South Carolina's department of education promotes continuous professional development for over 54,000 teachers. Part of this professional development process includes advancing through progressive levels of certification as teachers renew their teaching certificates. Moving from an initial certificate to a professional certificate involves passing exams and completing additional education in order to earn renewal credits.
Renewal Requirements for South Carolina Teachers
|Average Salary for Teachers in South Carolina (2017)*||$50,510 (Elementary); $52,400 (Middle School); $53,960 (High School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree and completion of approved education preparation program for initial certification; continuing education courses for professional certification|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Renewing an Initial Certificate
South Carolina public school teachers are initially granted a teaching certificate valid for three years. After this three-year period, the school district where they are employed may request to have the certificate renewed. Teachers can move to professional certification by passing the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam if they haven't already done so as part of their initial certification. The Praxis PLT exam includes different versions depending on the grade level an educator teaches. The early childhood PLT test requires a passing score of 157. For the tests covering grades K-6 and 5-9, the passing score is 160. For the test version covering grades 7-12, a passing score is 157.
Beyond this exam, South Carolina teachers must also complete an evaluation through Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT). This process involves a classroom observation designed to assess a teacher's ability to plan a class, execute instruction, maintain a good learning environment, and exhibit professionalism. Evaluations may also include a review of students' work to determine if learning objectives have been met. At the end of each school year, teachers' information is reviewed. If the testing and evaluation requirements have been met, a teacher's initial certificate automatically upgrades to the professional level.
Renewing a Professional Certificate
Educators who hold a professional certificate in South Carolina must renew it every five years. During those five years, teachers must accrue 120 renewal credits. Teachers can earn these credits by completing relevant college courses or taking a renewal course through the state's department of education. Additional options include contributing to publications, instructing at a university or at a conference, completing professional training, and conducting educational research.
Beyond earning these points, educators may be required to complete graduate coursework and suicide awareness training. Additionally, from 2020 forward, teachers renewing a professional certificate must earn a Read to Succeed endorsement. Once earned, the renewal credits must be verified and approved by a teacher's district. District renewal coordinators handle renewal requests, and relevant transcripts and certificates of completion should be submitted to them.
Certification Resources for South Carolina Teachers
South Carolina educators seeking to move to the professional level of certification may find the following resource helpful as they prepare for their Praxis PLT test.