Friday, June 9, 2023

If you have a title from your home country, you can re-establish yourself in Miami and earn almost $50,000

In South Florida, two fundamental points for its development meet: there is a great need for teachers and a supply of immigrants, many of these recent arrivals and job seekers. The center between the needs of one and the other is the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) of Miami Dade College, which offers immigrants who have a bachelor’s degree from their country, the opportunity to reinvent themselves as teachers in Miami.

“We know that we have a community that is very well prepared. We’re looking for professionals who change careers,” says Carmen Concepción, dean of the School of Education at Miami Dade College, which organizes EPI, whose goal is for university graduates to obtain teacher certification in the state of Florida.

The course takes 10 months to complete and can be taken online or in small group meetings via Zoom, according to the dean. At the same time, the audience can learn or improve their English, focusing on the communication challenges that the teachers present in the workplace.

The main advantage of immigrants, always in need of income, is that while they are studying ECE courses, they are already working in public schools. The school system hires those teachers and they start with a salary of $48,000, Conception points out.

From an accountant in Venezuela to a doctor in Miami

Andre Villarroel de la Concha was an accountant in Venezuela. He studied accounting at the Catholic University, because he was told that this career would give him financial stability, but his dream was always to be a teacher.

“All my life, since I was little, I have tried to teach my mother classes. A small board and chalk,” recalls Villarroel, who came to the United States in 2005 and settled in Orlando, where he improved English from his professional homeland.

In 2010, he moved to Miami and took a job at a company where he reported 25 people in customer services. He stayed there for nine years, until he decided to call Miami Dade College in September to inquire about the EPIS program.

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At 44 years old, Villarroel thought the time was perfect to make a career change. This summer, he completed his last year of the EP program, and now teaches math, algebra and geometry at Highland Oaks Middle School in Aventura.

“This is because I was born, I do it by calling. This is one thing that I like, I have always believed that education is necessary for any society to be successful”, says the professor, indicating that he lost in salary, when he changed careers, he gained in benefits.

“One of the things I liked the most about this course is that you have a guide, a professional help that teaches you the steps you should take first,” says Villarroel, thanking the advice of Anabel Fariñas, who is in charge of giving. who to EPI students.

Concepción points out that changing careers is also an option for established professionals in Miami who are looking for other perspectives.

“Fifty percent of teachers in school systems have changed their careers” indicates how common this process is in the United States, and that many are also studying in other careers or working on university debts while they can pay for teaching.

Requirements and coursework in the EPI master’s program

Prospective students must have a college degree to begin the EPI program. As immigrants, they must transfer their degree and send it to the Department of Education, says Dean.

Miami Dade College offers assistance to students in the process of obtaining the equivalency of a country’s degree in the United States, which can be performed in part by Josef Silny & Associates, authorized in South Florida to do equivalency. degrees from foreign studies.

Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College, with Andre Villarroel de la Concha, graduate educator of the Miami Dade College Preparatory Institute (EPI), and Mónica Martínez, who earned a bachelor’s degree in the education of children with special needs.

To graduate they must earn 21 credits, but they will not feel a great academic burden because they only take one course per quarter. Subjects are placed in teaching and also “very contextualized” in English, says Concepcion.

“They prepare them to teach the subject, parents to speak, students to give instructions,” this exemplifies.

Miami Dade College also has a program for immigrants who with parole, REVEST and ESOL (English for Speaker of Other Languages) program to teach immigrants to learn English quickly, with a view to accelerating the search for work or study. courses, which allow them to do a better job.

These, in turn, provide them with scholarship programs and financial support and are offered in various ways that allow them to advance at their level or to count or attend school at the appropriate times.

Miami Dade College School of Education Educator Preparation Institute (EPI), 305-237-6203 and EPISOE@

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