood Ranch, SCF Venice

Learn more about SCF's Social and Behavioral Sciences

SCF’s Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services programs offer a deep dive into the world of humanity and society. They cover a wide range of subjects, exploring society, identity, and social institutions.

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Home Teacher Certification Program [4005]

Teacher Certification Program [4005]

Change the World, Become a Teacher

The Educator Preparation Institute provides a quality teacher training option for baccalaureate degree holders. Through the Institute, teacher candidates with teaching aspirations and bachelors’ degree in any discipline (from a regionally accredited college or university) can work toward teacher certification with the skill to become highly-qualified, prepared teachers in Florida.

What you’ll study

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) is a competency-based program that offers a pathway to a five year Florida Professional Teaching Certificate. EPI is designed to prepare non-education majors to be successful classroom teachers and can be completed in 10-12 months.

How you’ll learn

Participants in SCF’s EPI meet one evening each week, 6 to 8:30 p.m., for eight weeks per course. This schedule allows participants to complete all coursework in a blended/hybrid format and follow a model. It also allows you to learn in a hands on, performance based environment.

Where it can take you

The Educator Preparation Institute includes modules of course study, experiences in classrooms, and demonstrations of acquired exemplary teaching practices. Experienced classroom teachers and administrators will serve as instructors and mentors. While participants in SCF’s EPI are free to apply for a teaching position with a school district, you are not required to be employed as a teacher during the program. Successful completion of the EPI prepares you for the classroom and beyond. The opportunities are unlimited.

Information Sessions 

Info sessions are a great place to learn about SCF EPI Program and receive answers to your questions. Events will be listed as they are scheduled. Workshops are provided using Microsoft Teams. We recommend using Chrome or Firefox. You should be able to enter through your web browser.

DateTime (Click to Enter)
Wednesday, February 21, 20246 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20, 20246 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 17, 20246 – 7 p.m.


Program Information

  • Program Level: Certificate
  • Area of Interest: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Location: SCF Bradenton, SCF Lakewood Ranch, SCF Venice

EPI Application Minimum Requirements Checklist

The Educator Preparation Institute is a 10-12 month program for individuals holding bachelor’s degrees seeking to earn a Professional teaching certificate. The program begins twice per year (January & August) at  two State College of Florida campus locations. Classes meet one night per week from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

To be considered for admission to the State College of Florida EPI, interested applicants must:

*Have a Statement of Status of Eligibility from Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and two (2) passing test scores (Subject Area Exam & General Knowledge Test) from Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) before entry into the Educator Preparation Institute .

  • Apply for a Statement of Status of Eligibility (SSE) from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) at There is a $75 application fee for each subject requested. The turnaround time varies depending on the time of year and how quickly the DOE receives all documentation. The DOE will require official transcripts (sent directly from each institution to the DOE) from all institutions attended.
  •  You will need to download the application from our website and submit it by mail or as an email attachment.
  •  Complete SCF application online. You will be required to prove that you have been a resident of Florida for at least one year prior to admission to be eligible for in-state tuition. Apply as a non-degree seeking, in Personal Enrichment. 
  • SCF Office of the Registrar accepts transcripts in the following ways:  Electronic transcripts sent directly to:; ; Mailed official transcripts address to:  PO Box 1849 Bradenton, FL  34206; Faxed transcripts from the issuing institution directly to fax#:(941) 727-6380; Official transcripts in a sealed envelope, dropped off to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Passing scores on Subject Area Exam (SAE-$150) and General Knowledge Exam (GKT $130).  Most exams are administered at computer test centers. Go to ( to register for tests and for information about locations and hours of testing centers. 

A completed application will include:

  • EPI application
  • SCF campus application for admission to the college including residency documentation and an official transcript from the institution that granted your bachelor’s degree
  • 1 page philosophy statement (see EPI application for information)
  • Eligible Statement of Status of Eligibility from the FLDOE
  • FTCE scores-Subject Area and General Knowledge- (2)
  • Interview with a member of the EPI staff
  • Interview/Advising

    All documentation with the exception of the SCF application and transcript may be sent to:

Araceli Cumbo
Coordinator, EPI
State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota
8000 S Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL34293

FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

EPI applicants must have an Eligible Statement of Status of Eligibility from Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and  (2) test scores (SAE & GKT) from Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) before entry into the Educator Preparation Institute.

What is the Educator Preparation Institute?

The EPI is an alternative route that leads to full Professional Certification.  It is used by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) to refer to various methods by which adults with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree outside the field of education can become certified by the FLDOE to teach preK-12 grades.

How long will it take to complete SCF’s EPI?

The program will take approximately 10-12 months to complete. (No summer internships)

What can I do to prepare for the EPI application process?

Apply for a Statement of Status of Eligibility from the FLDOE. Information about the eligibility certificate can be obtained from Take and pass the General Knowledge Test, and Subject Area Exam. The GKT examination for those students with a master’s degree or higher would be deemed as passed and having met the GKT requirement.

How do I apply for SCF’s EPI?

If you’re interested in joining the Educator Preparation Institute for Teachers at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, there are several steps to follow. First, submit an official application to SCF. Second, make sure to provide the necessary residency documentation. You’ll also need to send an official copy of your college transcript that shows you have a Bachelor’s degree to the SCF Educational Records office. Additionally, complete the EPI application, which should include a philosophy statement explaining “Why I want to be a Teacher” and the FLDOE eligible statement of eligibility. Make sure to send in your passing scores for the General Knowledge Test (or your Master’s transcript) and the Subject Area Exam. Before acceptance into the program, you’ll have an interview to assess your interest and readiness to become a teacher. Once you’ve gathered all the required documents and information, mail the completed application to the following address:

Educator Preparation Institute for Teachers
Attn: Araceli Cumbo Coordinator, EPI
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
8000 S Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34293

What happens after being accepted into the program?

Once accepted into SCF’s EPI, applicants must attend a mandatory program orientation 

What must I do to complete SCF’s EPI and become certified to teach?

Program participants must complete all course modules, portfolio, and pass the General Knowledge, Subject Area and Professional Educator state exams. SCF will then submit documentation to the Florida Department of Education which will result in the issuance of a five-year renewable Professional Teaching Certificate. 

What are the characteristics of SCF’s EPI?

The SCF program includes modules of course study, experiences in classrooms and demonstration of acquired exemplary teaching practices. Experienced classroom teachers will serve as mentors. Participants must complete all course modules and achieve passing scores on the General Knowledge test, Subject Area exam, and the Professional Educator test. While participants in SCF’s EPI are free to apply for a teaching position with the school system during their participation in the EPI, they are not required to be employed as teachers while completing the program.

What are the costs for the program?

SCF coordinates with local school districts to identify critical shortage areas and prepare eligible participants to teach in those subject areas. However, participation in the college’s program does not guarantee job placement.

Who should I contact if I want information about SCF’s EPI?

For more information contact:
Araceli Cumbo (941) 408-1481 (SCF Venice)
Patti Davies (941-408-1412 (SCF Venice)