Educators in South Carolina find that the state supports its teachers in a variety of ways. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) offers recruitment initiatives that encourage college students and established professionals to become educators. These initiatives include teacher housing assistance and funding for continuing education programs. The state further supports teachers through educator effectiveness programs, grants, and student loan forgiveness opportunities. South Carolina teachers earn an average of approximately $50,000 each year.
Online teaching degrees provide students with the flexibility they need to balance work, home, and academic responsibilities.
Like all other states, South Carolina requires professional educators to receive state teaching certification. Teachers may acquire certification in areas such as early childhood, middle level social studies, or physical education. Students who reside in South Carolina may select an approved in-state education program available on campus. Alternatively, students may attend an out-of-state school or complete an online program.
Approved online educator preparation programs emphasize the same skills as traditional face-to-face programs. Distance learners must still complete in-person student teaching hours to gain hands-on experience. Many schools allow online students to complete these hours at a school close to their home. Online teaching degrees provide students with the flexibility they need to balance work, home, and academic responsibilities.
How Do I Become a Teacher in South Carolina?
South Carolina has one of the most streamlined processes for earning initial licensure. Education students submit their initial application before they begin student teaching and then update their information once they graduate and take relevant exams.
Teacher licensure does not transfer across state borders. When teachers move to another state, they must apply for that state’s teacher certification. Fortunately, South Carolina participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which simplifies the process of licensure across state lines. To acquire a South Carolina teaching certificate, educators must provide official college transcripts, documentation of their current state certification, and a verification of teaching experience form. Teachers with a speciality in a specific subject, such as math or science, submit their content area test scores in addition to pedagogy test scores.
Students interested in teaching in South Carolina must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Although earning an associate degree does not qualify students for South Carolina teaching certification, it is an excellent place to start. Most education associate programs seamlessly transfer to four-year degrees, allowing students to acquire the requisite knowledge for further education. Full-time students can typically complete a bachelor’s program in four years. Students who earn their degree from a South Carolina approved teacher education program receive the necessary training needed to qualify for initial certification. Many programs include the required certification examinations in their curriculum.
South Carolina teacher certification allows professional educators to qualify for teacher certification in states participating in the reciprocity agreement.
Additionally, students must complete student teaching hours prior to applying for full certification. Student teaching is generally completed toward the end of the student’s degree. Before starting their student teaching in South Carolina, candidates must submit an application to the SCDE. The student teaching application also includes a form for initial certification. Upon graduation, students update their application to reflect their completed degree. Candidates also submit official transcripts, PRAXIS test scores, and a college recommendation form to the SCDE.
South Carolina’s interstate reciprocity agreements allow out-of-state educators to easily acquire an SC teaching certificate. Furthermore, South Carolina teacher certification allows professional educators to qualify for teacher certification in states participating in the reciprocity agreement.
Alternative certification options are available for aspiring teachers who did not earn their degree in education. South Carolina approves several alternative pathways, including Teach for America, Teachers of Tomorrow, and the American Board. Once students complete an alternative program, they may apply for full teaching certification in South Carolina.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in South Carolina
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Classroom Management||In this course, students acquire the skills necessary to create productive classrooms. Future teachers learn how promote inclusive learning environments for children with varying abilities. Topics include problem behaviors and teacher/parent communication.|
|Theories of Education||This course explores the concepts of education and teaching from historical and contemporary lenses. Students analyze philosophies of education and the ways in which society impacts knowledge acquisition, school structure, and the teaching profession.|
|Child Psychology||This course provides an overview of theories of child development. Students explore typical and atypical developmental milestones, behavior modification, and learning assessments. This course equips teachers with the skills to meet the emotional and intellectual needs of their students.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Language Arts Instruction||Future educators acquire knowledge of language development and effective approaches to teach reading. Students develop literacy lesson plans that incorporate age-appropriate instructional strategies.|
|Diversity in the Classroom||This course promotes self-reflection. Students contemplate their cultural identities and how their worldviews impact instructional styles. Through the cultivation of cultural awareness, students learn how to address each student’s unique needs.|
|Curriculum and Instruction||In this course, future teachers learn how to create and implement lesson plans. This course emphasizes training in culturally sensitive instruction, the use of technology in the classroom, and strategies for student engagement.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Educational Assessment||This class introduces students to a variety of educational assessments and evaluation strategies. Students gain the skills needed to interpret data, develop assessments, and implement evidence-based teaching practices. Students also learn how to ethically administer and score assessments.|
|Elementary Science||This course prepares educators to teach science at the elementary level. Students learn how to create an integrated curriculum that includes the exploration of natural phenomena. Students also acquire strategies for incorporating scientific learning experiences outside of the classroom.|
|Curriculum and Instruction||In addition to preparing students for doctoral level training, this course promotes professional development through empirically-guided curriculum development. Students become familiar with statistical analyses and research methods.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in South Carolina
The process of obtaining teaching certification in SC is different for recent graduates, out-of-state teachers, and career changers. The SCDE issues state teaching certification and provides several routes to licensure. All South Carolina teaching certification applicants pay a $105 application fee. PRAXIS exams cost $90 for core assessment and prices vary by subject area.
