You have many different ways to become a certified teacher in South Carolina. The route you take will depend upon whether or not you have already earned a college degree and the grade level of the students you hope to teach. Additionally, your education will largely be shaped by the subject matter that you plan to teach. What follows will help you determine the best way for you to achieve your South Carolina teaching certification.
Requirements for certified teachers in South Carolina
The first step toward acquiring certification as a teacher in this state is getting an education. In this case, you must earn a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from an accredited university. While some students choose an education major, others may opt for content-specific major like biology or English literature. Regardless, if you want to become a teacher, you must also complete a state-approved teacher education program, admission to which requires you to pass the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills tests.
Teachers in South Carolina are also required to pass additional PRAXIS examinations in order to become certified. All teaching candidates must successfully pass the Principles of Teaching and Learning Test. This assessment measures your knowledge of the role of education in society and effective teaching and learning techniques in the classroom. Additionally, educators hoping to teach in South Carolina are required to pass the required PRAXIS II test for the content area they hope to teach. Throughout your career, you may test for additional content area certifications.
In South Carolina, anyone wishing to teach must submit fingerprints for a criminal background check.
South Carolina jobs for licensed teachers
First-time South Carolina teachers are issued an Initial Certificate. This certificate is valid for a period of three years. At the end of the three-year period, this Initial Certificate may be renewed on an annual basis if the teacher does not yet qualify for the Professional Certificate (see below) and the school district in which they are employed requests such renewal.
A Professional Certificate is valid for five years. Different levels of the Professional Certificate may be achieved. These levels begin with a bachelor’s degree and proceed through the master’s degree level to a doctorate level. Obtaining a Professional Certificate is based upon completing an induction program and successfully passing any additional tests deemed necessary by the Board of Education. The Board will also perform an evaluation before conferring these certificates.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for South Carolina for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Business Education
- Career and Technology
- Computer Programming
- English as a Second Language
- Family/Consumer Science
- Foreign Language
- Industrial Technology Education
- Media Specialist
- Middle Level Education
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Secondary Education
- Special Education
- World Language
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in South Carolina
South Carolina participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.