Special Education and Exceptional Student Education
Initial CertificationTo get certified to teach in the state of Florida, all teachers must go through the same process of two levels of certification: the temporary certificate and the professional certificate. The temporary certification is non renewable, and allows for teachers to teach while working toward the renewable professional certificate. However, special education certification has requirements specific to that field.
Temporary Certification Process (valid for three years)
- Complete all application process requirements.
- A bachelor's or higher degree with a major in exceptional student education, special education, mental disabilities, specific learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, physically impaired or varying exceptionalities, or
A bachelor's or higher degree with 30 credit hours in exceptional student education to include the areas specified below:
- Foundations of special education to include educational practices and development and characteristics of children with disabilities,
- Assessment and evaluation to include interpretation, analysis, and application of assessment results and alternate assessment strategies,
- Evaluation of student progress in acquiring, generalizing, and maintaining skills related to participation in educational settings,
- Instructional practices in special education to include selection and implementation of instructional practices and strategies and identification of accommodations and modifications,
- Relevant general education and special skills curricula selection,
- Assessing, designing, and implementing positive behavioral supports,
- Language development and communication skills to include normal sequence of expressive and receptive language development and identification of communication deficits and appropriate interventions,
- Skills to teach interpersonal interactions to include criteria for selecting instructional procedures for teaching personal care, interpersonal skills, self-advocacy skills, and adaptive life skills,
- Transition process to include development of desired postschool outcomes, and
- Effective methods of communication, consultation, and collaboration with students, families, administrators, and other education professionals.
- Demonstrate mastery of Subject Area Knowledge. Special education teachers are required to take the Subject Area Knowledge test on special education.
Professional Certification Process (renewable after five years)In addition to the requirements for temporary certification the following is required for a professional certificate:
Demonstrate mastery of General Knowledge by any one of the following:
- Achievement of a passing score on the Florida General Knowledge Test.
- Achievement of a passing score on the Florida College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) earned prior to July 1, 2002.
- A valid standard teaching certificate issued by a US state or territory.
- A valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.
- Completion of two (2) semesters of full-time college teaching experience.
Demonstrate mastery of Professional Preparation and Education Competence by any one of the following:
- Completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program from a Florida institution and achievement of a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test.
- Completion of a teacher preparation program from an out-of-state accredited or approved institution and achievement of a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test.
- Completion of a Florida state-approved alternative certification program and achievement of a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test.
- Completion of an approved Florida Educator Preparation Institute program and achievement of a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test.
- Completion of specified education courses, completion of teaching experience requirement, completion of an approved professional education competence demonstration program, and achievement of a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test.