Students who earned their bachelor’s degree in education from an approved South Carolina college qualify for the student teaching pathway. In order to receive initial certification, recent graduates submit the following documents to the SCDE: official college transcripts, PRAXIS scores, a college recommendation form, and an updated application. Applicants must also supply a copy of their social security card and undergo a background check prior to student teaching. Initial certification expires after three years.
Depending on employment status, teachers may renew their initial certification or apply for professional certification. Professional certification requires candidates to pass the PRAXIS II exam in their content area and complete the ADEPT formal/summative evaluation. Professional certification is renewable every five years, and teachers must complete 120 renewal credits.
Teachers with out-of-state certification must complete an online application through the SCDE’s website and undergo a background check. These teachers submit the same documents described above, along with a copy of their out-of-state teaching certificate.
Students who did not complete a South Carolina teacher education program can still earn teaching certification in South Carolina. Alternative certification candidates must complete an approved educator training program and pass certification exams. They must also teach for three years to be eligible for full SC teaching certification.
Choosing a Degree Program in South Carolina
In order to fulfill teaching requirements in South Carolina, candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree. While this may seem daunting, looking at key factors like accreditation, course delivery method, and tuition costs may help students narrow their options. Other aspects to consider when selecting a teacher preparation program include school location, length of program, and concentration options. An undergraduate degree in education typically takes four years to complete, but some schools offer accelerated options that take just three years. Concentrations prepare students for teaching positions in specific areas such as English or social studies. Not every school offers every concentration, so look for a program with a specialization in your area of interest.
Students enrolled in a teaching program in a state other than South Carolina must ensure that their school meets the state's out-of-state requirements. Out-of-state students seeking SC teaching certification must attend a regionally accredited college approved by the state’s department of education. Additionally, out-of-state students must directly contact the SCDE to seek program approval. Students interested in a South Carolina university have numerous options and may search for approved programs in the SCDE database.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in South Carolina?
Students who earn an online teaching degree are eligible for teaching certification in SC. Online programs meet the same requirements as face-to-face programs, including accreditation and core coursework. South Carolina students may enroll in an online program with an out-of-state school. However, out-of-state schools must have approval by the state’s department of education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation or state licensing agency.
Students interested in an out-of-state school should complete an online form and provide a description of their selected online program along with their professional goals. Students must take these steps prior to beginning an online degree in order to ensure eligibility for certification. Students who earn their degree from an out-of-state school qualify for a SC teaching certificate through the teacher preparation program completer pathway.
Eligible online programs must include student teaching hours. Many online programs allow students to satisfy their fieldwork requirements in their local community. Students enrolled in an out-of-state online program who reside in South Carolina may complete their student teaching hours in a South Carolina school. The SCDE’s Office of Educator Services grants approval to teaching candidates seeking internship placements.
Directory of Teaching Schools in South Carolina
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in South Carolina
Students considering an online associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in education must consider the cost of attendance, as well as any financial aid they may receive. While the price of college is high, savvy students find numerous ways to curtail out-of-pocket expenses while earning their degree. Students may qualify for loans, scholarships, grants, and other financial aid programs, such as work-study. The U.S. Department of Education’s student loan programs provide students with affordable alternatives to private loans.
Students pursuing South Carolina teaching certification are eligible for hundreds of scholarships to help fund their education.
In order to acquire federal financial assistance, students must complete the FAFSA, an online application for federal aid that coordinates with the student’s school to determine the loan amount. In addition to student loans, the federal government offers grants that do not require repayment, including the Pell grant and the TEACH grant.
