SC Teaching Certification (Guide) | TeachSC (2024)

SC Teaching Certification (Guide) | TeachSC (1)

To teach in South Carolina, you’ll need to know the certification requirements. Read this page for more info or click the button to download our guide.

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To teach in South Carolina, you’ll need a degree and a teaching certificate. On this page, we’ll go over each step you’ll need to get there.

On this page, you can:

  • Decide what you want to teach.
  • Choose the right certification area.
  • Learn about critical need subject areas and loan forgiveness.
  • Understand your pathway options.
  • Review your pathway to certification.
  • Get answers to frequently asked questions about teaching in South Carolina.
  • Explore more resources.

We do our best to keep all information updated, but because certification requirements are regularly reviewed and revised, it is best to confirm requirements with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and your teaching program (also called an educator preparation program or EPP).

Decide What Subject and Grade to Teach

Click the statement below that fits you best.

You’ll have more job opportunities—and make a bigger impact—teaching in a critical need area. When you get certified to teach in a shortage area, you may also qualify for generous student loan forgiveness programs.

Choose the Right Certification Area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can choose your official certification area. Click on the tabs in the next section for a full list of South Carolina certification options. (2)

How to read this section

In the charts below, you’ll notice a few symbols next to certain certification areas. Here’s what those mean:

*There are currently no traditional programs in South Carolina that offer certification in this subject area. However, you can add it to your initial certification subject area or pursue certification through an alternative pathway.

**There are currently no programs in South Carolina that offer this subject as an initial certification area. However, you can add it to your teaching certificate in another subject.

+To earn your Montessori certification, you’ll need to complete a training program that is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. Learn more at the SCDE Montessori Certification Applicants page.

You can add additional endorsements in different subject areas throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to achieve all your certifications at once.

Consider a Critical Needs Subject

Why teach in a South Carolina critical need area?

You’ll have more job opportunities—and make a bigger impact—teaching in a high-need area. When you get certified to teach in a shortage area, you may also qualify for generous student loan forgiveness programs.

You can see which certification areas are critical need in the Choose the Right Certification Area section.

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your student loans.

— U.S. Department of Education (3)

Teacher loan forgiveness

If you commit to teaching in a state-designated shortage area, you also have loan forgiveness options (meaning you won’t have to pay your student loans back!):

  • South Carolina Student Loan offers loan forgiveness options for teachers who have a South Carolina Teacher Loan, Career Changers Loan or PACE Loan. To qualify, you may need to teach in a critical need subject area, critical need geographic area or both.
  • The federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program offers up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness funds if you teach in a school that serves low-income students for at least five years.

If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree or have vocational work experience, you may be eligible for alternative certification pathways that put you in the classroom faster.

Choose Your Teacher Education Pathway

To teach in South Carolina, your next steps will look different depending on your background. We'll help you figure out what you'll need to move forward.

Steps to a Teaching Certificate

Once you know what you want to teach, you're ready to start your journey to become a certified educator! Most South Carolina teachers begin with an initial certificate (you can learn more about initial certifications in the FAQs section of this page).

  1. 1

    Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.

    Your bachelor’s degree should be in a field closely related to what you want to teach. South Carolina accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that yours is regionally accredited.

    Keep in mind that you can earn your degree and your teaching certificate at the same time—so if you're an undergraduate, see Step 2 below.

    Paying for your program can feel like a lot. That's where our Financial Aid Guide comes in: get our favorite tips to find grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness opportunities and other strategies to cover your costs.

    TEACH SC can help you reduce your teaching program application costs! We’ll reimburse up to $100 for any expenses required for you to apply to a teaching program (like application fees, transcript fees and more). Get the details on our Fee Reimbursements page.

  2. 2

    Complete an approved teaching program through a regionally accredited college or university.

