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College of Education

Teaching Fellows

Teaching Fellows Program at Clemson University College of Education

Clemson University is a proud participant in the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, designed to recruit high-achieving, talented high school seniors into the teaching profession and equip them to become effective and successful educators. Each year, the program provides state-funded fellowships for South Carolina students who wish to pursue an education degree and a career in South Carolina’s public schools.

Fellows receive up to $6,000 per year for four years in forgivable student loans while they complete coursework that leads to S.C. teacher licensure. Fellows agree to teach in South Carolina public schools one year for every year they are fellows. Teaching Fellows awards can be combined with other state scholarships and loans.

Freshmen in the Teaching Fellows program are encouraged to live in the Teaching Fellows Living Learning Community (LLC), which will provide additional support and help students build relationships with other Fellows outside of the academic environment.

Additional experiences exclusive to teaching fellows will include seminars, professional development and service learning opportunities, additional school placements, advocacy experiences, field trips, and social gatherings.

Clemson is one of only 11 institutions in the state identified as a South Carolina Teaching Fellows institution. The Teaching Fellows program is administered through the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA). More information can be found at

Hear About Teaching Fellows from Students

  • Eligible Majors
  • Application Process

    Here is the complete information on the Teaching Fellows application process.

    The selection process for Teaching Fellows emphasizes academic accomplishment, school and community involvement, and leadership skills. To apply for the Teaching Fellows Program, a student must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien legally authorized to be in the U.S.
    • Be a legal resident of South Carolina
    • Be a high school senior or junior graduating early.
    • Complete an online application for the program. The application window is open from September December 1.

    Once you have applied to the Teaching Fellows Program on the CERRA website, your application will be reviewed. Qualifying applicants will receive an invitation in early January to attend an interview day in February where they interview in front of a team of three educators, deliver a short presentation on an assigned topic, and write an essay in response to a prompt. During the interview, applicants will be able to select Clemson University as their top institution of choice. Applicants will also need to apply for admission to Clemson University. Award notifications will be made in early spring.

  • Being A Fellow

    While enrolled in the Teaching Fellows Program, students must:

    • Maintain successful progress toward S.C. teacher licensure.
    • Successfully complete 30 semester hours per academic year.
    • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8.
    • Attend Clemson University College of Education and Teaching Fellows events and activities as assigned.
    • Clemson University Teaching Fellows Handbook 2023-2024
  • Why Teaching Fellows?

    The Teaching Fellows program prepares future teachers to positively impact education in South Carolina. Because Teaching Fellows have agreed to teach in a South Carolina public school one year for every year they have accepted the fellowship funds, most fellows are indebted for four years of service to the state. Current data shows that 77% of Teaching Fellows graduates who have taught for the required number of years to satisfy their loan through service are still employed in districts across the state. This retention rate is remarkable when compared to the attrition rate among teachers in the first five years of their career. Several studies have found that as many as 50% of new teachers leave within the first five years of entry into the profession (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004). Teaching Fellows participate in advanced professional development from their first year in the program. The professional development includes diversity education, leadership development, advocacy, and the use of technology to improve student achievement. The Teaching Fellows program helps prepare these novice teachers to lead from the beginning of their careers.

  • Teaching Fellows One-Page Brochure
  • Hear From College Leadership
  • Contact Us

    Staci Koonce 
    Campus Director, Clemson Teaching Fellows
    College of Education