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Florida 2002 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:Duval County Public Schools
Project Name:Transition To Teaching Project - Local
Project Website:
Project Director:Melissa Dunn 904-390-2502

Qualified mid-career professionals and recent college graduates who possess subject matter expertise but lack certification are being recruited to teach in 29 Duval County Public Schools. This alternative certification program recruits and retains teachers in the critical shortage areas of Exceptional Student Education (ESE), mathematics, and science. The program also provides alternative certification to new teachers recruited to teach core academic subjects in the district's high-need schools. A variety of options for certification are offered including a 14-month fast-track avenue in mathematics and science; an apprenticeship track for ESE teachers; an on-line certification program for ESE teachers; an accelerated licensure for ESE paraprofessionals through on-the-job experiences and coursework; online alternative certification through the Florida Department of Education; and a progression of workshops designed and delivered through Duval County's Professional Development Plan to satisfy state certification requirements. Peer mentoring, school-based standards coaches, a Personalized Education Plan, online tutoring assistance, and regional training for peer mentors support recruitment and retention.

Grantee Name:Florida Department of Education
Project Name:Transition To Teaching - Statewide
Project Director:Kathy Hebda 850-245-0435

Mid-career professionals, including highly qualified paraprofessionals, and recent graduates from colleges of arts and sciences are being recruited, trained, and placed by the end of this project. These prospective teachers will earn full certification through participation in an alternative certification program prior to the beginning of their second year of teaching. This program also selects and trains mentors from teachers who have received recognition for their high performance. One mentor is provided for every two teachers in the program. Partnerships are established with three high-need school districts and include Marion, Polk, and Volusia counties.

Grantee Name:Highlands County School Board/Heartland Education Consortium
Project Name:Transition To Teaching
Project Website:
Project Director:Dr. Frank Gibbs
Project Coordinator:Sharon Conley 863-531-0444x204

Mid-career professionals and recent college graduates are being recruited to serve in six rural school districts in the Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC) in Lake Placid, Florida. The HEC and district websites provide information on teacher vacancies along with additional recruitment efforts by districts and the project coordinator. Sixty new teachers are expected to be hired into the alternative certification program annually. In order to retain new teachers, Eckerd College provides quality teacher training that includes assessment, observations, and appropriate professional development forums. Districts offer further support through induction programs, mentoring, and classroom experience. This alternative certification program meets school district and State of Florida teacher certification standards.

Grantee Name:Palm Beach Community College
Project Name:Transition to Teaching
Project Website:
Project Director:Susan Caldwell 561-868-3339

Four hundred fifty individuals with degrees in fields other than education are being recruited to meet the teaching needs of Palm Beach County over the next five years through Palm Beach Community College's (PBCC) Transition to Teaching Program. This program enables candidates to undergo a needs assessment, to develop an Individual Educational Plan for achieving certification, and to receive applicable program support services. Transcript evaluation, academic advising, information about training opportunities, college admission application assistance, and appropriate referrals for other services as needed are offered by the program. Participants are eligible for scholarships up to $1,500 to help with certification expenses. A new-teacher mentoring program offers ongoing support for participants hired by the Palm Beach County School District. These new teachers also attend monthly training seminars to hone their teaching skills. PBCC has recently developed its own Teacher Certification Program for these individuals and is currently developing test prep workshops for those who wish to prepare for the Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCEs).

Grantee Name:School Board of Orange County
Project Name:OCPS Alternative Certification Program
Project Director:Kelly Corbin Prough 407-317-3200x2534

Highly qualified paraprofessionals who want to earn a bachelor's degree and full certification, and mid-career changers and recent college graduates are being recruited to serve in the Orange County school district. Teacher candidates participate in the Alternative Certification Program (ACP), which is designed to offer non-education majors the opportunity to be trained as educators. Highly qualified paraprofessional candidates participate in an education program for working professionals at Nova Southeastern University to receive their degrees in education.

Grantee Name:University of South Florida
Project Name:Transition To Teaching - Local
Project Director:Marilyn Katzenmeyer 813-974-7269

The University of South Florida (USF) and the District School Board of Pasco County work collaboratively on this Transition to Teaching program. The program addresses critical teacher shortage areas in the Pasco County school district and is consistent with the State of Florida's policies for alternative teacher certification. The program offers three options that lead to full teacher certification in Florida, providing a flexible structure to meet the individual needs of program participants.

  1. An online alternative teacher certification program developed by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) in which candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in the 12 Florida Education Accomplished Practices. TTT participants pursuing this option are assigned a National Board Certified teacher who serves as an online coach and assessor of the performance tasks.
  2. Enrollment in a state-approved Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program with a specialization in Exceptional Student Education (ESE) offered by USF.
  3. Completion of specific coursework to meet the Professional Education requirements established by the FDOE for non-education candidates with at least a bachelor's degree in the content field in which they plan to teach. The course work could be taken at any approved college or university.

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Last Modified: 04/08/2008