Part Time Teaching Licenses: South Carolina

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy


The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.

Nearly meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Part Time Teaching Licenses: South Carolina results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of South Carolina's policies

South Carolina offers the Adjunct License as a part-time license with minimal requirements. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher in the intended teaching field or a passing score on a subject-matter exam. Candidates must also have five years of occupational experience in a related field.

The state requires that the applicant's teaching position be less than a 0.5 full-time equivalent position and not exceed two-credit-bearing courses in an academic year. Employment under this license must not displace a certified teacher already employed.


Recommendations for South Carolina

Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
South Carolina is commended for offering a license that increases districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position. Although this license is designed to enable individuals who have significant content knowledge to teach, South Carolina should still require a subject-matter test of all candidates, including those with a major in the intended teaching field.  While the state does require relevant work experience and a content degree, only a subject-matter test ensures that teachers on the Adjunct License know the specific content they will need to teach.

State response to our analysis

South Carolina was helpful in providing NCTQ the facts necessary for this analysis.

Research rationale

The origin of this goal is the effort to find creative solutions to the STEM crisis. While teaching waivers are not typically used this way, teaching waivers could be used to allow competent professionals from outside of education to be hired as part-time instructors to teach courses such as Advanced Placement chemistry or calculus as long as the instructor demonstrates content knowledge on a rigorous test. See NCTQ, "Tackling the STEM Crisis" at:

For the importance of teachers' general academic ability, see R. Ferguson, "Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation 28 (1991), 465-498.

For more on math and science content knowledge, see D. Monk and J.R. King, "Subject Area Preparation of Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers and Student Achievement," Economics of Education Review 12, no. 2 (1994), 125-145; R. Murnane, "Understanding the Sources of Teaching Competence: Choices, Skills, and the Limits of Training," Teachers College Record 84, no. 3 (1983)