ACP Frequently Asked Questions
September Cohort Fall 2014/15 applicants must have an Eligible Statement of Status of Eligibility from Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and at least (1) test score from Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) before entry into the Alternative Certification Program.
Q. What is an Alternative Certification Program (ACP)?
A. The term "Alternative Certification Program" (ACP) 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.
Q. How long will it take to complete SCF's ACP?
A. Participants in SCF's ACP meet 8 hours each week (in two four-hour evening sessions) plus 7.5 hours one Saturday a month. This schedule allows participants to complete all coursework in two terms.
Q. What can I do to prepare for the ACP application process?
A .Apply for a Statement of Status of Eligibility from the FLDOE. Information about the eligibility certificate can be obtained from www.FLDOE.org/edcert.
Q. How do I apply for SCF's ACP?
A. Interested applicants must:
(1) complete an ACP application which is available online at scf.edu/TeacherEd .The completed application should be mailed to:
Alternative Certification Program for Teachers
Attn: Dr. Susan Sheffield
Director, Educator Preparation Institute
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
7131 Professional Parkway East
Sarasota, FL 34240
(2) include philosophy statement entitled "Why I Want to be a Teacher."
(3) Include the FLDOE statement of eligibility. Prior to acceptance into the program, candidates will be interviewed regarding their interest in and disposition to become a teacher.
Q. What happens after being accepted into the program?
A. Once accepted into SCF's ACP, applicants must:
(1) Submit an official application to SCF
(2) Provide residency documentation
(3) Attend a program orientation
(4) Send an official copy of college transcript documenting a Bachelor's to the Educational Records office.
Q. What must I do to complete SCF's ACP and become certified to teach?
A. Program participants must complete all course modules 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.
Q. What are the characteristics of SCF's ACP?
A. 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 ACP are free to apply for a teaching position with the school system during their participation in the ACP, they are not required to be employed as teachers while completing the ACP.
Q. What are the costs for the program?
A. The program is a series of seven courses totaling 21 credit hours. Tuition is currently (2013-2014) $102.48 per credit hour. The college assesses a $40.00 access fee per semester. Materials (textbook and miscellaneous materials) are approximately $50.00 for the program. The Florida Department of Education assesses a $75.00 fee to process the application for the Statement of Status of Eligibility and the three certification exams (General Knowledge-$130.00, Professional Educator- $150.00 and Subject Area-$200.00) total $480.00.
Q. Will SCF's ACP carry college credit?
A. SCF's program will appeal to participants who are not interested in upper level or graduate coursework since it does not carry college credit.
Q. Will jobs be available to program completers?
A. 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.
The following information and websites may prove helpful in determining whether teaching is a viable option:
O-NET Code Connector – Teacher: http://www.onetcodeconnector.org/find/result?s=Teacher
U.S. Department of Labor Standard Occupational Codes
Teacher, Elementary – 25-1032
Teacher, Middle School – 25-2053
Teacher, Secondary – 25-3021
Q. How does SCF assure the quality of its ACP?
A. SCF has joined with a network of 24 other state and community colleges to provide resources, identify exemplary practices in teacher education and ensure quality performance assessment methods are in place. Programs are receiving national attention and being held to rigorous standards by the FLDOE, which has a detailed approval process.
Q. Who should I contact if I want information about SCF's ACP?
A. For more information contact:
Dr. Susan Sheffield (941) 363-7274 (SCF Lakewood Ranch)
Joy Ebeling (941) 363-7271 (SCF Lakewood Ranch)
Araceli Cumbo (941) 408-1481 (SCF Venice)