    You can complete your teaching program as part of your bachelor’s degree or, if you already have a degree, you can attend a certification-only, master's degree or alternative certification program. (4)

    Through your teaching certificate program, you will:

    • Take coursework related to the specific subject and grade levels you want to teach, as well as the teaching profession more broadly. This might include courses on teaching strategies or classroom management skills.
    • Participate in hands-on classroom experiences, where you can observe and practice with instructors, mentors and teachers who are effective and experienced.

    The goal of South Carolina’s educator preparation providers is to design and implement programs that prepare teachers, service professionals, and leaders who will be competent practitioners… and will continue to grow in knowledge and skills throughout their careers.

    —South Carolina Department of Education (5)

    The TeachSC Teaching Certificate Program Eligibility Guide has all the info you need to ace your exams, request your transcripts, win over your interviewer and more.

  3. 3

    Meet South Carolina teacher testing requirements.

    You’ll have to pass one or more tests designed to show you know your subject well enough to teach it. Depending on your teaching program, you might take a test before you enroll, during your program or after you finish.

    Before you finish your program, you'll also complete what’s called a “pedagogy assessment.” To meet this requirement, you'll prepare a portfolio of lesson plans, student work and other artifacts to submit for assessment as part of your student teaching experience.

    Learn more about required tests at the SCDE Certification Assessments page.

    Stressed about testing? You're not alone! Our Testing Guide covers everything from exam registration to study materials to what to expect on test day.

  4. 4

    Submit your teaching certificate application to the state.

    After you meet the requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. First, confirm with your teaching program that you are eligible to apply. After that, you can contact the SCDE with any questions.

    To start your application, you'll create an online account with the SCDE Educator Portal. There, you can apply for your certificate online, pay fees, check the status of your application or get a copy of your teaching certificate. Learn more at the SCDE How to Apply page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about getting certified? Check out our top FAQs for more information.

Learn About Programs

SC Teaching Certification (Guide) | TeachSC (2)

Want to keep exploring? The TeachSC About Programs page has more in-depth information on teaching certification pathways, including the types of programs available and how to decide whether a program is right for you. Click below to take the next step.

Learn About Programs

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References

  1. Critical Need Areas. South Carolina Department of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/recruitment-and-recognition/critical-need-areas/
  2. South Carolina Certification Fields and Specialized Endorsements. South Carolina Department of Education. June 9, 2020. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/certification/certification-legislation-and-policy/certification-regulations/fields/
  3. Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education. https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher
  4. Guidance for Prospective Educators. South Carolina Department of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/teaching-in-south-carolina/pathways/
  5. “Introduction,” South Carolina Educator Preparation Guidelines: Standards, Policies, and Procedures. South Carolina Department of Education. December 10, 2019. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/educator-preparation/guidelines/introduction/
  6. Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). South Carolina Department of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/alternative-certification/pace/
  7. “Teacher Pay and Student Spending: How Does Your State Rank?” National Education Association. April 23, 2021. https://www.nea.org/resource-library/teacher-pay-and-student-spending-how-does-your-state-rank
  8. National Board Certification. South Carolina Board of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/finance/financial-services/national-board-certification/
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SC Teaching Certification (Guide) | TeachSC (2024)

FAQs

How long does it take to get a teaching certification in South Carolina? ›

The traditional teacher certification path in South Carolina typically takes a bit longer than four years. Students complete a state-approved bachelor's degree focused on educator preparation. They also pursue a semester-long student-teaching internship.

Can you teach in SC without a degree? ›

How to Become a Teacher in South Carolina. To meet the basic eligibility requirements for teaching certification in South Carolina, candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, pass the required Praxis assessments, and complete a background check.

What are the steps required to earn a teaching credential in South Carolina? ›

Steps to a Teaching Certificate
  • Earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. ...
  • Complete an approved teaching program through a regionally accredited college or university. ...
  • Meet South Carolina teacher testing requirements. ...
  • Submit your teaching certificate application to the state.

