Professional Development Certification Program

Program Description

The School District of Palm Beach County offers an Alternative Certification Program called the Professional Development Certification Program (PDCP). PDCP is a rigorous 2-year program for new teachers that have not graduated from a college of education. The program develops high-quality educators using job-embedded professional learning via face-to-face and online learning, coupled with sustained mentor support. By choosing this program as a means of alternative certification, you are committing to complete targeted district and school-based training opportunities, devote a substantial amount of personal and professional time to your program work, and make a long-term investment in your career as an educator.

Participant Qualifications

Teachers interested in PDCP must:
Be employed full-time in a district school as a classroom-based teacher
Have 2 years remaining on their temporary certificate
Need 12 - 15 credits of college coursework as evidenced by the Statement of Eligibility (SOE)
Have a rating of Effective (E) or Highly Effective (HE) on their most recent teacher evaluation
Be enrolled in the Educator Support Program (ESP)

Program Components
Candidates within the program will complete the following requirements over a 2-year period:
Educator Support Program (ESP)
PDCP Competencies as a means of demonstrating mastery of the FEAPs
Establishing & Acknowledging Adherence to Rules & Procedures
Organizing Students to Interact with Content
Establishing & Maintaining Effective Relationships in a Student-Centered Classroom
Identifying Critical Content from the Standards
Helping Students Process New Content
Using Engagement Strategies
Helping Students Practice Skills, Strategies, & Processes
Using Questions to Help Students Elaborate on Content
Communicating High Expectations for Each Student
Maintaining Expertise in Content & Pedagogy
District-Based Trainings
Code of Ethics Online Training
Reading Competency 1 & 2 or 1 - 4 courses based upon teaching assignment
Methods of Teaching ESOL 
Teaching Students with Disabilities (ESE 1108) 
School-Based Trainings
School-wide Positive Behavior Support
Palm Beach Model of Instruction (PBMI)
FTCE Exams
General Knowledge Exam
Subject Area Exam
Professional Education Exam

Support Structures
Support Structures (Personnel)

Level 1 = School-Based PDCP Mentor – This person provides day-to-day support to the candidate through collaborative activities, modeling, and peer coaching.

Level 2 = District PDCP Assessor – This person grades the assignments submitted by the candidate and provides feedback and guidance.

Level 3 = District PDCP Coordinator – This person orients participants to the program, monitors candidate progress throughout the program, conducts school-site visits to candidates, provides opportunities for candidates to collaborate, and periodic open labs/cluster trainings in a computer lab setting.

Support Structures (Professional Development)
Orientation Session – This 3-hour session provides an overview of the program components, required deadlines, and gives candidates an opportunity to begin working on the initial competencies with immediate feedback and guidance.

Open Labs – These sessions take place during non-student contact days and run all day at various locations within the district in a computer lab setting. Candidates can come to the open lab and work on the competencies in a quiet environment with immediate feedback and guidance.

School Site Visits – School visits provide an opportunity for the candidate to discuss their personal progress and any barriers they are encountering directly with the Coordinator.

Cluster Trainings – These trainings take a deeper look at the assignments within each competency.


Dr. Sherry Gibson, HR Specialist II 
(561) 963-3800
Danielle Spindel-Rothman, HR Specialist I 
(561) 649-6861

The School District of Palm Beach County