6A-4.002. General Provisions  


Effective on Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • 1(1) Educator’s certificates.

    4(a) Types of certificates. The types of certificates are the professional certificate, the nonrenewable professional certificate, the temporary certificate, and the athletic coaching certificate. Requirements for obtaining all types of certificates are specified in rule 396A-4.004, 40F.A.C.

    41(b) An applicant for a Florida educator’s certificate shall be governed by Florida Statutes and rules for the temporary and professional certificates that are in effect at the time of application and qualification for the initial certificate provided successive certificates are issued for consecutive school fiscal years. An individual who permits a temporary certificate to expire for at least one (1) school fiscal year may secure another full-time certificate in accordance with Florida Statutes and rules for temporary and professional certificates which are in effect at the time the most recent application is received in the Bureau of Educator Certification, Florida Department of Education.

    145(c) Effective date of certificates. Each certificate shall bear an effective date of July 1 of the school fiscal year for which it is issued.

    170(d) Definition of coverage. The term “coverage” as used in Florida State Board of Education rules for educator certification purposes shall be defined as the designation on a Florida educator’s certificate which indicates the area in which an individual has a content knowledge base. The term “coverage” shall be used synonymously with the terms “subject,” “area,” or “field.”

    230(e) Definition of endorsement. The term “endorsement” as used in Florida State Board of Education rules for educator certification purposes shall be defined as a rider on a Florida educator’s certificate with a designated coverage. An endorsement shown on a certificate with a coverage signifies a pedagogical knowledge base which targets particular levels, stages of development, or circumstances.

    288(f) Classification of coverages and endorsements shown on certificates. Each coverage or endorsement shown on a certificate shall be identified as an academic class, administrative class, specialty class, or degreed career and technical class. The classification is specified in the specialization rule for each coverage or endorsement.

    335(g) Authority of the Commissioner of Education. Under extenuating circumstances not covered in these rules, the Commissioner is authorized to issue a certificate to an individual upon the request of a Florida district school superintendent.

    370(h) Responsibility to qualify for and maintain a valid certificate. It shall be the responsibility of each applicant to complete all requirements for the temporary and professional certificates and to file with the Bureau of Educator Certification, Florida Department of Education, evidence of such completion within the specified timelines. For renewal of the professional certificate, it shall be the responsibility of each applicant to obtain current information regarding renewal requirements and complete such requirements prior to expiration of the professional certificate. Information regarding renewal of the professional certificate may be obtained by contacting the employing Florida district school board or nonpublic school, or by contacting the Bureau of Educator Certification, Florida Department of Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400.

    491(i) Certificates from other states. Certificates from other states shall not be valid for teaching in Florida.

    5081. Certificates from other states used to document eligibility for a Florida certificate shall:

    522a. Be the valid standard educator’s certificate issued by that state which is comparable to a Florida Professional Certificate;

    541b. Be issued in a subject comparable to a Florida certification subject; and,

    554c. Require the same or higher level of training required for certification in that subject in Florida.

    5712. Official documentation of another state’s certificate or license shall be a legible copy of the front and back of the original certificate or license, or a printed copy of an official record of the certificate or license provided by the issuing authority, and must include:

    617a. A certificate or license title that clearly designates the stage or level for which the educator qualifies;

    635b. The subject area(s) and endorsement(s) for which the educator qualifies;

    646c. The ages and/or instructional grade levels of students for which the educator qualifies to teach each subject or endorsement;

    666d. The date(s) that the certificate or license is valid; and,

    677e. The name of the educator and an educator identification number or other unique identifier for validation of the certificate or license against official records maintained by the issuing authority.

    707(j) Certificates from national certification organizations. Certificates issued by national certification organizations shall not be valid for teaching in Florida.

    7271. Certificates issued by national certification organizations approved in Florida Statute or by the State Board of Education to document eligibility for a Florida certificate shall:

    753a. Be the valid standard educator’s certificate issued by the national certification organization;

    766b. Be issued in a subject comparable to a Florida certification subject;

    778c. Require the same or higher degree level of training required for certification in that subject in Florida; and,

    7972. Official documentation of the national certificate shall be a legible copy of the front and back of the original certificate or a printed copy of an official record of the certificate or license provided by the issuing authority, and must include:

    839a. A certificate or license title that clearly designates the stage or level for which the educator qualifies;

    857b. The subject area(s) and endorsement(s) for which the educator qualifies;

    868c. The ages and/or instructional grade levels of students for which the educator qualifies to teach each subject or endorsement;

    888d. The date(s) that the certificate or license is valid; and,

    899e. The name of the educator and an educator identification number or other unique identifier for validation of the certificate or license against official records maintained by the issuing authority.

