State education officials have cleared a nonprofit to begin training and licensing middle school teachers who have a college degree, but not in education.
The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) said this week it had been authorized by the South Carolina Department of Education to provide additional teacher certification in middle level language arts, science and mathematics. The program is already offered for potential high school teachers.
Lollie Onipede of the American Board told South Carolina Radio Network that the new authorization expands their service in getting educators what they need to teach in the state. “What we’re doing is preparing, certifying them and walking them through the steps.”
ABCTE is one of several “alternative” routes that future teachers can take to get certified outside of the traditional higher education degree. Onipede said they will help provide more teacher certifications for the state, which is experiencing a shortage of educators, particularly in low-income districts. “The new South Carolina middle school educator certifications will increase the number of high-quality teachers that South Carolina needs and reduce the teacher shortage the state currently faces,” she said.
For certification in South Carolina, candidates must complete the required The American Board curriculum and assessments. Teacher candidates must also meet the state criteria:
• Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university.
• Teach for 3 years, complete induction and formal teacher evaluation requirements, and pass the Praxis exam in Principles of Learning and Teaching.
To date, The American Board has certified more than 5000 educators nationwide. The American Board says it has certified more than 950 teachers in South Carolina since 2007.