What is required to teach in South Carolina? ›

The traditional route to South Carolina teacher certification includes earning a bachelor's degree or higher from a college or university that has a state-approved teacher education program. Additional requirements include achieving the required scores on basic skills, pedagogy and content area assessments.

How much do substitute teachers make in SC per day? ›

Average Kelly Substitute Teacher daily pay in South Carolina is approximately $104, which is 14% below the national average.

How many hours of student teaching are required in SC? ›

All candidates must complete a minimum of 100 hours of field experiences prior to clinical practice (student teaching) at the initial undergraduate level. At the initial graduate level, all candidates must complete a minimum of 75 hours of field experiences prior to clinical practice.

Can I teach something I don't have a degree in? ›

If you're passionate about becoming a teacher but lack a degree in education, a teaching certification program is your best option. A teaching certificate will provide the necessary coursework and student teaching experience to prepare you for state certification.

What states have teaching reciprocity with South Carolina? ›

South Carolina Teacher Reciprocity Agreements
AlabamaIndianaSouth Dakota
CaliforniaLouisianaUtah
ColoradoMaineVirginia
ConnecticutMarylandWashington
DelawareMassachusettsWest Virginia
7 more rows

Can you teach a college class without a degree? ›

Answer: You can teach non-credit classes if you don't have a master's degree. If the college has a certificate program - or if the college does not have credits transfer to another college, such as a non-regionally accredited technical college - then you are able to teach there.

How to become a teacher with a bachelor's degree not in education South Carolina? ›

The minimum requirement to pursue alternative teacher certification in South Carolina is a bachelor's degree. Candidates must also take and pass the Praxis exams appropriate to the subject(s) and grade level(s) they wish to teach. Finally, prospective teachers must pass a state and federal background check.

How many teachers are needed in South Carolina? ›

The teacher shortage in South Carolina is at an all-time high – more than 1,400 unfilled jobs statewide at the beginning of the school year. Post-pandemic, Weaver says the teacher shortage is more pressing than ever.

How long is student teaching in South Carolina? ›

Analysis of South Carolina's policies

South Carolina requires candidates to complete a minimum of 12 weeks or 60 full days of student teaching in a public school in the state of South Carolina. Candidates must also teach independently a minimum of 10 full days in one placement or setting.

Can I teach in Florida with a South Carolina teaching certificate? ›

The state of Florida offers professional educators from other states to earn their professional educator certification in Florida through reciprocity. There are two routes to certification: 1.) You must hold a current teaching certification issued by another state, OR 2.)

What degree do you need to teach kindergarten in South Carolina? ›

Teaching kindergarten requires you to earn a bachelor's degree, pass several exams, and take part in a student teaching experience before you can begin in your own classroom.

Does a Florida teaching certificate transfer to North Carolina? ›

Initial Teaching Certifications

If you have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your North Carolina teaching credential through interstate reciprocity.

What district pays the most for teachers in SC? ›

Beaufort County has the highest starting teacher salary for public school districts in the state.

What state pays the most for substitute teachers? ›

The highest-paid state for substitute teachers is Alaska with an average salary of $39,750 per year. What city pays substitute teachers the most? San Francisco, CA pays substitute teachers the most with an average salary of $39,574 per year.

How much do teachers make in SC a week? ›

Teacher Salary in South Carolina
Annual SalaryWeekly Pay
Top Earners$43,833$842
75th Percentile$34,144$656
Average$30,427$585
25th Percentile$22,147$425

How many hours is a full day of teaching? ›

Depending on what state you live in and what your particular district rules are, the average school day is anywhere from 6 to 8 hours long.

How many hours is a full day for a teacher? ›

On average for all days of the week, full-time teachers worked 5.6 hours per day and part-time teachers worked 2.8 hours per day.

What counts as teaching hours? ›

Teaching time is the number of hours spent teaching a group or class of students according to the formal policy in the country; preparation time is the time spent preparing for teaching.