    929(k) Alteration of certificates. The alteration of any certificate with the intent to mislead or defraud shall be sufficient grounds for revocation of the certificate. It shall be incumbent upon the certificate holder to establish evidence of the absence of intent to mislead or defraud.

    974(l) The electronic database maintained by the Bureau of Educator Certification serves as the custodial source for official Department of Education records of each person to whom a Florida Educator’s Certificate is issued. Educator Certification notifies an educator by electronic mail upon issuance of a certificate and provides the educator secure access to review and retrieve a printable copy of his/her currently valid certificate(s) via the Educator Certification website at 1044https://certify.fldoe.org1045. Authorized Florida school employers are provided secure, online access 1055(https://bec-pass.fldoe.org) 1056to verify an educator’s certification information for employment screening before hiring instructional personnel and school administrators. The bureau provides online access via the Educator Certification website 1082(https://www.fldoe.org/edcert/public.asp) 1083for the inspection of public records of educators to whom a currently valid certificate is issued.

    1099(m) A valid standard certificate issued by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), as documented according to subparagraph (1)(j)2. of this rule, is acceptable to demonstrate mastery of general knowledge and mastery of subject area knowledge in the comparable Florida subject(s). An acceptable ABCTE certificate also satisfies the requirements for completion of professional preparation courses and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination. An ABCTE certificate is not acceptable to meet the requirement for completion of a professional education competence demonstration program pursuant to section 11911012.56(8)(b), F.S.

    1193(2) Degree major.

    1196(a) A degree major used in Florida State Board of Education rules for educator certification purposes is defined as the major field of study as identified by the degree granting institution. A degree major completed at an accredited or approved institution as defined in rule 12416A-4.003, 1242F.A.C., in an area in which Florida offers certification may be utilized to satisfy the specialization requirements specified in rules 12626A-4.008 1263through 12646A-4.035 1265and 12666A-4.054 1267through 12686A-4.062, 1269F.A.C., for the subject to be shown on the certificate.

    1279(b) The Commissioner is authorized to deny acceptance of a major for educator certification purposes if the courses completed for the major are not comparable in quantity and content to the specific course requirements listed in Florida State Board of Education rules for certification in that subject.

    1326(3) College credit. College credit used for educator certification purposes shall be undergraduate or graduate credit earned at an accredited or approved institution or recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) as specified in rule 13626A-4.003, 1363F.A.C. All college credit shall be computed by semester hours. One (1) quarter hour of college credit shall equal two-thirds (2/3) of one (1) semester hour. Community and junior college credit used for educator certification purposes shall parallel those of the first and second years of course work at an accredited or approved institution and shall be comparable to courses offered at Florida state, community and junior colleges which have been approved by the Florida Department of Education.

    1441(a) Course exemption. Exemption from a college course as verified in writing by the institution of higher education shall be accepted the same as credit earned in that course to meet a specific course requirement for certification.

    1478(b) College teaching experience. Teaching a college credit course, excluding courses for academic remediation, at an accredited or approved institution as described in rule 15026A-4.003, 1503F.A.C., shall be accepted the same as credit earned in that course to meet a specific course requirement for certification. A written statement from the registrar or other official designated by the president verifying the college teaching experience shall be filed with the Bureau of Educator Certification, Florida Department of Education.

    1554(c) Teaching faculty. Documentation of college teaching experience related to mastery of general knowledge and mastery of professional preparation and education competence shall be an official letter from the registrar or dean from the accredited or approved institution verifying the dates of employment, and the prefix, number, and credit hours of the courses taught. The college teaching experience must have:

    16141. Been earned in at least two (2) separate college or university terms;

    16272. Resulted in earned college-level credit for the students in at least one (1) course each term; and,

    16453. Been earned while a member of the teaching faculty at the accredited or approved institution as a:

    1663a. Full-time member of the teaching faculty of a college (section 16741012.82, F.S.1676), or a full-time equivalent teaching faculty member at a university (section 16881012.945, F.S.1690); or

    1692b. Part-time member of the teaching faculty with total college teaching experience equivalent to at least two (2) semesters of full-time experience.

    1714(d) A college course for which multiple semester hour credits are earned may be used to satisfy more than one (1) subject specialization or professional preparation credit requirement. The number of specific credit requirements satisfied shall not be greater than the total number of semester hour credits earned for the college course.

