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
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.
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:
- Early Childhood Pre-K- Education of Young Children
- K-6-Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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: