Program of Alternative Certification for Educators

  • The Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) was established to enable degreed individuals, who otherwise do not meet certification requirements, to gain employment in the public schools in a critical need subject area teaching position and/or in a critical geographic area where teacher shortages exist, as determined annually by the State Board of Education.

    PACE requires a three year commitment to the content area and grade level for which you are admitted. Candidates may be evaluated for K-12, middle level, or secondary certification. Individuals who participate in PACE in one of the middle level areas may be required to complete different graduate course requirements.


    An earned bachelor’s degree or above from a regionally accredited college with a major in a South Carolina certification area. Participants can be evaluated for a major equivalent if they have thirty or more semester hours earned in content area coursework, twenty-one of which were earned at the junior or senior level or above; or twenty-four or more semester hours earned in content area coursework at the graduate level.

    Participants teaching in subjects designated as critical need by the State Board of Education can teach in any district in the state. Participants teaching in subjects that have not been designated as critical need must teach in a district that has been designated as critical need.

    A passing score on the appropriate Praxis II subject area examination(s). Please review this link for changes in Praxis test requirements for PACE related to Special Education - ED, French, and Library Media.


    Effective July 1, 2007, the geographical critical district list has been dissolved. This change allows PACE applicants who meet all admission criteria in one of the approved PACE subject areas to seek employment in any South Carolina public school district. Additional certification areas have been added to the list of PACE approved subjects.

    PACE Process for Certification