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Charlotte County Partners with FGCU to Offer Alternative Route for Uncertified Teachers
6/14/2002

FORT MYERS, FL - The Charlotte County School Board unanimously agreed June 11 to partner with Florida Gulf Coast University to offer an alternative certification plan for uncertified teachers in the school district.

The FGCU College of Education’s Program for Alternative Certification for Teachers “provides a means for content-degreed but uncertified teachers hired by the Charlotte School District to secure Professional Educator Certification in Florida by participating in professional education activities over the course of one year,” dean of the college Larry Byrnes says.

Typically, to obtain a Professional Educator Certificate in Florida, teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree in education and have appropriate professional preparation in three areas: Subject content, professional studies and student teaching. Universities generally prepare education graduates to meet these minimum standards for state licensure.

Non-education baccalaureate teachers, such as those with a degree in English, math or science, lack the professional education preparation that students majoring in education receive in college. Without professional preparation, the state will not grant a Professional Educator Certificate.

FGCU’s new partnership with Charlotte County provides an opportunity for uncertified teachers to meet the professional preparation requirements of the state, particularly in the area of professional studies, which includes studying child development and teaching methods. Uncertified teachers in the program receive the professional training necessary to be eligible for the state’s Professional Educator Certificate.

“Participants are likely to be second career people, including retired military,” Byrnes says.

Teacher shortages and quality education issues are catalysts for alternative certification instruction, such as the PACT program between FGCU and Charlotte County.

“In combination with the scheduled fall 2002 baccalaureate program in elementary education for Charlotte County, the College of Education is greatly expanding its service to Charlotte County,” Byrnes adds.

For more information, contact Byrnes at (941) 590-7751.

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