Similar situation as yours, conversation with dso
do not have a current I-20 as my Visa status is not F-1. So, that's something I would have to request from the university, once accepted in the program. Does that sound accurate? "Yes that is fine, you can do a change of status once you have been accepted".
Also, once enrolled to the program (for Summer), when soon can receive the change of status (to F-1) and subsequently CPT enrollment? "Probably takes about 10 business days to get the I-20"
"Yes you can apply for a change of status after you have been accepted.
We only issue you the change of status I-20 and then you will proceed, I don’t deal with Change of status so that is about all that I know.
You should be able to study while your change of status is pending." as per one of the DSO. so, it might take 6-8 months BUT you'll still be in status, no worries there!
The main question is: Will that affect your green card process? as TPS ends and there is a gap where you won't have EAD to work, CPT takes longer..
The best thing to do, looks like is to consult a good immigration lawyer.
At the end of day, whether you go CPT route or J-1 or whatever, the intention is to get Green card, so any steps you take might affect that, the only better approach is to seek an expert advice, because rest of the folks are just regurgitating what we see/hear on news, websites.. we don't know legality.