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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 1004
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F.S. 1004.85
1004.85 Postsecondary educator preparation institutes.
(1) As used in this section, the term “educator preparation institute” means an institute created by a postsecondary institution or a qualified private provider and approved by the Department of Education.
(2)(a) Postsecondary institutions that are accredited or approved as described in State Board of Education rule may seek approval from the Department of Education to create educator preparation institutes for the purpose of providing any or all of the following:
1. Professional learning instruction to assist teachers in improving classroom instruction and in meeting certification or recertification requirements.
2. Instruction to assist potential and existing substitute teachers in performing their duties.
3. Instruction to assist paraprofessionals in meeting education and training requirements.
4. Instruction for baccalaureate degree holders to become certified teachers as provided in this section in order to increase routes to the classroom for professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and college graduates who were not education majors.
5. Instruction and professional learning for part-time and full-time nondegreed teachers of career programs under s. 1012.39(1)(c).
(b) A private provider that has a proven history of delivering high-quality teacher preparation, which is based on evidence provided from other state recipients of its services and data showing the successful performance of its completers based on student achievement, may seek approval to offer a competency-based certification program under subsection (3).
(3) Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to this section may offer competency-based certification programs specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate degree holders to enable program participants to meet the educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. An educator preparation institute choosing to offer a competency-based certification program pursuant to the provisions of this section must implement a program developed by the institute and approved by the department for this purpose. Approved programs shall be available for use by other approved educator preparation institutes.
(a) Within 90 days after receipt of a request for approval, the Department of Education shall approve a preparation program pursuant to the requirements of this subsection or issue a statement of the deficiencies in the request for approval. The department shall approve a certification program if the institute provides evidence of the institute’s capacity to implement a competency-based program that instructs and assesses each candidate in the following:
1.a. The Florida Educator Accomplished Practices approved by the state board.
b. The state academic standards provided under s. 1003.41, including scientifically based reading instruction, content literacy, and mathematical practices, for each subject identified on the statement of status of eligibility or the temporary certificate.
c. Scientifically researched and evidence-based reading instructional strategies grounded in the science of reading which improve reading performance for all students, including explicit, systematic, and sequential approaches to teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension and multisensory intervention strategies. The primary instructional strategy for teaching word reading is phonics instruction for decoding and encoding. Instructional strategies for foundational skills may not employ the three-cueing system model of reading or visual memory as a basis for teaching word reading. Instructional strategies may include visual information and strategies which improve background and experiential knowledge, add context, and increase oral language and vocabulary to support comprehension, but may not be used to teach word reading.
2. An educational plan for each participant to meet certification requirements and demonstrate his or her ability to teach the subject area for which the participant is seeking certification, which is based on an assessment of his or her competency in the areas listed in subparagraph 1.
3. Field experiences appropriate to the certification subject area specified in the educational plan under the supervision of qualified educators. The state board shall determine in rule the amount of field experience necessary to serve as the teacher of record, beginning with candidates entering a program in the 2023-2024 school year.
4. A certification ombudsman to facilitate the process and procedures required for participants who complete the program to meet any requirements related to the background screening pursuant to s. 1012.32 and educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to s. 1012.56.
(b) Each program participant must:
1. Meet certification requirements pursuant to s. 1012.56(1) by obtaining a statement of status of eligibility in the certification subject area of the educational plan and meet the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f).
2. Demonstrate competency and participate in field experiences that are appropriate to his or her educational plan prepared under paragraph (a). Beginning with candidates entering an educator preparation institute in the 2022-2023 school year, a candidate for certification in a coverage area identified pursuant to s. 1012.585(3)(f) must successfully complete all competencies for a reading endorsement, including completion of the endorsement practicum through the candidate’s field experience, in order to graduate from the program.
3. Before completion of the program, fully demonstrate his or her ability to teach the subject area for which he or she is seeking certification by documenting a positive impact on student learning growth in a prekindergarten through grade 12 setting and, except as provided in s. 1012.56(7)(a)3., achieving a passing score on the professional education competency examination, the basic skills examination, and the subject area examination for the subject area certification which is required by state board rule.
(c) Upon completion of all requirements for a certification program approved pursuant to this subsection, a participant shall receive a credential from the sponsoring institution signifying that the participant has completed a state-approved competency-based certification program in the certification subject area specified in the educational plan. A participant is eligible for educator certification through the Department of Education upon satisfaction of all requirements for certification set forth in s. 1012.56(2).
(4) The state board shall adopt rules for the continued approval of each program approved pursuant to this section.
(5) Each institute approved pursuant to this section shall submit to the Department of Education annual performance evaluations that measure the effectiveness of the programs.
(6) Instructors and supervisors of field experiences in which participants demonstrate an impact on student learning growth for a certification program approved pursuant to this section must meet the same qualifications as those required in s. 1004.04(5).
(7) Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to this section and providing approved instructional programs for any of the purposes in subsection (2) are eligible for funding from federal and state funds, as appropriated by the Legislature.
(8) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section, which may include weighted criteria and may authorize continued program approval based on a review conducted by a nationally recognized accrediting entity. The rules must establish criteria, based on program size, for determining whether a program review is necessary, whether program quality should be aggregated and measured at the provider or institution level, and whether program reviews may be validly conducted on a remote basis.
History.s. 5, ch. 2004-295; s. 13, ch. 2008-235; s. 2, ch. 2013-185; s. 10, ch. 2017-116; s. 13, ch. 2019-23; s. 13, ch. 2021-9; s. 4, ch. 2021-228; s. 36, ch. 2022-154; s. 9, ch. 2023-39; s. 11, ch. 2023-108.