Home Teaching Programs in South Carolina

Teaching Programs in South Carolina

Teaching can be a gratifying career path that benefits both the teacher and the students. With more than 1,200 K-12 schools in South Carolina, the Palmetto State offers its teachers many career opportunities to explore their skills and enrich their experiences as educators. South Carolina schools will likely offer a teaching program for you, from early childhood to postsecondary education and from music and dance to science and mathematics.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina offers prospective teachers three different ways in which to become educators. It’s essential to choose the path that meets your needs and matches your credentials. The pathways that teachers in South Carolina can follow are the traditional, work-based, and alternative paths.

The requirements for each track vary depending on your specific background experience and education, but each path leads to teaching certification. The South Carolina Department of Education goes into great detail about each method, but here’s the overview:

Traditional Path

This route is perfect for those interested in seeking their bachelor’s degree in education. Most teachers earn their teaching credentials by attending an approved institution of higher education and earning a degree in an education program. All programs involve student teaching or an internship, and you may need to take a Praxis exam for admission.

Work-based Path

The work-based path allows individuals to teach if they have relevant industry experience and licensure. Individuals who pursue this pathway must often have a high school diploma/GED and significant experience working in the job field that they want to teach. The certification areas are broad, ranging from automotive technology (requiring a high school diploma/GED, four years of experience, and specific certifications) to clothing design and construction (requiring a relevant associate degree, two years of experience, and approval from OCTE).

Alternative Path

The alternative path is designed for aspiring educators who want to change careers and pursue teaching full-time. Those on the alternative path already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. Many of these programs allow those who are in training to work in education as they pursue their licensure, sometimes with pay.

There are a variety of programs approved by the state for earning your teaching certificate via the alternative pathway, including:

  • American Board: Through this program, you can teach at a public or charter school in the areas of biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, science, or middle-level language arts, mathematics, or science.
  • GATE: The Greenville Alternative Teacher Program (GATE) allows you to become a teacher in Greenville County Schools with the support of on-site mentors and coaches.
  • PACE: The Program of Alternative Certification for Educators allows you to become a teacher as a career-changer in an underserved content area. You earn your certification over a three-year period while you teach.
  • Teach for America: Teach for America (TFA) is a popular program in which you are assigned a grade to teach in one of 52 partner schools across the nation. With TFA, you are immediately certified and able to enter the teaching field.
  • TeachCharleston: You can become a middle level or secondary math, science, or English teacher in Charleston via this program.
  • Teachers of Tomorrow: Teachers of Tomorrow (ToT) was created in response to the teacher shortage, and allows those with a bachelor’s degree who have not completed a teacher preparation program to become teachers.

Regardless of the pathway, you may be expected to take at least one Praxis or edTPA examination that proves your competency. Test requirements will vary by field of study. At the end of any form of education, you must apply for certification, which will include all areas in which you are allowed to teach.

If you are an educator from another state, South Carolina has reciprocity options that may allow you to become a teacher in the state.

Career Outlook for Educators in South Carolina

The job outlook for educators in South Carolina is very bright right now. With more people attending college every year, postsecondary professors are in high demand, and as people continue to prioritize education and seek the very best for their children, elementary and high school education teachers are needed as well. According to Career One Stop, the expected job growth for elementary teachers in general is 3%, while South Carolina is expected to experience a 9% increase. This growth is comparable to other education careers as well.

The mean salary across the nation for elementary educators is $62,200, which is slightly higher than the state’s average of $51,240 (BLS, 2018). Similarly, the national average for secondary school teachers is $64,340, while South Carolina’s is $54,400 (BLS, 2018). Although South Carolina’s average salary for teachers is slightly lower than the national average, the state’s low cost of living may make your dollar stretch farther.

South Carolina Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary:$51,240 per year
Middle School:$52,520 per year
Secondary:$54,400 per year
Post-Secondary:$89,370‬ per year (averaged from all mean salaries)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Training Programs in South Carolina

South Carolina’s universities offer a variety of teaching programs for its students. The following colleges and universities are just a few of the possible choices.

Clemson University

Located in Clemson, this university offers small-town vibes and is a convenient distance to larger cities like Greenville and Atlanta. The university’s excellent education department gives students many undergraduate teaching programs options in a variety of subjects such as agriculture, early childhood, elementary principal, and many more. In addition to these opportunities, they offer several master’s and Ph.D. programs for graduate students wanting to further their education. Finally, they offer a 100% online graduate program for current K-12 educators, which can be completed in just 18 months – earning you a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning. For undergraduates, the cost per year without aid is $28,408; for out-of-state students, it is $51,400.

USC Columbia

The University of South Carolina has a total of eight campuses spread across the state, but its largest is in Columbia. This university offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for aspiring teachers interested in a range of topics and age groups. From early childhood education to high school education, and from dance to foreign language education, the College of Education at USC may have the perfect bachelor’s program for any learner. For graduate students, they have even more programs, such as counselor education and higher education administration. Although they don’t yet offer 100% online undergraduate education programs, they do have more than 1,000 courses offered online. They also have 100% online graduate programs for those seeking a graduate degree. For in-state learners, the expected cost per year is $26,007, which includes tuition, housing, meals, and textbooks. Nonresidents can expect to pay around $46,896.

South Carolina State University

Located in Orangeburg, South Carolina State University is a small, suburban historically black university that focuses on providing its students with an excellent education. They offer undergraduate education programs in a variety of subjects such as drama and business, in addition to focuses on early childhood and elementary education. Nearly every prospective student can find a program that works for them. For graduate learners, they offer an M.A. in teaching and a master’s in education. Unfortunately, the university does not currently offer an online alternative for education majors, but some education courses are available to take online. For undergraduate students, the cost of tuition per semester is approximately $5,530, which doesn’t account for housing or other expenses. For graduate students, the price is $5,730.

College of Charleston

The College of Charleston is one of the oldest educational institutions in the United States and was founded by some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that the college offers its students a wonderful liberal arts education. The college has several education specializations, such as elementary education, special education, and foreign language education. For graduates, they offer even more program opportunities in subjects like middle grades education and science and mathematics. They do not currently have an online education program. Yearly tuition for in-state undergraduates is $12,518 (for 12 hours per semester), and for non-residents it is $32,848. For graduates, the rates are $6,888 (six hours per semester) and $18,072, respectively.

South Carolina Teacher Resources

  • South Carolina Department of Education: This government body offers teachers an abundance of information about teaching and resources to become better instructors. With support ranging from certification information to SCDE policy guidelines, there is something to learn from every link.
  • South Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow: This organization provides future educators the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals. Members can share study tips and interact with others, find their dream teaching jobs, and learn more about becoming a teacher in South Carolina.
  • South Carolina Education Association: This association’s mission is to be the best advocate for improving the quality of public education in South Carolina. They work to promote better public education while providing a network of support for public school employees.


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