6A-4.003. Degrees, Programs, and Credits  


Effective on Thursday, June 23, 2016
  • 1Degrees, programs, and credits shall be determined acceptable for educator certification purposes based on the following:

    17(1) Accredited institutions. Degrees and credits awarded by an institution of higher learning accredited by one (1) of the accrediting associations listed below shall be acceptable for educator certification purposes, as documented on the institution’s official transcript.

    54(a) Regional accrediting associations. The regional accrediting associations are as follows:

    651. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;

    732. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools;

    823. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges;

    914. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;

    1005. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; and,

    1096. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    117(b) Accrediting agencies approved by the United States Department of Education.

    128(2) Non-accredited approved institutions. A non-accredited approved institution of higher learning shall be identified as having a quality program resulting in a bachelor’s or higher degree by one (1) of the following criteria:

    161(a) The institution is accepted for certification purposes by the state department of education where the institution is located;

    180(b) The institution was exempt from licensure in 2001 and has maintained qualifying criteria pursuant to Section 1971005.06, F.S. 199(2001);

    200(c) The institution is a newly created Florida public college or university that offers a bachelor’s or higher degree program;

    220(d) The institution is located outside the United States and awards a degree that is the equivalent to a bachelor’s or higher degree awarded by an accredited institution in the United States. Isolated credit will be acceptable for certification purposes provided the credit is the equivalent of college credit earned in the United States; or

    275(e) The degree from the institution was accepted by an accredited institution either in transfer or as a basis for admission into the graduate program which resulted in the conferral of a higher degree.

    309Documentation of degrees and credits from institutions within the United States or its territories shall be an official transcript. Documentation of degrees and credits from institutions outside the United States shall be an original credential evaluation report prepared by an accredited institution as specified in paragraphs (1)(a) or (b) of this rule, or by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Department as specified in subsection (6) of this rule. An original credential evaluation report must include a summary of the equivalent United States postsecondary degree level and academic program awarded and, upon request, must also include a detailed breakdown of all courses into descriptive titles with equivalent United States postsecondary semester hours and grades.

    424(3) Highest acceptable degree level of training.

    431(a) The highest degree which has been awarded by an accredited or approved institution as described in subsections (1) and (2), of this rule, shall be recognized for certification. The degree level shall be determined by the criteria listed below.

    4711. Bachelor’s degree. An earned bachelor’s degree, such as the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or bachelor of education degree which normally required four (4) years of higher education; or a foreign degree that required sixteen (16) years of combined pre-university and university education; or a foreign degree that has been evaluated by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Department as specified in subsection (6) of this rule or an accredited or approved institution as the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an institution as described in subsections (1) and (2) of this rule shall be recognized as the bachelor’s degree level of training.

    5772. Master’s degree. An earned master’s degree or an earned advanced bachelor’s degree of a professional nature, such as library science, in combination with an earned four-year bachelor’s degree; or a post-bachelor’s foreign degree that required at least five (5) years of higher education; or a foreign post-bachelor’s degree that has been evaluated by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Department as specified in subsection (6) of this rule or an accredited or approved institution as the equivalent to a master’s degree from an institution as described in subsections (1) and (2) of this rule shall be recognized as the master’s degree level of training.

    6833. Specialist in education degree. An earned sixth-year post-master’s level degree in education, such as specialist in education degree shall be recognized as the specialist’s degree level of training.

    7124. Doctor’s degree. An earned academic or professional doctor’s degree, or an earned Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or higher law degree granted by an institution of higher learning in the United States, or a foreign doctor’s degree that required at least seven (7) years of higher education, or a foreign doctor’s degree that has been evaluated by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Department as specified in subsection (6) of this rule or an accredited or approved institution as the equivalent to a doctor’s degree from an institution as described in subsections (1) and (2) of this rule, shall be recognized as the doctor’s degree level of training.

    821(b) A certificate, diploma, or other award shall not be recognized as an earned degree.

    836(4) Accreditation and acceptance of teacher education programs for specific certification purposes.