Students pursuing South Carolina teaching certification are eligible for hundreds of scholarships to help fund their education. In addition to providing students with free money, scholarships have the added benefit of boosting a recipient’s resume. Tuition reimbursement programs are another form of financial assistance. Participating employers reimburse their employees for higher education costs.
Loan Forgiveness for South Carolina Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs encourage graduates to seek employment in underserved communities. These programs provide teachers with the opportunity to completely erase their student loan debts in less than a decade.
The federal teacher loan forgiveness program expunges student loans borrowed from the federal government if borrowers meet certain criteria. Students who took out direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans or Stafford loans may receive $17,500 in loan forgiveness. Students who have a direct or federal consolidation loan may qualify for full loan forgiveness on the remaining balance of their loan. In order to qualify for the teacher loan forgiveness program, teachers must work full-time for five consecutive years in a school district that is considered low-income. Only teachers with state certification are eligible for loan forgiveness. To determine if a school qualifies as low-income, teachers may refer to the U.S. Department of Education’s low-income school directory.
In addition to federal student loan forgiveness, students who took out a South Carolina teacher loan or a South Carolina PACE loan may receive partial loan forgiveness. Students who hold a South Carolina teaching certificate and teach in a critical geographic school or critical subject area are eligible for South Carolina teacher loan forgiveness.
Scholarships for South Carolina Teaching Students
Several scholarships are available for students interested in teaching in South Carolina, including awards specifically designed for education majors. The following list highlights scholarship opportunities available to high school seniors in South Carolina, as well as students currently enrolled in a college or university.
Ken Bower Teacher Cadet Scholarship $1,000
South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program $6,000
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program Varies
Palmetto Fellows Scholarship $6,700 to $7,500
LIFE Scholarship Program $4,700
TEACH Grant $4,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in South Carolina
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
These tables highlight data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding annual wages for educators in the U.S. and South Carolina. The table above illustrates that teachers in South Carolina earn slightly less per year than the national average. While the highest paying teaching positions are found in the northeastern region of the U.S. and Alaska, these are also expensive places to live. South Carolina’s cost of living is comparatively low.
The next table compares average annual incomes for teachers employed in five grade levels. Preschool teachers make slightly less than $30,000 annually, which is approximately $7,000 lower than the national average for all occupations. However, some preschool teachers, such as those who work in daycares, do not require certification. These teachers receive lower salaries, thereby driving down the average figure.
Acquiring a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification leads to increased incomes, as indicated by the data below. Kindergarten, middle school, and secondary school teachers make roughly $20,000 more than preschool teachers. Other relevant factors that will affect your salary include location, experience, and school type.
|Elementary School Teachers||$48,480|
|Middle School Teachers||$50,190|
|Secondary School Teachers||$51,670|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in South Carolina
How do I get a teaching license in South Carolina?
How much does a teacher make a year in South Carolina?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in South Carolina?
Resources for Teachers in South Carolina
- South Carolina Department of Education The official licensure agency for the state of South Carolina, SCDE provides services for school districts, teachers, students and their families. Instructional topics include personalized learning, early learning and literacy, and technical assistance. SCDE connects educators with professional resources, including assessments for measuring professional practice and student growth.
- South Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow This organization provides an alternate route of certification for individuals who wish to teach in South Carolina. Certification candidates complete asynchronous online coursework that prepares them for the South Carolina Praxis II Assessments. The website features overviews of various South Carolina school districts to familiarize prospective teachers with potential job sites.
- Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement Funded by the South Carolina General Assembly, CERRA recruits middle and high school students who wish to become teachers in South Carolina. The center also assists South Carolina college students and educators in achieving their academic and professional goals. CERRA hosts the South Carolina Teacher Expo, an annual job fair for recent education graduates, certified teachers, and alternative certification candidates.
- Scholastic Lessons and Ideas Known for its educational products for children and youths, this publishing company provides several resources for teachers, including lesson plans for grades preK-8, teaching guides, and vocabulary lists. Scholastic’s collection series offers a variety of grade-specific discussion guides, crafts, and books.
- Teachers Pay Teachers This online resource connects educators with classroom materials for grades preK-12. The website features over 3 million resources, including educational videos, assessments, and cooperative learning activities. Teachers can select the type of content they are seeking along with the price, grade level, and subject to find a classroom activity that fits their needs.