Is a Masters in education the same as a Masters in teaching? ›

The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.

How do you teach a subject you didn't major in? ›

To become a teacher if you didn't major in education, in most states you will need to complete an alternative teacher preparation program. These programs typically must be approved by the state's board of education and lead to a certificate or a master's degree plus licensure.

Can you teach college without a Phd? ›

While most universities and 4-year colleges require full-time professors to hold a doctorate in their given field to teach and/or conduct research, other postsecondary teachers may be hired with a master's degree or lower.

Is South Carolina a good place for teachers? ›

South Carolina continues to rank in the bottom 10 states for teachers, a new study has found. The Palmetto State ranks No. 41 in a new listing of best states to be a teacher, according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub.

Is South Carolina a teacher union state? ›

The SCEA is the union for educators in South Carolina.

How much do substitute teachers make near South Carolina? ›

How much does a Substitute Teacher make in South Carolina? As of Jun 8, 2023, the average annual pay for a Substitute Teacher in South Carolina is $32,217 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $15.49 an hour. This is the equivalent of $619/week or $2,684/month.

Is an adjunct a professor? ›

What is an Adjunct Professor? An adjunct professor is a part-time professor for a college or university. They differ from full-time professors in that they are contracted to teach one or more classes each year.

Can you teach as a professor without a masters? ›

Hopeful professors must continue their education with a graduate degree. Generally, those who want to work as professors at community colleges are required to earn a master's degree, while those who want to teach at four-year colleges and universities should earn a doctorate.

Can I teach online with a master's degree? ›

While a master's degree can qualify you to work as an online professor at some private and community colleges, most major universities prefer professors who have doctorates. Online professors usually earn their doctorate in a subject specific to their area of interest.

What do you need to be a substitute teacher in SC? ›

All South Carolina schools require substitutes to have at least a high school diploma. Some schools may require an associate's degree or higher. Some schools also require new substitutes to attend training. Check with your local school district for its requirements.

Is a bachelor's degree enough to be a teacher? ›

In California, the minimum education requirement for teacher certification is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. You must also complete a teacher preparation program approved by the CTC. An approved program provides both educational curriculum and fieldwork.

Do all teachers need to have a bachelor's degree if teaching in a K 12 school in Maryland? ›

Maryland teachers apply for a teaching certification from the Maryland Department of Education. Candidates must meet education requirements which include a bachelor's degree and completion of an educator preparation program.

What is a teacher salary in South Carolina? ›

Salaries by years of experience in South Carolina
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$13.56
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$15.82
More than 10 years$18.17
1 more row

What is South Carolina state minimum teacher salary? ›

The average Entry Level Teacher salary in South Carolina is $40,353 as of May 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $33,698 and $49,212.

Why are teachers leaving the profession in South Carolina? ›

Pay levels, coupled with the added stresses of the post-pandemic classroom, are behind a mass exodus away from teaching in the state.

What does it take to get a teaching certificate in SC? ›

The traditional route to South Carolina teacher certification includes earning a bachelor's degree or higher from a college or university that has a state-approved teacher education program. Additional requirements include achieving the required scores on basic skills, pedagogy and content area assessments.

How long does the average teacher stay in teaching? ›

Overall, more than 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years.

How long does the average teacher stay at one school? ›

Nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years. In 1987-'88, the most common level of experience among the nation's 3 million K-12 public school teachers was 14 years in the classroom.

How do I get teaching credentials in South Carolina? ›

To earn your South Carolina teaching credential you will have to complete the required amount of undergraduate coursework and pass standardized tests, as well participate in an accredited certification program. South Carolina issues an initial certificate (valid for 3 years, can be renewed) to beginning teachers.

