South Carolina Teacher Reciprocity
In the modern world, teachers often move across state lines to find the right job and the right environment for their career goals. As a result, teachers have to be able to carry their licensure across state lines with them. As part of the process of facilitating this cross-state movement, many states embrace teacher reciprocity, by which teachers can move their license from one state to another. Wondering about South Carolina’s reciprocity with Texas? Here is a look at moving your South Carolina teaching career to the Lone Star State.
Understanding Teacher Reciprocity
Without teacher reciprocity, educators would have to earn a new certification for every state in which they wished to teach. This requirement would present a significant barrier to individuals who want to pursue their dream career and fulfill a state’s educational needs, in a different part of the country.
Teacher reciprocity addresses this concern by providing a way to honor the qualifications of teachers who were certified in a different state from where they wish to teach. These agreements establish a process for recognizing a teacher’s credentials and ensuring that teachers in each state are both well-qualified and not overburdened when switching states.
Transferring Your South Carolina Certificate to Texas
If you view reciprocity as a state accepting another state’s certifications and automatically granting teaching privileges to an educator from that state, then Texas does not have true reciprocity with any other state.
However, the good news is that you CAN get a Texas teaching certificate using your South Carolina certification, thanks to a credential review process through the Texas Education Agency. Here is the process – It is only 5 steps and can be completed in a matter of a few weeks (Or less).
Create a TEAL account
The credential review process occurs through the TEA. As a result, the first step in credential review is to create a TEA login, known as a TEAL account. Once you set up this account, you will have access to the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).
This is the system through which you will set up your profile, submit documents and fees, and check on the status of your submitted materials. The setup process will only take a matter of minutes and will give you access to a wide range of tools for streamlining your transfer into Texas as an educator.
Apply for a review of credentials
The process of proving that you meet Texas’ requirements for teacher certification is the review of credentials. This process, as its name implies, involves submitting proof of your education and experience in order to demonstrate that you meet Texas’ teaching requirements. The process involves turning in the following documents through the ECOS portal:
- Submit your mailing address in ECOS.
- Fill out an application for review of credentials.
- Submit copies of your standard certifications.
- Request transcripts from each of the colleges or universities you have attended.
- Submit proof of your teaching experience.
You may also need to submit proof of English proficiency if you earned your degree outside the 50 United States.
Submit all of the required documentation
As indicated above, you will need to submit certain documents to support your claims to having adequate education to teach in Texas. Here is a more detailed look at these documents and the purpose they serve in the review of credentials process.
You only need to submit a screenshot of each out-of-state certification you possess. You should turn in these materials even if they are no longer active. However, each certification must be a standard one. You may not be able to complete the review process, or you may need to fulfill further requirements if you have a temporary, substitute, or otherwise insufficient certification.
Transcripts from the places where you have studied demonstrate that you have an appropriate level of education to teach in Texas. You should also submit transcripts from any teacher education and certification prep program you attended. You can have the institution email the documents directly to the TEA, or you can mail a hard copy of the transcripts to the TEA yourself.
You may also need to verify the teaching experience you claim to have before you can enjoy South Carolina teacher reciprocity with Texas. All you have to do is have your previous employer fill out the appropriate form to confirm your level of educator experience.
Determine your Test Exemption Status
You may be required to take tests to earn your Texas teaching certification when you move over from South Carolina. Here are some of the guidelines:
1 year of full-time, paid teaching experience for test exemption
2 years of full-time, paid teaching experience for administrators
3 years of full-time experience in your chosen certificate area OR proof that you took the subject tests in another state
Submit your test scores if you took subject tests in another state
Apply for your Texas Certification
Finally, once all essential documents are submitted and, if necessary, tests are taken and passed, you can apply for your Texas certificate. This process can take from one week to about 4 weeks, depending upon how busy the TEA is. In addition, you will need to do the following:
Undergo a national criminal background check.
Submit your fingerprints.
Once your certificate comes through, you will be able to access it through your ECOS portal.
Need to take some tests to get your certification? Looking for a prep program that you can take before you even move to Texas? Try Teacher Builder. With free applications and a 100 percent online program, we make it fast, and flexible, to succeed at your teaching goals.
This article does not contain legal, educational, or government advice. As regulations can change from time to time, readers are advised to check with their local education departments to receive up-to-date information.