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College of Education

Professional Practices and Praxis Exams

Professional Practices

According to the South Carolina State Department of Education, a criminal record could prevent a person enrolled in a teacher education program in South Carolina from being licensed as a teacher in this state in accordance with State Board of Education guidelines. Section 59-25-115 of the South Carolina Code of Laws specifies that before beginning the full-time clinical teaching experience in South Carolina, a teacher education candidate shall undergo a state criminal records check by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and a national criminal records check supported by fingerprints by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The applicant is responsible for the cost associated with the FBI background checks. Information reported relative to prior arrests or convictions will be reviewed by the State Department of Education and, when warranted the State Board of Education, according to board guidelines.

A teacher education candidate with prior arrests or convictions of a serious nature that could affect his/her fitness to teach in the public schools of South Carolina may be denied the opportunity to complete the clinical experience, and thus affect eligibility for initial teacher licensure. An individual who is denied this opportunity as a result of prior arrests or convictions, after one year, may request reconsideration under the guidelines established by the State Board of Education.

The criminal records check will be handled through the Office of Educator Services at the South Carolina State Department of Education and will be considered phase one of a person’s application for teaching credential. Provided the criminal records check is conducted within 18 months of the time the teacher candidate formally applies for a teaching license, the fingerprinting will not have to be repeated at the time of application. A graduate of a teacher education program applying for initial licensure must have completed the FBI fingerprint process within 18 months of formally applying for initial teacher licensure or the fingerprint process must be repeated. The background check normally requires six to eight weeks to process. If the electronic fingerprints cannot be processed, the South Carolina State Department will inform the individual that it will be necessary to complete another electronic fingerprinting appointment.

Additionally, College of Education teacher candidates must complete a SLED check, a National Sex Offender check and a Tuberculosis (TB) test prior to beginning field and practicum experiences in public schools. Candidates complete field and practicum experiences prior to the full time clinical teaching experience. Therefore, the teacher education candidate will complete a SLED check for field and practicum experiences and a SLED and FBI background check for the full time clinical teaching experience.

Licensure should be requested within five years of completion of any program leading to licensure.  After five years, the College of Education may not be able to recommend candidates for a license due to potential changes in licensure requirements and programs.

While the College of Education recommends graduates for licensure, the South Carolina State Department of Education is the state licensing body and makes final decisions regarding individual licenses. With regard to state certification for non-Clemson education students, please see State Licensure/Certification Information.

Here are instructions for completing the South Carolina State Department of Education online application for a South Carolina Teaching Certification.

Educational Leadership

Graduate programs in the College of Education in school counseling and educational leadership also lead to advanced licensure/certification. For information about principal/superintendent licensure/certification or add-on licensure/certification, please contact Jen Hall (864-656-7692), 100 Tillman Hall.

School Counseling

Students must meet the requirements of the School Counseling program and minimum field experiences for initial licensure.