Becoming a teacher in South Carolina

Explore Program, Licensing and Job Outlook Data for 2016

Guide to Becoming a Teacher in South Carolina

South Carolina has much to offer aspiring teachers. To help aspiring teachers get started, ToBecomeATeacher.org has compiled all the information and insights required to make the best possible decisions about the future.  To begin, anyone hoping to teach in South Carolina will need to complete the following critical steps:

1. Choosing a Program: First, you will need to find an education program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is never easy. What matters to you most as a student? Is cost a major concern? Are you concerned about the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate? Asking the right questions upfront will ensure you end up in the program that is best suited to your needs and budget.

2. Planning for Licensure in South Carolina: To become a teacher in South Carolina, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program and to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to launch your job search.

  • Are you interested in working in a rural or urban area of the state? Where do you think you would be most comfortable working and living? What are your lifestyle priorities and which region of the state can best meet these priorities? What are your salary expectations? Throughout this process, keep developing your resume, completing additional professional development courses for teachers, and gaining relevant classroom experience. By remaining current, you will ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining a full-time teaching position shortly after graduation.

Choosing an Education Program in South Carolina

ToBecomeATeacher.org understands that choosing the right program is never easy. For this reason, we have streamlined the process. With the aid of a complex algorithmic tool, we have reviewed, tested and documented the top education programs in South Carolina. Notably, our criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities. For this reason, our rankings focus on total expense, student-to- faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and over all return on investment.

All the schools listed by ToBecomeATeacher.org below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in South Carolina. Find out which schools rank highest.

University of South Carolina-Aiken

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 37232
  • Acceptance rate 51.22 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 42.54 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 26000

South Carolina State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 39104
  • Acceptance rate 50.79 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 35.1 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 37000

Francis Marion University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 37544
  • Acceptance rate 56.67 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 41.57 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 31251

Lander University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 40400
  • Acceptance rate 42.16 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 45.2 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 26780

Voorhees College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 11 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 43120
  • Acceptance rate 50.51 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 31.01 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25000

Coastal Carolina University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 17 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 39040
  • Acceptance rate 74.04 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 46.55 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25000

University of South Carolina-Beaufort

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 35888
  • Acceptance rate 73.04 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 25 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 24250

University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 43264
  • Acceptance rate 60.6 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 72.55 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22500

College of Charleston

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 42504
  • Acceptance rate 70.31 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 66.57 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22341

University of South Carolina-Upstate

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 40792
  • Acceptance rate 64.22 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 32306
  • Graduation Rate 39.03 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 23250
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Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How To Become a Teacher in South Carolina

South Carolina offers several pathways to teacher licensure and each is designed to respond to the needs of candidates at different points in the career cycle:

  • Pathway 1: If you’re a current college student or a high school student about to enter college, the most direct pathway to teaching is to complete a teacher preparation program at one of South Carolina’s many colleges of education and then to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams, which include the Praxis Core and applicable Praxis II exams for your content area(s).
  • Pathway 2: Another option is to complete a bachelor’s degree followed by post-baccalaureate program of master’s degree in education leading to teacher licensure and to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams.
  • Pathway 3: For career changers who already hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree there are several options, including South Carolina’s Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE); in this case, qualified participants are given an opportunity to teach full-time in a South Carolina public school while completing additional requirements for certification, which include a series training seminars and postsecondary level courses.
  • Pathway 4: There are also other alternative pathways to teacher licensure in South Carolina, including America Board certification, which can be completed online; once again, candidates must write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams.
  • Pathway 5: In some cases, candidates who have not completed a bachelor’s degree but do have work experience and expertise in a technical or vocational field and at least a high school diploma or GED can apply to teach in a South Carolina school. The Career and Technical Education Work Based Certification Program is exclusively used to place qualified teachers in technical and vocational teaching positions and does not apply to any other content areas.

In addition, South Carolina has generous provisions in place to recognize both out-of-state and international teaching licenses.

What is the Job Outlook for Teaching Careers in South Carolina?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook for teachers in South Carolina is currently strong. This is due in part to an aging teaching population, as well as a growing school network. Indeed, in some areas of South Carolina the demand for teachers is so strong that schools have started to actively recruit qualified personnel from other states and even countries.

To tackle the state’s critical shortage of teachers, in 2015, the state’s governor announced a series of incentive programs. One program offers high-school students in specific districts four years of subsidized tuition at a state public college or university if they agree to teach for at least two years in their home district or another district with a critical shortage of teachers. The state has also rolled out an Enhanced Student Loan Repayment; eligible teachers can receive up to $7,500 per year in direct student-loan repayment in exchange for teaching in a high-needs districts (with a maximum of five years eligibility, there is the potential to receive well over $50,000 towards one’s student loans). Another program, known as the Rural Educator Salary Supplement, offers new educators who have not yet secured employment or who are willing to relocate to a high-needs district with a stipend.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in South Carolina?

  • The South Carolina Department of Education is the state’s primary governing body for education; it offers information on certification, recruitment, educator preparation and effectiveness, and lists school and district administrators.
  • South Carolina teachers are represented by a statewide teacher’s organizations–the South Carolina Education Association.
  • SCIWAY‘s South Carolina Teaching and Learning Resources page provides South Carolina teachers with education organizations, teaching and learning resources.
  • CERRA, South Carolina is the state’s center for educator recruitment, retention and advancement and offers information on job fairs, financial information and advocacy.

What online programs are available to potential teachers in South Carolina?

One online option leading to teacher certification is to pursue a degree through the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence. Degrees from Western Governors University are also recognized in South Carolina. For certified teachers, the University of South Carolina offers several graduate programs in education. Online master’s level degrees are also available through Coastal Carolina University.

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