• Educate, elevate, empower - Make a difference, Join STEP in transforming lives.

Supporting Teachers in ESE Prep

  • Individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher outside of education, come learn about the benefits of becoming a certified ESE teacher in Hillsborough County through STEP, an HCPS accelerated Special Education Teacher Preparation Program!


    • Affordable teaching credentials while you teach
    • Be part of a cohort experience (A group of teachers who take coursework together and work with the same course trainers. This helps teachers collaborate more and talk through the lessons they are learning. By being part of a cohort, you can see others who may be struggling with the same things new teachers face, which can provide a sense of support and shared experience).
    • Those who enroll in the program and complete three or more years teaching and meet requirements will receive a 50% discount, $450 back in their pocket. (program value $900)  
    • Competitive starting salaries 
    • Top-notch benefits, including medical, basic life insurance and participation in the Florida Retirement System 
    • Vacation time and school breaks 
    • Professional development and training included at no cost
    • Opportunities for career advancement 
    • ESE specific mentors
  • Main Contact
    (813) 840-7026 

Information Sessions

  • 2/26/24 – 1 PM 
    2/27/24 – 6 PM 
    3/18/24 – 1 PM
    3/19/24 – 6 PM

    Instructional Services Center
    2920 N. 40th Street Tampa
    Room 102

    Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/dMVySZcmFL

    QR Code - Register here

  • "STEP is a great opportunity for anyone who thought they might want to be a teacher, can connect with students and has a growth mindset that we can always find ways to help our students find success.  We have created a program to provide a supportive environment for new teachers to develop and thrive with their students."

    - Scott Richman, HCPS Supervisor in Professional Learning

Success Stories



Degrees and Certifications:

Whitney Bradford

Meet Whitney Bradford, ESE Teacher at Lanier Elementary School in South Tampa, and hear why she, with a background in Family and Consumer Sciences, became an ESE teacher in Hillsborough County Public Schools thanks to the STEP program. 

View the Bay News 9 Story>>



Degrees and Certifications:

Chinovia Shedrick

Meet Chinovia Shedrick,  from paraprofessional to Exceptional Student Education teacher at Memorial Middle School, hear what she shared with ABC Action News about her experience in the STEP program and how she fell in love with seeing her students make progress in their learning.  

View the ABC Action News Story>>



Degrees and Certifications:

Tiffany Valdez

Meet Tiffany Valdez, an ESE teacher at Davidsen Middle School. After working in corporate America for 20 years, she was ready for a change. Tiffany's past experience in training employees helped her feel confident that she could naturally become a teacher, but no matter what skills you have used in the past, anyone with a Bachelor's degree or higher can learn more and sign up for an information session.

Watch the You Tube Video>>

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