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South Carolina Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

Students who are part of the standards-based education of the arts in South Carolina have an excellent opportunity. Thanks to the vision and tenacity of many others who came before them who were dedicated arts educators and laid a strong foundation for the arts in the state. A few years back, South Carolina’s Academic Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts was formed and now serves as the basis for the continuation of the comprehensive sequential arts education system that is currently offered in South Carolina.

These standards guarantee experiences to students giving them the ability to study the arts in public schools. The decision was backed by ten years of ongoing research in South Carolina schools. It was proved that viable arts education programs make a significant impact on students, schools, and teachers. The arts have also shown to impact the states overall economy and stability. As an art teacher candidate taking these simple steps lined out below will allow you to participate in an educational system that supports the arts.

Earn a Degree
Take the South Carolina Exams
Apply for Certification
Continue Your Education

 


 

Step 1. Earn a Degree

Degree Programs

As an art teacher you will need to seek a well-rounded education from an approved institution. The state requires a bachelor’s degree. Of course you may always seek a master’s degree if you choose. These degree programs are all designed so that you will be prepared to teach in your own classroom when you graduate.

The coursework for your first few years of school will have general education classes and some electives. Most art students will choose art related courses as their electives during this time. Your general education work will ground you in the basics: reading, writing, math, science, and history. As you move into the second half of your school years, you will begin attending classes that are more focused on the major. These classes will hone your art skills in all facets of your craft. Your art classes will include the following:

  • Art history and art appreciation- 6 semester hours.
  • Basic techniques of design and color- 6 semester hours.
  • Work devoted to drawing and painting- 6 semester hours.
  • School arts and crafts- 6 semester hours

The final stages of your degree will train you in the areas of teaching. You will learn many of the following:

  • Classroom management.
  • Curriculum development for the arts.
  • Integrated learning.
  • History and art.
  • Culture and art.
  • How students learn.
  • Teaching ESL.

Alternative Program

Another way for you to enter the teaching field is to take a previously earned undergraduate degree and couple that with your professional art experience and start teaching right away under the PACE program.

The PACE program is very selective and is limited in the number of candidates they allow each year. The temporary license they issue will be valid for three years. This allows you time to complete the PACE program requirements. These requisites include:

  • Complete the admission process
  • Secure a position in a local school
  • Complete a PACE training program
  • Complete three college courses with a grade of B from a list of core courses approved by the South Carolina Department of Education
  • Pass the Praxis II Exam

You will learn the following curriculum in a PACE training program:

  • How to manage a Classroom
  • Learning content methods
  • Education course in your core area
  • Educational psychology as it relates to the understanding of human development, learning, and teaching
  • Human development as it relates to education
  • Reading in the arts
  • Gifted and talented children
  • How to perform classroom assessments

 


 

Step 2. Take the South Carolina Exams

New art teacher candidates must take and pass all three Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests. You will have the option of taking all three exams (5712, 5732, 5722) at the same time if you select the Core Academic Skills for Educators: Combined Test (5751) when you register to take the test. If you prefer to take the tests individually, you will register for each by their own individual numbers.

You will also be required to take Art Content Analysis -5135 for grades K-12. This exam will test your knowledge on all facets of art. It is a two-hour test. The test will have questions covering the following:

  • History of art
  • Theories of art
  • How to make certain projects in art
  • Art critique

A study guide is provided to help you prepare for this exam. It is suggested to use this guide prior to registering for your exam so that you feel confident when the time comes to take the test.

If you plan to teach in the lower grades you also need to take the following exams required for elementary school and preschool:

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Certification

Once you have completed your education and exams you are ready to register for your certification. The following are the main items you will need to prepare in order to complete your application. Documents will need to be mailed in either by you or some other party depending on what the document is. For instance, your official transcripts need to be mailed in by your school. Some of these items will take time to set up. The fingerprinting for instance will need to be scheduled. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to perform, all the necessary tasks.

  • Application fee for processing your application.
  • Supply a copy of your social security card.
  • Fill out the Teaching Recommendation Form.
  • License reciprocity form if applicable.
  • Complete your educational program.
  • Pass your state exams.
  • Send in proof of your passing grades on the state exams.
  • Have each school you attended send in your transcripts.
  • You must be electronically fingerprinted. The cost is $105 plus the fee for fingerprinting. You can have your fingerprints taken at Morph Trust services.
  • Experience verification for any work you have performed in the classroom.

Initial Certificate- valid for 3 years

Teachers issued the Initial Certificate and work in a school setting can have their certificates renewed each year for an indefinite period of time. Your employer must make this request. You must meet the 5-year continuing education renewal requirements in order to qualify.

Professional Certificate

You will be eligible for the professional certificate when you have successfully

Completed the program requirements within the three-year program timeframe. This includes added tests that are required by the State Board of Education and a formal evaluation. 

Send all documents and your application to:

Division of School Effectiveness
Office of Educator Services
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223

Fax: (803) 896-0368

Email: licensure@ed.sc.gov (Attachments must be PDF format)

 


 

Step 4. Continue Your Education

South Carolina has a five-year renewal policy. Your educator’s professional certificate will be valid for five years and then it expires on June 30. In order to be eligible for your certificate renewal your will need to have logged a minimum of 120 approved credits during your five-year validity period.

When you consider the requirements for your renewal, you can take professional development courses or you can increase the Professional License by upgrading your education. If your certification started at the initial level with a bachelor’s degree, you will be able to increase your professional status in seniority and earnings by adding continuing educational credits to your existing degree as follows:

  • Bachelor’s degree plus 18 continuing education units.
  • Earn a master’s degree.
  • Master’s degree plus 30 continuing education units.
  • Earn a PhD.

 



 


South Carolina Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in South Carolina (as of the 2012-2013 school year) was $32,306, slightly below the national average of $36,141.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories. The department reports the following annual mean wages and employment numbers as of May 2013:

Occupation Title Employment Mean Annual Salary
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 20,050 48,310
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 9,150 49,010
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 14,310 50,440

However, teacher salaries can vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries and employment figures as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some major cities appears below (note that not all areas track all categories):

Occupation Title Employment Mean Annual Salary
Anderson, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 860 42,890
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 480 49,960
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 410 53,670
 

 

Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 3,260 51,430
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,160 51,120
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,910 52,720
 

 

Columbia, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 3,550 47,330
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,980 47,530
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 2,730 49,480
 

 

Florence, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 730 45,260
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 450 47,050
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 560 47,360
 

 

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 2,530 45,230
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education Data not available 46,000
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 2,430 49,600
 

 

Spartanburg, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,720 52,050
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education Data not available 47,790
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 890 50,350
 

 

Sumter, SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 390 43,780
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 380 45,140

Salary schedules vary by school district and are developed after negotiations with the unions. A list of district minimum teacher salary schedules based on years of teaching experience is available from the state’s education department here.

Information on postsecondary art, music, and drama teacher salaries in various areas of the state can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Employment
Annual Median Salary
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville SC
100
61630
Columbia SC
210
55400
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley SC
190
64520
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
90
39180
Lower Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
50
Estimate Not Released

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