Alternative Certification

Certification and Professional Development Handbook

Administered by Greenville County Schools - Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) Program

GATE is a district-based certification program designed to increase the number of math and science teachers in Greenville County middle level and secondary schools. The program provides an opportunity for a limited number of highly qualified applicants with an undergraduate degree and a major or emphasis in math or science to teach and receive supportive instruction in a GCS classroom. Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) Program information. (Contact: Debra Lee – dslee@greenville.k12.sc.us)

Administered by South Carolina Department of Education – 5 programs

  1. ABCTE (American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence) - This program is administered by the American Board of Certification for Teachers of Excellence (ABCTE). ABCTE certification has been available since 2007. The company is a non-profit organization that provides persons holding at least an undergraduate degree an opportunity to change careers and become certified teachers in the United States. In South Carolina, career changers can seek certification in six (6) high school subjects under ABCTE.
  2. ADJUNCT - This is the newest form of alternative certification. ADJUNCT certification gives experts in the field the ability to share their expertise in the classroom. This is a limited form of certification allowing ADJUNCT certificate holders to teach a maximum of two credit bearing courses per year.
  3. PACE (Program for Alternative Certification for Educators) -The South Carolina State Department of Education has administered PACE, The Program of Alternative Certification for Educators, since 1984. PACE allows individuals to work in our school system who do not have teaching experience and who may be looking for a career change. Candidates are required to have an undergraduate degree in the desired area of certification. The State Department evaluates transcripts and identifies the area the candidate is eligible to teach.
  4. TFA (Teach for America) -Teach for America is a national program designed to recruit a diverse group of high-achieving recent college graduates to teach for two years in high-need, low-income communities.
  5. CATE (Career and Technology Education) - The Career and Technology Education (CATE) Work-Based Certification program assists those in certain vocational fields to enter the academic setting to teach their profession to High School students throughout South Carolina, often through vocational centers. Unlike other alternative certification programs, the CATE program does not require a Bachelor's degree to participate.

Contact information for the 5 state-managed alternative certification programs:

Stacy Forrester, Professional Employment Certification Specialist 
864.355.3174 | Fax: 864.355.9784 | sforrest@greenville.k12.sc.us