Christian Curriculum

new UNF program to help Florida teacher shortage

The University of North Florida (UNF) is launching a new “Veteran to Teacher” program. He was inspired by Governor Ron DeSantis’ initiative to hire more veterans to fill the teacher shortage.

“They have a life experience that really can’t be matched,” said John Miller. He teaches PA history at Nease High School in St. Johns County.

The UNF on Friday launched a graduate program specifically for veterans.

“When we have 1.7 million veterans in the state of Florida, we have the opportunity to work with them, reach out, and make them great teachers,” Christian Winterbottom said. He is the Acting Chair of the Department of Teacher Learning and Curriculum at UNF. “What we wanted to do was figure out how we could help veterans who already have their bachelor’s degree and aren’t necessarily teaching.

There are two tracks you can take for the graduate program. Both are between 15 and 21 credits. It usually takes a year to get certified.

Action News Jax told you this in August when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed new legislation allowing military veterans to earn a teaching certificate, valid for five years, before completing their bachelor’s degree. Winterbottom said UNF is also working to add this program to its schedule.

Here are the undergraduate program requirements initiated by Governor DeSantis, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Applicants must meet the following standards: (Military Veterans Certification Pathway (fldoe.org))

  • Minimum of 48 months of military service with an honorable/medical discharge;

  • Minimum of 60 university credits with a grade point average of 2.5;

  • Passing score on a Florida domain exam;

  • Employment in a Florida school district, including charter schools; and

  • Background check cleared.

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