What states accept a NC teaching license? ›

North Carolina Teacher Reciprocity Agreements
AlabamaIndianaNew Hampshire
GeorgiaMissouriPennsylvania
HawaiiMontanaRhode Island
IdahoNebraskaSouth Carolina
IllinoisNevadaSouth Dakota
7 more rows

Can Texas teachers teach in other states? ›

Most states will recognize your Texas teacher certification through a reciprocity agreement. However, it's important to keep in mind that becoming credentialed to teach varies by state. While you may hold teaching credentials in Texas, you may have to meet additional requirements in the state you wish to teach.

How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in South Carolina? ›

The traditional teacher certification path in South Carolina typically takes a bit longer than four years. Students complete a state-approved bachelor's degree focused on educator preparation. They also pursue a semester-long student-teaching internship.

What degree is best for a kindergarten teacher? ›

The most direct route is a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. In addition to a bachelor's degree, prospective teachers need to earn a teaching certificate from the state where they wish to work.

Is kindergarten mandatory in SC? ›

No. Kindergarten is *not* optional in South Carolina. (Other states might be.) If it's September 1st and your child is 5-years old, they're under compulsory attendance.

What states accept SC teaching license? ›

Sponsored School(s)
AlabamaIndianaNevada
ArizonaKansasNew Hampshire
ArkansasKentuckyNew Jersey
CaliforniaLouisianaNew Mexico
ColoradoMaineNew York
7 more rows

Does South Carolina accept out-of-state teaching license? ›

Teaching reciprocity agreements in South Carolina allow you to use an out-of-state license to meet requirements for a new certification here. If you earned your education and experience in another state, reciprocity agreements can help you expedite the process of becoming a South Carolina educator.

Can you teach in South Carolina without a teaching degree? ›

In order to earn certification to teach in the state of South Carolina, candidates must complete a teacher education program from an accredited college or university that is approved by the state board of education, complete a student teaching internship, hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and provide a letter of ...

Does South Carolina accept out of state teaching license? ›

South Carolina offers educators from out-of-state the opportunity to use reciprocity agreements and their current credentials to gain teaching certification in South Carolina. There are two main certifications available to out-of-state teachers: 1.) Reciprocal Initial Certification and 2.)

How long does it take to become a kindergarten teacher in South Carolina? ›

Career Information for Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers in South Carolina
Education/Experience RequiredCertificate or associate degree for preschool Bachelor's degree and teacher education program for kindergarten
Certificate ValidityThree years for initial certificate (not required for preschool)
4 more rows

How do I become a substitute teacher in South Carolina? ›

All South Carolina schools require substitutes to have at least a high school diploma. Some schools may require an associate's degree or higher. Some schools also require new substitutes to attend training. Check with your local school district for its requirements.

Does South Carolina have a teacher shortage? ›

The teacher shortage in South Carolina is at an all-time high – more than 1,400 unfilled jobs statewide at the beginning of the school year. Post-pandemic, Weaver says the teacher shortage is more pressing than ever.

Is kindergarten a hard grade to teach? ›

Teaching at the kindergarten level can be both stressful and rewarding. Patience, creativity, and excellent communication skills are important skills for people interested in becoming a teacher at the kindergarten level.

What is the cutoff for kindergarten in South Carolina? ›

In South Carolina, a child must turn 5 by September 1 of that year to enroll in kindergarten. A child must turn 6 by September 1 of that year to enroll in first grade. Students who began their school year in a different state can transfer to South Carolina without having to meet the age requirement.

How long should kindergarten lessons be? ›

With regards to required minutes of instruction, TK follows the same requirements that apply to Kindergarten: 36,000 minutes per year, and 180 minutes is the minimum length of instructional time that must be offered to constitute a school day.

How much do teachers make a day in South Carolina? ›

Salaries by years of experience in South Carolina
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$13.44
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$15.68
More than 10 years$18.01
1 more row

Do student teachers get paid in South Carolina? ›

How much does a Student Teacher make in South Carolina? As of Jun 1, 2023, the average annual pay for a Student Teacher in South Carolina is $35,101 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $16.88 an hour. This is the equivalent of $675/week or $2,925/month.

References

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