Professional Certification

Certified employees who have completed coursework for an advanced degree or certification (bachelor's + 18 hours, masterís, master's + 30 hours or doctorate) and desire an updated certificate must request that their college or university submit transcripts to the State Department of Education, Office of Teacher Certification.The employee must also submit a Change-Of-Action form to the Office of Teacher Certification in order that an updated certificate can be issued. Teachers advancing their degree beyond B+18 must be in a program approved by the SDE.If a teacher completes requirements for an additional area(s) of certification, the area(s) may not be added to the certificate without a written request to the Office of Teacher Certification from the teacher.Teachers should submit a Change-Of-Action form to the Office of Teacher Certification of any changes in name, address, etc. in order to receive timely responses to questions.The address is as follows:


Office of Teacher Certification

Office of Teacher Quality

Landmark II Office Bldg.

3700 Forest Drive, Suite 500

Columbia, SC29204


Click link below for state certification information

Division of Teacher Quality



No Child Left Behind
The State Department of Education has published a draft of the NCLB requirements for our state.You may view or download a copy of the document in WORD by clicking this link:


South Carolina No Child Left Behind Regulations

Valid Teaching Certificates

The South Carolina professional teaching credential is valid for five years.For credential renewal, six hours of renewal credit must be earned during the five-year period of the certificate.Click the link below for information on professional certificates:

Professional Certificates


All certified employees must maintain valid teaching certification from the South Carolina Department of Education.Such certification must be obtained prior to the first day of their contract period.


Requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Each teacher is required to earn at least six semester hours of college credit during each five-year period of employment or the equivalency as approved by the State Committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools until 30 semester hours have been earned or until the teacher reaches the age of 60, whichever comes first.These six semester hours must be in the areas of work designed to increase the competency of the teacher in the area or at the grade level being taught.


Changes in Certificates

Since certificate changes are not reported by the State Department of Education to the district, it is the responsibility of certified personnel to ensure that the Human Resources Office always has a copy of the current teaching certificate for inclusion in the employee's personnel file.A change in salary cannot be made until a copy of the new certificate is submitted to the Human Resources Office.Adjustments to salary due to changes in certification are made retroactive to the valid date shown on the face of the certificate.


Teaching Experience

In order for a teacher to receive a year of experience, the teacher must be employed in a regular position for at least 152 days of paid full-time employment.Full-time employment is based upon a minimum of 30 hours per week.The teacher who has been employed in a regular teaching position for at least 76 days of full-time teaching may receive one-half year of experience for certification and retirement purposes.Two half-years of verified experience could be combined to give one full year of experience.



In the few instances where a request for a permit must be made, the State Department of Education guidelines listed below must be followed:

1.     Only the superintendent can request a permit.The request must be made by October 15.

2.    A teacher must have a valid South Carolina teaching certificate in order to be eligible for a permit to teach out-of-field with a minimum of 12 hours in the field the permit is to be requested.

3.    Permits are valid for a period of one year.

An additional six semester hours of credit toward full certification is required for renewal of the permit.

*Permits are not available for Title One Schools.A proposal has been submitted to the General Assembly to amend State Board of Education regulations to phase out or limit all of the above waivers or substandard teaching certificates by July 1, 2006. Teachers who currently hold waiver or substandard certificates may earn professional certification by fulfilling the appropriate requirements found in State Board of Education Regulations.