Educator Preparation Institute (E.P.I.)


Educator Preparation Institute (EPI)


Teresa Salter
Asst. Academic Program Coordinator
Social Sciences, Room 229 
850-769-1551 ext. 3393

Patricia Schenck
Academic Program Coordinator 
Social Sciences, Room 227 

If you are interested in teaching grades K-12 in Florida, the Educator Preparation Institute (E.P.I.) program offers a state-approved alternative pathway for your Florida Teacher Certification. This certification will provide you a five-year professional teaching certificate. 

E.P.I. is offered within an 8-month timeline as a mixture of online and face-to-face traditional classroom sessions. You typically meet one Saturday a month and are required to complete your field experience classes within a K-12 public school.

Complete Gulf Coast State College’s E.P.I. Program Application, and take the first step toward obtaining your Florida Professional K-12 Teacher Certification!

For more information go to the EPI web pagE


Apply to the E.P.I. Now!



Nathalie Hall

  When I discover that a teacher needs to take alternative certification classes, I always recommend E.P.I.  I love that it is so rigorous and challenges students.  The instructors care about their students' success; their feedback is always spot-on. One of the most important lessons I learned from E.P.I. was how to reflect on my teaching practices, which is something I now, in turn, model and teach my students.  E.P.I. taught me to look at students as individuals, not names on a roster, and address each learning need specifically.  Six years after finishing the E.P.I. coursework, I continue to hold a special place in my heart for this program.
– E.P.I. Graduate and recipient of the 2016 Henshaw-Whitley Teacher Excellence Award


How do I know I’ll be able to get a job in a Florida school if I successfully complete the EPI program?

Florida Department of Education statistics show that 100% of students that completed the E.P.I. program passed their Florida Teacher Certification exams.  Of those completers, approximately 90% were hired to work in a K-12 school after receiving their Florida teaching certification.

HOW much can you earn as a k-12 teacher?

New teacher salaries are based on degree and experience. Average yearly wages for the counties within GCSC's service district are:

• Bay County = $35,828
• Gulf County = $34,476
• Franklin County = $29,276


Are there special admission requirements for the Educator Preparation Program?

EPI is a limited entry program.  You must already have a bachelor's degree, in any area, from a regionally accredited college or university, with at least a 2.5 GPA.  You must also submit to, and pass, a Level 2 background clearance in an approved Florida school district. 

To apply, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the online E.P.I. program application.  (You will receive an email from the E.P.I. recruiting officer stating that your application was received.)
  2. Attend new student orientation, if you are accepted into the program,
  3. Apply for general admission to the college. (Fees apply.)
  4. Send your official transcript from your bachelor's degree to Gulf Coast State College.
  5. Pass a Level 2 fingerprint/criminal background clearance. (Fees apply.)
  6. Apply for a “Statement of Status of Eligibility” from the Florida Department of Education in an approved K‐12 subject area. (Fees apply.)

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Contact information is below.

What classes are required for the EPI Program certification?

  • EPI 0001  Classroom Management (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0002  Instructional Strategies (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0003  Technology in the Classroom (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0004  Teaching and the Learning Process (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0010  Foundations of Researched Based Practices in Reading (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0020  The Teaching Profession (2 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0030  Diversity in the Classroom (2 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0940  Teaching Profession: Field Experience (3 Credit Hours)
  • EPI 0945  Diversity: Field Experience (3 Credit Hours)

Program Notes:  E.P.I. candidates typically meet one Saturday a month and are required to complete field experiences, within a K-12 public school, to prepare for careers in teaching.  All classes can be taken in the full-distance option, with no mandatory meetings; however, students are required to complete mandatory assignments associated with Saturday classes, whether or not you are in attendance.

Program Requirements

Courses   Credit Hours
#EPI0001, Classroom Management 3
#EPI0002, Instructional Strategies 3
#EPI0003, Teaching & Technology 3
#EPI0004, The Teaching & Learning Process 3
#EPI0010, Foundations of Research-Based Practices in Reading 3
#EPI0020, The Teaching Profession 2
#+EPI0940, The Teaching Profession/Field Experience 3
#EPI0030, Diversity in the Classroom 2
#+EPI0945, Diversity in the Classroom/Field Experience 3



• General Education Core.

+ Prerequisites and/or corequisites required.  See course descriptions.

# Applies to A.S. degree and certificate programs.

= PSAV course.

* Minimum grade of "C" required.



Teresa Salter
Assistant Academic Program Coordinator
Social Science Building Room 229
850-769-1551, extension 3393

Visit my faculty page



Patricia Schenck
Academic Program Coordinator
Social Science Building Room 227

Visit my faculty page