Teaching Degrees in South Carolina

South Carolina has over 1200 public elementary and secondary schools. With high diversity, moderate teacher-to-student ratios, and specific areas of need, South Carolina is a good place for teachers looking to focus in specific areas. If you want to get a teaching degree in South Carolina, there is some information you should know, including:

  • The impact of a master’s degree
  • Scholarships and grants
  • South Carolina teacher certification

Also included here is a list of additional resources and a comprehensive directory of fully- accredited teaching degrees in South Carolina.

Teaching Degrees in South Carolina

There are 26 accredited teaching degree programs offered through South Carolina colleges and universities. The starting salary with a teaching degree in South Carolina is $31,710; the average salary for South Carolina teachers is $47,421. Approximately 52 percent of all teachers in the state have a master’s degree, which provides a salary bump of $5,320 per year over teachers with just a bachelor’s degree.

Teaching Scholarships and Grants in South Carolina

There are many options for financial aid, including grants and scholarships, for teaching programs in South Carolina. Some of these are:

Alyce T. Guettler Scholarship-Winthrop University
This scholarship was established to provide renewable scholarships for undergraduate students. Selection is determined in conjunction with endowment guidelines.

Florence Nelson Scholarship-International Reading Association
Applicants must meet the following criteria: be a senior or a fifth year pre-service student majoring in education at a South Carolina college or university. Additional requirements include an annual progress report.

South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics
This program provides financial assistance of $1,500 annually to a teacher pursuing an advanced degree in mathematics, mathematics education, or elementary education with an emphasis in mathematics.

TEACH Early Childhood Scholarship of South Carolina
This national project is an effort to improve the quality of childcare by focusing on scholarship, education, commitment and compensation.

University of South Carolina-South Carolina Teacher’s Loan Program
Freshmen and sophomores may borrow up to $2,500 per year with the South Carolina Teacher’s Loan. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students may borrow up to $5,000 per year, up to a maximum of $20,000. Loan forgiveness is available at the rate of 20% or $3,000, whichever is greater, for each full year of teaching in a South Carolina public school in a critical subject or geographic region.

South Carolina Teacher Certification

To obtain a teaching license in South Carolina, there are certain criteria that must be met and completed.

Certification requirements include:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of an approved and accredited teacher preparation program
  • Passing of criminal background checks and clearances
  • Passing scores on the PPST and Praxis II exams

South Carolina offers a Program of Alternative Certification for Educators who have not met regular certification requirements, provided that they are willing to teach in areas where teachers are in critical shortage. This program requires two years of post-secondary work experience and current employment with a South Carolina public school in a content area with a teacher shortage. The certificate lasts for one year and can be renewed twice. While teaching under this certificate, the educator must complete periodic instructional training, at least three approved core courses, and must complete mentoring and evaluation.

In addition, the state recognizes the ABCTE self-paced online alternate teaching certification route for teachers of biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, or science.

South Carolina also has a Teaching Fellows program and offers adjunct certification for part-time teaching for experts in certain subjects.

Important Note: South Carolina has reciprocity for out-of-state teachers from other states who relocate to South Carolina, through the Interstate Reciprocity Agreement.

A teaching license in South Carolina lasts for 5 years. Renewing this license requires a minimum of 120 renewal credits, as described in the state’s renewal credit matrix, during the period of the license.

Additional Resources about Teaching in South Carolina

The following resources provide additional information relevant to obtaining a teaching degree in South Carolina and maintaining this status.

South Carolina Department of Education
The Department of Education is an excellent site for obtaining information regarding teaching licensure in South Carolina as well as a source of information about state public schools, license obtaining and renewal, and professional development.

South Carolina Department of Labor
The South Carolina Department of Labor provides extensive information on the South Carolina labor market and job opportunities.

South Carolina Education Association
The South Carolina National Education Association is the professional organization to which all public school educators in the state belong.

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