South Carolina requires licenses for all educators. These certificates may be granted in a number of different areas. Descriptions of certificates that meet the "highly qualified" certificate are below.
Issued to graduates of teacher education programs who have passed the required Praxis II
content area exam(s).
Issued to participants in the Program for Alternative Certification (PACE) who have
passed the required Praxis II content area exam(s) and participated in the preservice
Currently issued to teachers with three years of public school experience who have
passed the Principles of Learning and Teaching, and successfully completed the induction
program and the formal evaluation of ADEPT. Regular/Grade A certificates issued to
some teachers prior to 1970 are the equivalent to the current professional certificate.
Issued to applicants who are from a country outside of the United States and have
completed at least a bachelor's degree with a major in the teaching field and have met all
cultural/educational visa requirements, as determined by the organization that recruited
and selected the applicant.
Issued to applicants who are currently enrolled in a State Board of Education-approved
teacher education program in South Carolina and have completed all academic and
bachelor’s degree requirements and have passed the content area Praxis II
examination(s). The issuance of this innovative certificate is limited to candidates
enrolled in institutions approved by the State Board for this purpose.
Issued to initial or professionally certified educators who seek to add additional areas of
certification in core academic subjects and meet NCLB requirements. Content
competency must be documented as a prerequisite for consideration.
Upgrading Certificate Status
To advance a credential from one classification to another or from one type of certificate
to another, the applicant must provide to the Office of Educator Certification the
- A written request to have the certificate advanced;
- The required documentation that State Board of Education requirements have
been met for certificate advancement; and
- The required fee for advancement of the certificate.
Classification of Teaching Certificates
- Doctorate Degree An applicant shall have a Doctoral Degree in accordance with
State Board of Education regulations and shall meet requirements in an initial area
- Master's Degree + 30 semester hours An applicant must earn 30 semester hours of graduate credit above the master's
degree with 21 hours of graduate credit in one area of concentration. These hours
may or may not be in the teacher's initial area of certification. The course work
must be completed within seven years from the time it was started. Individuals
who do not complete the requirements during the seven years must request that
the college/university revalidate the course credits before the work can be
submitted for credential advancement.
- Master Degree An applicant shall have a Master's degree in accordance with
State Board of Education regulations and shall meet requirements for an initial
area of certification.
- Bachelor's + 18 semester hours An applicant must have 18 semester hours of graduate credit that he or she earns
within seven years from the time the course work is started. Individuals who do
not complete the requirements during the seven years must request that the
college/university revalidate the course credits before the work can be submitted
for credential advancement.
- A "written request" is one that is made on the "Request for Change/Action" form.
The form may be submitted via e-mail attachment, fax, or regular mail.
- Documentation may include official transcripts that must be mailed directly to the
Office of Teacher Certification from the college or mail to our office by the
individual in a sealed envelopment sent to them from the college. Other
documentation may include official scores, verification of experience or
- No fee is currently being charged.
Effective Date Credential
If the State Department of Education (SDE) receives the educator’s request and all
required documentation between:
- May 1 and November 1: The change in status, if approved, will be effective July 1
of the same calendar year.
- November 2 and April 30: If the educator submitted the request within 45 days of
fulfilling the requirements, the change in status, if approved, will be effective on
the date that all requirements were satisfied.
- November 2 and April 30: If the educator submitted the request more than 45
days after fulfilling the requirements, the change in status, if approved, will be
effective on the date that all information was received by the SDE.