Become a teacher in South Carolina with an Alternative Certification Program

If you are a working professional considering a move into public education, there's never been a better time to make the switch. South Carolina is facing a shortage of up to 40,000 K-12 teachers over the next decade according to the South Carolina State Department of Education (SCSDE). As a result, the state has embraced alternative certification as a means to get talented professionals, with appropriate content area education, into classrooms quickly.

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Online programs may not be available in all states

The SCSDE reports that South Carolina public school districts hire approximately 5,000 new teachers every year. Of those new hires, a significant percentage - 7 to 10 percent - entered the education field through the state's Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). However, PACE is just one path into South Carolina's classrooms. The SCSDE website http://ed.sc.gov/agency/se/Educator-Certification-Recruitment-and-Preparation/Alt-Cert/ details a number of alternative pathways to certification. Some programs are designed to result in professional certification while others lead to temporary employment opportunities in South Carolina's public schools.

PACE is South Carolina's premiere alternative certification program. The statewide, three-year program is designed to allow people who have not completed a traditional teacher preparation program to work toward full certification while teaching in their content area. PACE candidates must hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college with a major in a South Carolina certification area. In addition, candidates must have two years of full time work experience. PACE certification is available in 29 content areas.

Prospective teachers in the areas of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and general science may seek certification through the Passport to Teaching certificate offered through the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence (ABCTE). The South Carolina legislature approved this alternate certification pathway in 2007 as a way to address critical teacher shortages. Candidates who pass a content area examination through ABCTE can seek employment in South Carolina's public schools and work toward full professional certification.

Schools in South Carolina:

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