Jacksonville is known as the “city of bridges” as many of the neighborhoods border the St. John’s river, the Atlantic intercostal, and the Atlantic Ocean. A vibrant city with countless things to do, the movement toward educational equity is in full swing here. Several organizations and programs exist to further the movement to bring equal opportunity to Jacksonville’s students. They all are connected to each other, just as the bridges connect our city, to work and provide high quality education to our students.
TFA – Jax is one of 642 education non-profits working together for educational equity in Jacksonville. We are working alongside 30 AmeriCorps programs in Florida managed by state commission, Volunteer Florida.
Get to Know Jacksonville Public Education Fund
Jacksonville Public Education Fund partners with multiple organizations and individuals to advocate for universally high-quality public schools for all children. Through the Quality Education For All Fund (QEA), JPEF administers grants of private dollars to invest in programs like TFA – Jacksonville, designed to attract and retain high-quality teachers and leaders for Duval County Public Schools.
Spotlight on Erica-Christina Bartley
Recognizing the opportunity gap in her hometown of Macon, Georgia, Erica-Christina Bartley joined TFA to be part of a greater movement. She is Assistant Principal at Andrew Robinson Elementary through the Summer Principals Academy and is determined to use her TFA experience to impact others’ mindsets on education while increasing opportunities for all.
Close to downtown and many schools we teach, Riverside offers an eclectic vibe along with historical homes. Many apartments, duplexes, and homes are available. Some areas are walkable and most are bike-friendly.
The Southside area is located in the middle of the majority of the neighborhoods in Jacksonville. The St. John’s Town Center along with numerous restaurants and shops are also located in Southside. This area is driver friendly.
The beaches of Jacksonville are not the closest to our schools, but the area provides a great living experience. Affordable for beach-living, the Jax beach area is mostly walkable and bike-friendly.
Other Ways to Connect With the Jax Community:
Corps members typically get involved with the following local organizations.
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Social Studies
Jacksonville corps members receive a three-year non-renewable temporary certificate. In order to qualify for the temporary certificate, all corps members are required to:
- Pass a Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) Subject Area Exam prior to their first day of teaching
- Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) Middle Grades Integrated Certification exam prior to their first day of teaching
- Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) General Knowledge Test
- Provide two copies of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
- Pay a $75 fee to the Florida Department of Education for each subject area certification applied for
If corps members choose to pursue full professional certification, they must enroll in an alternative certification program and pass the Professional Education Test (PEd) by the end of their third year. Duval County Public Schools offers a low-cost summer alternative certification program that some corps members have opted to participate in.
Master’s Degree Option
Teach For America is partnering with the University of Florida to provide Corps Members and alum the opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership or Curriculum & Instruction. This University partnership will be open to both current corps members and alumni. This will be a cohort based, hybrid program that would combine online coursework and in-person instruction. This program is ideal for those wanting to better their craft as teachers and prepare themselves for future work in the education sector.
The program will start in the Spring (January/February) semester and will take 2 – 2.5 years to complete. A total of 36 hours of course work.
Common Certification Questions
What types of certificates does Florida offer?
- Three-year Nonrenewable Temporary Certificate
- Five-year Renewable Professional Certificate
- Three-year Athletic Coaching (Part-Time)
- Five-year Athletic Coaching (Part-Time)
Does Florida issue emergency certificates?
I have a bachelor's degree. Can I teach?
If you can be certified, you may be eligible to teach. A bachelor's degree alone does not make you eligible for employment. You must have at least a bachelor's degree and be eligible for certification in some subject coverage.
Will you accept my transcripts without a degree conferral date?
At least a bachelor's degree is required for certification. As a result, we will not accept a transcript without a degree conferral date. Two sets of official transcripts are required. Both sets must reflect a degree conferral date.
What are the routes to become certified?
- Acceptable degree major
- Valid equivalent professional out-of-state teaching certificate
- Subject area examination
- National Certification
If I attain certification by completing the subject area examination, do I still have to complete any professional development?
Yes, you have to complete the professional preparation coursework requirement.
What are the acceptable degree majors?
Please visit the Florida state certification web page for further information.
Would past legal troubles prevent me from becoming certified?
The Office of Professional Standards will make this determination. Any applications or fingerprints that reflect a criminal record will be forwarded to the office of PPS for review. No certificate can be issued until clearance has been declared. For more info, contact the PPS office at 850-245-0438.
Do I have to apply for a temporary certificate or can I apply initially for a professional certificate?
You may apply for a professional certificate if you have completed all 3 examinations, professional education course work and verification of demonstration of professional education competency (PEC). If these are not completed, you should apply for a temporary certificate.
My overall GPA is below a 2.5. Can I still be certified?
GPA is considered satisfied when an individual qualifies for initial certification by completing through a teacher education program, or has experience and certification issued by a subject area testing state. If a course-by-course evaluation is required to determine eligibility for initial certification, you must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the courses used in the evaluation.
