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Licensure Topics


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.

Initial

Issued to graduates of teacher education programs who have passed the required Praxis II content area exam(s).

Critical Need

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 institute.

Professional

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.

International

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.

Internship Certificates

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.

Restricted

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 following:

  • 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 of certification.
  • 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.

Explanation

  • 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 employment.
  • 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.