    1766(e) A grade of at least “C” or the equivalent shall be earned in each course used for meeting professional preparation requirements pursuant to subsection 17916A-4.006(2), 1792F.A.C. A grade of pass shall be acceptable under the pass or fail grading system.

    1807(4) Examinations. The examinations used for demonstration of mastery of general knowledge, professional education competence, and subject area knowledge shall be aligned with student standards approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to sections 18421012.56(4) 1843and (9)(f), F.S., 1846and rule 18486A-1.09401, 1849F.A.C.

    1850(a) To align with current student standards and, therefore, be acceptable to satisfy educator certification requirements, a passing score on an examination identified in state board rule must have been earned during the ten (10) years immediately preceding application and qualification for a certificate, unless otherwise stipulated in relevant statute or rule.

    1902(b) The State Board of Education will identify a passing score, by amendment to this rule, on an appropriate national or international examination to satisfy mastery of general knowledge or, for a subject for which a Florida subject area examination has not already been developed or approved, mastery of subject area knowledge. The Department will coordinate a comprehensive study to determine if the exam assesses comparable content and relevant standards to the approved Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) competencies and skills or, for subject area knowledge, the approved specialization requirements for the subject area. The study must also recommend a passing score at approximately the same level of rigor to establish an examinee’s competence to become an effective professional educator in the assessed content area.

    2027(c) The verification of the attainment of essential subject matter competencies is not acceptable for demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge whenever a Florida subject area examination has been developed or a national or international examination has been approved by the State Board of Education. Achievement of a passing score is required on the examination as identified in state board rule to satisfy mastery of subject area knowledge unless this requirement is satisfied by another acceptable means provided in section 21071012.56(5), F.S.

    2109(d) Achievement of a score above the Intermediate level on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) or the Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc), and a score above the Intermediate level on the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) on an examination administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) shall satisfy subject area specialization requirements and mastery of subject area knowledge in the comparable certification in a world language for which a Florida subject area examination has not been developed.

    2191(e) 2192Achievement of a passing score of a two (2) or above on the reading subtest and a two (2) or above on the listening subtest of the Defense Language Proficiency TEST (DLPT) shall satisfy subject area specialization requirements and mastery of subject area knowledge in the comparable certification in a world language. Official documentation of successful completion of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLI) program as specified in rule 22636A-4.0243, 2264F.A.C., may also be used to satisfy subject area specialization requirements and mastery of subject area knowledge.

    2281(f) Effective for tests administered on or after July 1, 2015, achievement of passing scores, as identified by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection 23076A-4.0021(12), 2308F.A.C., on test sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised General Test shall satisfy the requirement for mastery of general knowledge as demonstrated on the comparable and relevant subtests of the General Knowledge (GK) Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE), as follows:

    23531. The Analytical Writing section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised General Test shall be acceptable as equivalent to the General Knowledge (GK) Essay subtest.

    23792. The Quantitative Reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised General Test shall be acceptable as equivalent to the General Knowledge (GK) Mathematics subtest.

    24053. The Verbal Reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised General Test shall be acceptable as equivalent to both the General Knowledge (GK) English Language Skills and the General Knowledge (GK) Reading subtests.

    2440(5) Teaching experience.

    2443(a) Definition of teaching experience. Teaching experience as used in Florida State Board of Education rules for educator certification purposes shall be defined as full-time teaching, administrative, or supervisory service.

    24731. Teaching experience used for academic, administrative, degreed career and technical, and specialty class subjects shall be gained in a public or state supported school as defined in section 25021003.01(2), F.S.; 2504or in a prekindergarten (ages three [3] and four [4]) school which is a public or state supported school or is a contractor for a public school system or in a birth through age two (2) school which is a public or state supported school or is a contractor for a public school system. However, teaching experience in a nonpublic school shall be acceptable provided the applicant held a valid full-time teaching certificate issued by the state department of education in the state where the teaching experience was acquired.

    25932. Teaching experience used for degreed career and technical class subjects shall be gained in an elementary or secondary school as specified in subparagraph (5)(a)1. of this rule, in a public or state supported vocational or technical school, or in an accredited community or junior college as described in rule 26436A-4.003, 2644F.A.C.