    848(a) Teacher education programs approved by the Florida Department of Education. A teacher education program approved by the Florida Department of Education shall fulfill the general and professional preparation requirements and the specialization requirements in the major subject of the approved program, as documented by the program completion statement on the institution’s official transcript. The teacher education program shall have been approved at the time the program was completed.

    917(b) Inservice components in a Florida District Inservice Plan. A core of inservice components prescribed for a specific endorsement and approved by the district school board in the master inservice plan shall satisfy the specialization requirements for the designated endorsement. Successful completion of the components in the approved master inservice plan shall be verified by the Florida district superintendent.

    976(c) Teacher education programs in states other than Florida. A teacher education program at the bachelor’s or higher degree level shall fulfill the general and professional preparation requirements and the specialization requirements for a certification subject area in accordance with the following provisions:

    10191. The teacher education program shall have been granted by an accredited or a Department approved institution; and,

    10372. The major subject of the approved program shall be in a subject in which Florida offers certification; and,

    10563. The instructional level of the major subject of the approved program shall be comparable to or broader than the instructional level at which Florida offers certification in the subject; and,

    10874. The program curriculum shall have included preservice field experiences and an internship or practicum appropriate to the certification subject area in a prekindergarten through grade 12 setting under the supervision of qualified educators; and,

    11225. When a master’s or higher degree is required for Florida certification in a subject, the program must have been completed at the same or higher degree level.

    1150Documentation of teacher education programs from institutions within the United States or its territories shall be an official transcript. Documentation of teacher education programs from institutions outside the United States shall be an original credential evaluation report prepared by an accredited institution as specified in paragraphs (1)(a) or (b) of this rule, or by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Department as specified in subsection (6) of this rule. An original credential evaluation report must include a summary of the equivalent United States postsecondary degree level and academic program awarded and, upon request, must also include a detailed breakdown of all courses into descriptive titles with equivalent United States postsecondary semester hours and grades.

    1265(5) American Council on Education college course credits. College course credits recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) shall be acceptable for educator certification purposes as documented on an official ACE transcript.

    1298(6) The Department shall approve an education credential evaluation agency that holds current membership in good standing with a nationally recognized association of credential evaluation services that have published standards for the evaluation of foreign credentials, admission standards for membership, an enforced code of ethics or good practice, and affiliations to national or international higher education associations, such as the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE); or an agency that provides evidence of its compliance with all of the following:

    1387(a) Employs evaluation staff that have recent, substantive experience in the United States evaluating foreign credentials covering all levels of education and verifies that staff receive on-going training and professional development in credential evaluation methods and procedures.

    1424(b) Provides verification that the agency has developed and employs reliable procedures for accurately identifying the authenticity of foreign educational credentials and establishing the recognition or accreditation of academic institutions.

    1454(c) Makes available to the public, clear and precise requirements for an evaluation, including required documentation, schedule of fees, and an estimate of the time typically required to complete an evaluation.

    1485(d) Uses a current library of professionally accepted resources and reference materials pertinent to the evaluation of foreign credentials that includes standard references in the field and identifies bibliographic listing.

    1515(e) Uses reliable services for accurately translating educational credentials from their original languages into English.

    1530(f) Prepares evaluation reports based on documentation necessary to perform an accurate evaluation and specifically identifies documentation used to prepare the evaluation report, including the type of each authenticated document, the name and location of the institution, the name of the program, diploma, degree, major field of study, year(s) of completion, and the equivalency to earned accredited postsecondary college credit in the United States.

    1594(g) Provides a list of three or more references with contact information for the agency’s affiliation with national or international higher education associations, such as state departments of education, professional education organizations, or accredited postsecondary institutions.

    1630Rulemaking Authority 16321001.02, 16331012.55, 16341012.56 FS. 1636Law Implemented 16381001.02, 16391012.55, 16401012.56 FS. 1642History–New 4-20-64, Amended 3-26-66, 4-8-68, 7-7-68, 4-11-70, 1-17-72, Repromulgated 12-5-74, Amended 6-22-76, 11-9-76, 10-12-77, 7-1-79, 1-3-82, 4-30-85, Formerly 6A-4.03, Amended 12-25-86, 9-12-89, 4-15-91, 11-25-97, 10-15-01, 3-22-05, 1-1-14, 6-23-16.

     

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