Educator Preparation Institute (EPI)

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) Alternative Certification Program

The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) program at Valencia College is designed for individuals who want to teach, but hold a bachelor's degree in an area other than education.  This alternative certification program provides the knowledge and tools necessary for earning a Florida Professional Teaching Certificate.

The program consists of 7 courses and a field experience course .  The field experience course requires a total of 30 hours of observation in an approved school classroom. Each course is 8 weeks in length and is presented in either an online or mixed mode format. mixed mode courses meet twice per 8 week term for 3 hours on campus with all other coursework being online.

Students who are not in a full-time teaching position or working as a full-time teacher's aide or paraprofessional will have to complete 5 hours of volunteer hours in K-12 setting per 8 week term, not per course for mixed mode courses. The exception will be when students are registered for their field experience courses. Information about how to complete these volunteer hours will be communicated to students by their instructors at the beginning of the term. Each course can require between 5-10 hours of work outside of your class. For this reason, it is important that you consider commitments and register for the right amount of courses. You are only allowed to take 2 courses per 8 week term, but this requires a heavy time commitment.

We also offer fully-online courses, but if you are not a full-time teacher or a para-professional, then you must complete 10 hours of observation in a public, private, or charter school for each 8 week term that you are registered for an online course. Information about the observation will be provided by your instructor about the observation requirement. These courses are intensive and require the completion of several projects and research assignments along with readings, group work, and quizzes. You can estimate about 10 hours worth of coursework per week, per course. Many students take 2 courses at a time, but you are not required to take more than one. By taking 2 courses at a time, it is possible to complete the program in two semesters, but it may take three to four semesters. You must also complete all of the FTCE Exams and an EPI portfolio in order to complete the program.

These courses will prepare you not only for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (Profession), but for success as a teacher in a classroom. Please refer to Courses link for more information regarding courses.

Requirements for participation include:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Obtain a statement of Status of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) stating "You are Eligible"
  • Have a passing score on the Basic Skills General Knowledge Exam
  • Attend a MANDATORY EPI Enrollment Session (email Ellen Costello regarding enrollment session at
  • Submit a College Application on-line and pay admission fee
  • Submit an EPI Application to Building 1 room 255 (West Campus), fax 407-582-5582 or scan and email to Ellen Costello at
  • Complete all required paperwork

Click here to view a sample valid statement of eligibility

If you have further questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions link or use the Contact Us link to email us your specific questions. We will respond in a timely manner.

Sign up for an Enrollment/Information Session here

NOTE: "Dates and times are subject to change, please check schedule before attending your selected enrollment session"


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