    2645(b) Utilization of teaching experience. A year of full-time teaching experience may be accepted in lieu of three (3) semester hours of college credit. A maximum of three (3) years of teaching experience may be used in lieu of nine (9) semester hours of college credit. Not more than one (1) year of teaching experience may be used in lieu of three (3) semester hours of college credit toward satisfying a single course requirement in professional preparation. Not more than two (2) years of teaching experience may be used in lieu of six (6) semester hours of college credit toward satisfying requirements in a specialization area. When teaching experience is used to satisfy a course requirement in a specialization area or to satisfy a subject special methods course requirement in professional preparation, the teaching experience shall be comparable to the course requirement acquired in the subject or field and at the appropriate instructional level to which it is applied.

    2804(c) Limitations on the use of teaching experience. Teaching experience shall not be accepted in lieu of college credit to satisfy the following certification requirements:

    28291. Renewal or reinstatement of a professional certificate;

    28372. Reissuance of a temporary certificate;

    28433. Satisfaction of a graduate credit requirement;

    28504. Satisfaction of an entire certification subject.

    2857(6) Noncitizens. A noncitizen may be issued an Official Statement of Status of Eligibility or a certificate as specified below:

    2877(a) An Official Statement of Status of Eligibility shall be issued when the applicant meets requirements specified in section 28961012.56(1), F.S.

    2898(b) The certificate may be issued when the applicant meets requirements specified in rule 29126A-4.004, 2913F.A.C., and an official of the employing Florida public, state supported, or nonpublic school submits documentation of appropriate immigration status. The documentation shall be a photocopy of the completed United States Immigration and Naturalization Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, accepted for employment in compliance with the United States Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

    2968(c) Exchange teachers.

    29711. An exchange teacher is defined as a teacher from a country other than the United States teaching as the result of a reciprocal arrangement with the United States government or a nationally recognized organization in the United States and another country.

    30132. A temporary certificate valid for three (3) years may be issued to an exchange teacher. The certificate shall reflect the designation of exchange teacher and may reflect the Florida certificate subject(s) for which the exchange teacher is qualified based on the specialization requirements specified in rules 30606A-4.008 3061through 30626A-4.035 3063and 30646A-4.054 3065through 30666A-4.062, 3067F.A.C. Only one (1) certificate may be issued under this provision when an applicant meets the following requirements:

    3085a. Submits an application form and fee as specified in rule 30966A-4.0012, 3097F.A.C.

    3098b. Submits verification from an authorized program sponsor documenting approval by the U.S. Department of State for participation in an exchange program. Verification shall be provided by the employing school district, state supported or nonpublic school; and,

    3135c. Submits a request for issuance of the temporary certificate from the employing Florida school superintendent or chief administrative officer of the state supported or nonpublic school which has a Department of Education approved system for documenting the demonstration of required professional education competence.

    31793. The validity of an exchange teacher temporary certificate may be extended for up to two (2) additional years for a period not to exceed a total of five (5) years. The extended exchange teacher certificate will be issued under this provision when an applicant meets the following requirements:

    3228a. Submits an application form and fee as specified in rule 32396A-4.0012, 3240F.A.C.;

    3241b. Submits written verification from the authorized program sponsor documenting approval by the U.S. Department of State to extend participation in the exchange program that stipulates the length of the approved extension; and,

    3274c. Submits a letter of reference on official letterhead from the employing school district, state-supported or nonpublic school that describes the exchange teacher’s performance during the previous years of the exchange and how the host has benefited from the exchange teacher’s presence.

    3316Rulemaking Authority 33181001.02, 33191012.55, 33201012.56 FS. 3322Law Implemented 33241001.10(5)(b), 33251012.55, 33261012.56 FS. 3328History–New 4-10-64, Amended 4-8-68, 4-11-70, 10-18-71, 3-19-72, 12-18-72, 6-17-73, 4-19-74, Repromulgated 12-5-74, Amended 6-22-76, 6-27-77, 12-26-77, 4-27-78, 7-1-79, 7-2-79, 6-26-80, 7-28-81, 1-3-82, 5-11-82, 6-22-83, 3-28-84, 1-31-85, 3-13-85, Joint Administrative Objection Filed – See FAR Vol. 12, No. 11, March 14, 1986, Formerly 6A-4.02, Amended 12-25-86, 10-18-88, 10-10-89, 4-15-91, 11-10-92, 5-30-94, 11-13-96, 10-15-01, 12-27-04, 7-27-06, 3382Joint Administrative Procedures Committee objection resolved by Chapter 86-156, Laws of Florida, Florida Administrative Register Vol. 35, No. 27, July 10, 2009, 3404Amended 1-1-14, 12-31-14, 10-26-15, 6-23-161, 12-20-16, 2-19-19.