Alternative Certification Program


While traditional routes to certification require the completion of an educator preparation program through an accredited college or university of higher learning, this does not exclude individuals with differing backgrounds from becoming eligible to teach in South Carolina. The Alternative Certification office offers different pathways to becoming an educator and most of the programs lead to full, professional educator certification in South Carolina.


The following are minimum requirements for all alternative certification pathways (except CATE):

  • Did not student teach in a traditional teacher preparation program
  • Conferred Bachelor’s degree
  • Current all-clear FBI/SLED background check


The following programs areavailable in South Carolina:



The Program of Alternative Certification for Educatorsis designed to allow careerchangers who have not completed a traditional teacher education program to enter the teaching profession in critical needs areas. Over a three-year period, qualified PACE participants work toward full certification while teaching in their content area.


The Greenville Alternative Teacher Education Program (GATE) provides authentic teaching experiences in a Greenville County School, supported by a team of on-site professional mentors and coaches. As a Teaching Resident, you are an active member of a learning cohort, teach in your own classroom, receive a teacher salary and participate in ongoing, specialized professional development and coursework.

American Board (ABCTE)

This program allows state public school districts or charter schools to hire individuals who use the American Board process to obtain a South Carolina teaching license in one of the following secondary content areas: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, science, middle level language arts, middle level mathematics, or middle level science.


Upon admittance toTeach For America, participants will be assigned to teach a gradepreschool through grade 12in one of52partner regions across the country. The benefit of joining the TFA program is the chance to immediately gain certification and enter the work field.


The Adjunct Teaching Certificate allows content experts the opportunity to share their expertise in the classroom. Individuals who qualify for this certificate can teach up to two credit-bearing courses in their Adjunct content area over an academic year.


The Career and Technology EducationWork-Based Certification program enables individuals with work experience in career and technology areas who do not meet the regular licensure requirements to be eligible for employment as a 9-12 grade level teacher in a South Carolina public school district.

For additional information concerning these alternative teacher education programs, please visit the South Carolina Department of Education at