Alternative Certification is designated for those who are not certified through a college of education and want a career change. Our district Professional Development Program, called the Transition to Teaching Program (TTT), is available to middle, high school, and adult education new hires who need their professional teaching certificate. This program is also available to those who want to be an art elementary education teacher.
How to obtain a teaching position and how to obtain a temporary certificate:
There are two ways to become eligible to be hired by Pinellas County Schools – 1) passing a state subject area exam. We highly recommend that you start with your subject area exam since it is required anyway for certification and will guarantee your letter of eligibility from the Florida Department of Education (DOE) or 2) submitting your official college transcripts to the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to obtain a statement of eligibility.
- To sign up for a subject area exam, go to www.fl.nesinc.com. Subject area tests are available online at a testing center with immediate unofficial results for most tests. Study guides are available through the local bookstores or used book internet sites. The cost of the test is $200. You may also take the General Knowledge exam to be proactive although it is not required until after you are hired.
- To receive a statement of eligibility, go to the DOE web site at www.fldoe.org/edcert and click on Career Changer or College Graduate of a Non-education Program. This is where you apply for a teaching certificate. You may apply for up to three subject areas at one time. The DOE will evaluate your application based on your college transcripts and any subject area test(s) you have taken. You will receive a statement of eligibility outlining your status. If you are not eligible to teach a subject, the DOE will explain what you need to do to become eligible. The statement will also outline what criteria you must fulfill to qualify for a professional teaching certificate. Keep your statement of eligibility so that you can refer to it when you are hired and you continue to complete the requirements. You may opt to enter the Transition To Teaching Program to complete your certification requirements in lieu of completing college courses.
- PCS Online Application: Once you have obtained a passing score on your subject area test, apply online with Pinellas County Schools at Instructional Application Process. Click on the red button to access the instructional application. You must submit two letters of reference, a resume, and official college transcripts. A complete Pinellas County Schools application includes:
- Two letters of reference*
- Official college transcripts* (also send one to the DOE)
- Subject area test results*
- General Knowledge test results (not officially required until after hired; although a pro-active plan is to take this in advance)
*Documents should be sent to:
PCS Administration Building
301 Fourth Street SW
Largo, FL 33770
- Job postings: Jobs can be posted as early as mid-June and continue throughout February on Job Opportunities. After you have been hired, you must decide a pathway on whether to continue your educational training through college coursework or continue with our district state-approved Professional Development Alternative Certification Program (TTT). The Transition To Teaching Program (TTT) provides a potentially less expensive, practical, and relevant path to certification. (more information below)
- Research the teacher interview process and build your knowledge base of specific schools and district mission, initiatives, and goals. Applicants should practice and review potential questions. A school-based hiring team may ask questions regarding classroom management, teaching and learning, instruction for all students, etc.
- You may pursue an elementary teaching position although there is an abundance of applicants who are certified and graduating from the college of education. Only Art elementary teachers qualify for the TTT program so others will have to choose the college route.
- Upon being hired, at processing you will receive information to take a required online three-hour course called Survival Skills Training if you were not able to attend Embrace Pinellas during the summer. The content of the course is classroom management and the learning environment and begins with an initial three-hour session followed by a face-to-face three-hour training after you begin teaching to complete the total six-hour course.
Please contact Carrie Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727.588.6000, ext. 1909 in Professional Development for any further questions regarding alternative certification. Your credentialing team can also provide assistance:
- After you are hired, you have 45 days to select a pathway to obtain you professional teaching certificate. You will be taking professional development two nights a month in the TTT program while you work to earn your certification or attend college classes.
- Eunice Bajkowsky – 727.588.6576
- Kim Swartzel – 727.588.6281
- Debbie Leuz – 727.588.6294
- Sarah Somers - 727.588.6335
Transition to Teaching Program Information and Highlights:
1. What is the Transition to Teaching Program?
If you have decided not to fulfill your certification requirements through college coursework, then you may want to consider the TTT program. The TTT Program is Pinellas County Schools’ state-approved Professional Development Certification Program for newly hired secondary or adult education teachers who qualify for a temporary certificate. The professional education provided offers applicants an opportunity to obtain their professional certificate in two academic years.
2. What is the purpose of the Transition to Teaching Program?
The program is meant to develop quality teachers and to address the shortage of qualified teachers by helping talented individuals working in other fields and recent college graduates with outstanding academic records to become certified secondary or adult education teachers.
3. What are the qualifications of the Transition to Teaching Program?
- Hold at least a bachelor’s degree with an overall 2.5 GPA from an accredited college or university and upon successful completion of the program, the state will issue a professional teaching certificate · Hold or be eligible for a three-year temporary certificate
- Be hired as a full-time instructional employee of Pinellas County Schools
- Submit a “Letter of Intent” as an agreement of participation
- Pay the $1,500 nonrefundable fee in full or submit a payroll deduction form with the "Letter of Intent" – 20 pay periods at $75
- Attend six-hour Survival Skills Training or attend Embrace Pinellas
4. What are the program components and expectations over two years?
- Complete 12 six-hour modules of coursework and training during evenings. Courses in the TTT program would include:
- Teaching and Learning Environment
- Instruction for all Students
- Complete multi-task assessments during the coursework modules that directly relate to your own classes and include a process of improvement and reflection together with a task assessor and a mentor to be used as documentation for certification
- Successful completion of a 60-hour ESOL (register through Professional Learning Network) and the 60-hour Reading Competency #2 (PORPD) class usually offered during the summer
- Successful passing score on the three Florida Certification Exams: General Knowledge, Subject Area, and Professional Education ( www.fl.nesinc.com to register)
- Demonstrate competency of successful teaching under the supervision of a support team consisting of an administrator and a mentor
- Provide a portfolio containing documentation of all components of the TTT program
5. What does the Transition to Teaching offer to successful applicants?
- An alternative to going back to college
- A strong academic coursework component offered in the evenings
- Support Team comprised of a highly-qualified mentor and school-based administrator
- Professional development with skilled trainers who model best practices
- Assistance in assessing professional performance and in setting goals for future professional development
For more information, contact Carrie Rivera, Transition to Teaching Coordinator at 727.588.6000, ext. 1909.