Is there any profession more rewarding than teaching? Beyond opening young minds to reading, writing, math, and science, you get to instill a love of learning that can be with them for the rest of their lives. But to become a good teacher, you must first be a good student. And the college you choose can have an impact on your success. If you want to teach in South Carolina, you want a college that can help you grow intellectually, personally, and professionally. Here are some factors to consider:
To teach in South Carolina, you need to graduate from an accredited program. This ensures the curriculum you study meets industry standards and will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need. It also entitles the institution to offer financial aid packages; an important factor to consider if you need help covering the cost of tuition. Be sure to also look at the accreditation of the teaching program, itself. It should be recognized by the South Carolina Board of Education and follow standards set forth by a national accrediting body such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation .
Check out the university’s retention rate. This number shows how many students stay in the program after freshman year. A low retention rate means that students are leaving the program for one reason or another, but a high retention rate shows that the program successfully engages students. The national average retention rate was 75% in 2020, so a teaching program with a higher retention rate indicates student satisfaction. Another metric to consider is the number of alumni still working in the field after five years. More than 44 percent of new teachers leave teaching after five years so if the schools you consider have higher numbers, it may indicate better alumni preparedness for the profession.
Teaching methods evolve over time so it’s critical that the curriculum that teachers the teachers does too. In this digital age, technology is an important classroom tool. Does the college you’re considering offer a rich curriculum that includes communications platforms, web applications, and virtual simulators in multimedia classroom courses? Are there classes on exceptional children and human growth and development? Look for courses that will prepare you to work with a culturally and linguistically diverse student population across the state of South Carolina and beyond. How will what you learn in the classroom ready to run your own? Finally, the curriculum should set you up for licensure, which is required for all teachers in South Carolina.
To become a teacher in South Carolina, you need a minimum of 12 weeks student teaching. Make sure your program prepares you for that classroom opportunity. Your supervised clinical learning in a local classroom helps you apply and reflect upon the concepts you’ve learned. You should also have the chance to participate in internships that allow you to develop professionally and practice teaching.
Check out the faculty credentials to ensure they can teach you theoretical and practical lessons. Have they taught in public schools before? Are they actively involved in teaching organizations and programs at the local, state, and national levels? This experience is valuable because it keeps your faculty updated on the latest practices and standards in the industry. It also allows you to gain insight into the life of a teacher as they share their own successes and failures in the classroom.
One of the best parts of college life is the opportunity to explore your interests through extracurricular activities. Take a look at the type of activities that are offered to teaching majors. An honors society for education majors, such as Pi Lambda Theta, can provide you with access to scholarships and connect you with teaching professionals. Organizations like Educators Rising Collegiate can help you develop as a professional, and programs like Call Me Mister can train you to become a leader in the classroom.
If you’re ready to become a teacher in South Carolina, contact Limestone University today. We offer a teaching program that can prepare you to become an elementary school teacher with optional add-on early childhood education, or a teacher of music, math, or physical education. Click the button to learn more.