State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - South Carolina

April 2018


The data included in this 50-state comparison is specific to school leader preparation program and certification requirements. There may be additional requirements that are not indicated. For additional information, questions or comments, please contact Deven Scott at

Has the state adopted leadership standards? Yes. South Carolina has adopted principal performance standards. Source
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? South Carolina State Board of Education S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-64
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. Administrator preparation programs must align with state-adopted principal performance standards. Source
Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. All educator and school personnel preparation programs must provide a field experience/practicum. At the initial graduate level, all candidates must complete a minimum of 75 hours of field experience prior to clinical practice. Source
Does state policy allow for innovative or experimental preparation programs? Yes. Educator and school personnel preparation programs may seek approval to offer experimental or innovative certification programs. Source
Certification and Licensure
What are the initial school leader certification requirements? To qualify for an Elementary or Secondary School Principal and Supervisor (Tier 1) Certificate, a candidate must:
  • Hold a valid South Carolina Educator's Professional Certificate at the elementary/secondary level
  • Hold a master's degree
  • Complete an advanced board-approved preparation program for elementary/secondary principals and supervisors
  • Have at least three years of teaching experience, including at least one year of teaching in grades P-8/7- 12
  • Receive a passing score on the Praxis II: Education Leadership assessment.
S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-64
What are the requirements for school leaders licensed out-of-state? Out-of-state applicants are held to the same education, work experience and assessment requirements as in-state candidates. Source
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? A Tier 1 Alternative Route for Career Changers certification for elementary or secondary school principal or supervisor may be issued to a candidate meeting specified requirements who receives a recommendation from the superintendent of a South Carolina public school district. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-64

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