What is the fee for certification?
A $75.00 fee is required for each subject area requested.
TEACHING AN AREA OUTSIDE OF YOUR FIELD
Can I teach in an area in which I am not certified?
It may be possible to teach Out-Of-Field; however, it is not an ideal situation. To do so, you must be eligible for certification in at least one subject area. This can only be done at the discretion of a school principal and the staffing supervisor. This is usually done for only the critical needs areas - Math, Science and Special Education. In order to remain in this assignment, you must complete 6 semester hours of appropriate course work per year.
How long can I teach out-of-field?
As long as you complete the appropriate course work of 6 semester hours per year, you may be allowed to remain out-of-field. Once you have completed all specialization requirements, you must apply to have the subject to added to your certificate, and will then be considered in-field.
I have been flagged for being out-of-field in ESOL. What are my requirements?
If you are the primary language arts teacher, you must complete 300 ESOL hours of in-service points or as an out-of-pocket expense, complete the 5 appropriate college credit classes. You must also have the ESOL endorsement added to your certificate. Sixty (60) points are required each year you have an English language learner in your classroom.
If you teach math, science, social studies, computer science or ESE, you only need to complete sixty( 60) ESOL points. If you teach music, art, media, or vocational classes, you must complete eighteen (18) hours of ESOL points. Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Reading Resource Teachers and administrators, must also complete eighteen (18) hours of ESOL points.
If you are an experienced teacher, your points are required during the first year flagged. An inexperienced teacher must produce points within two years of being flagged.
What are the requirements for a temporary certificate?
- Earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- Satisfy specialization
- Obtain employment
- Submit fingerprints
What are the requirements for a five-year professional certificate?
In addition to the requirements listed above for a temporary certificate:
- Demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education competence. Professional preparation includes 15 semester hours of education coursework. Education Competence refers to the completion of the Teacher Induction Program.
- Satisfy the following testing requirements: General Knowledge, Professional Education and appropriate subject area examinations.
- Complete Practical Experience in Teaching
Additional routes can be found on the Florida state certification page.
Can I get an extension to my three-year temporary certificate?
An extension can only be granted if the following conditions are met:
- Applicant must have experienced extreme, extraordinary circumstances beyond his or her control.
- Applicant must have completed requirements for demonstration of mastery of general knowledge.
- The superintendent must seek approval from the Commissioner of Education.
Where can I get information about the certification examinations?
You can come by and pick up a testing bulletin or you may call: (413) 256-2893 or visit the FLDOE website.
I have never taught before. I am interested in teaching. Do I have to take any examinations to become certified?
Maybe. Individuals who did not complete a degree in education and have not taken the specified course requirements for the area they wish to teach have the option to either pass the subject area test or complete courses they are deficient to quality for initial certification. Testing is the most cost effective route to acquire initial certification and is the route frequently chosen by those who are transferring from other fields.
What examinations are required for a professional certificate?
- General Knowledge Examination
- Professional Education Examination
- Subject Area Examination
How long do I have to complete the examinations?
You have the validity of your temporary certificate to complete the professional education and subject area examinations. The General Knowledge Examination must be completed within your first year of employment - (June 30th).
Are there any subject area examinations that I cannot take to satisfy specialization requirements?
Yes, this testing option is only available to areas that only require bachelor's degrees. It is not available for areas that require a master's degree. Excluded areas include:
- School Psychologist
- Guidance and Counseling
- Educational Leadership
- Administration of Adult Education
- Speech-Language Impaired
- Local Director of Vocational Education
Is there any help available to prepare for the examinations?
Yes, you may order a study guide from the testing office (see numbers/site above) or you may download guides from www.fl.nesinc.com.
I lost my score report. Will you accept a copy? How can I get another score report?
The Department of Education only accepts official score reports. You may contact the testing office to request a duplicate score report. Fees apply.
When do I apply for the renewal of my professional certificate?
You may apply within the last validity year of your professional certificate.
What are the requirements for the renewal of my professional certificate?
You must complete six (6) semester hours, or 120 in-service points within the validity period of your Professional Certificate. You may also utilize an appropriate subject area examination or your NBPTS certification to satisfy renewal requirements. A combination of these aforementioned routes are acceptable.
If you are using any combination of in-service points to renew your certificate, you must contact the professional development office at 904-348-7847.
If no in-service points are being used, you may contact the certification office at 904-390-2376. Applications can now be downloaded from the certification tab for current teachers.
What happens if my professional certificate expires?
If you have completed the necessary requirements within the validity period of your Professional Certificate and your certificate has not expired for more than (1) year, you may submit a renewal application, $75.00 fee, along with a $30.00 late fee.
If you have NOT completed the necessary requirements, you can apply for reinstatement. To reinstate, you will need an application, $75.00 fee, 6 semester hours or the equivalent and the subject area examination.