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South Carolina Program of Alternative Certification for Educators

If you’re looking to become a teacher in South Carolina but hold a bachelor’s degree in a different field, the Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) option is an alternative route you can take to become a certified teacher in a short amount of time. option is available in the state to expedite the typical four-year process. Here is a look at what the program is all about and what you need to know to apply.

Program Mission and Overview

The PACE program allows prospective teachers to earn a professional teaching license in three years. Candidates receive a temporary license during the program to gain hands-on experience teaching in a classroom. In addition, candidates must complete course requirements, which vary per candidate and are determined by a team of guidance counselors.

Eligibility and How to Apply

To be eligible for this program, candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree with a major in a certification area from a regionally accredited university.
  • Pass the content area exam used by the state Board of Education.
  • Have two years of full-time work experience in the content area they would like to teach, or one year of full-time work experience combined with a year of part-time work and advanced degree work in the course area.
  • Obtain full- or part-time employment with a South Carolina school.
  • Not have a teaching certificate in another state.

Applicants may learn more about the application process at and may apply online at .

Financial Information

Candidates are responsible for all costs associated with the program, including:

  • Application fee of $105.
  • Criminal background check fee of $51.50.
  • PRAXIS tests at $80 to $105.
  • Pre-service institute and four seminars at $250.
  • In-service institute and final seminars at $250 during the second year.
  • Room, board and any travel expenses.
  • The cost of the three required college courses, which varies depending on the institution.
  • Principals of Learning and Teaching test at $90.

Upon receipt of the alternative route license, candidates may obtain a student loan through the South Carolina Teachers Loan Program, which is eligible for Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness.

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