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Mission of the Program

SC-CREATE is a scholarship program sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Education Office of Special Education Services (Rebecca C. Davis, Director). Initiated in 2003, the mission of the program is to increase the number of highly qualified, credentialed professionals in SC local education agency (LEA) public schools who serve the needs of students with disabilities. Through a collaborative partnership with SC colleges, SC-CREATE underwrites course tuition and textbook costs for individuals pursuing initial, alternative, and add-on licensure programs in special education and related services. Recognized by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education's (NASDSE) Personnel Improvement Center as a model, grow-your-own program, the American Council on Rural Special Education honored SC-CREATE with the Exemplary Special Education Program for In-service/Pre-Service Preparation award in 2015.

News for 2021-2022

  • SC-CREATE begins Year 19 operation with the 2021-22 school year.
  • Lander University will offer the State's first fully distance/online MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degree program in Multi-categorical special education resulting in initial SC educator licensure. A cohort of 18 CREATE students (who hold a Bachelor's degree in a non-education field) will begin coursework in the Spring 2022 semester.
  • All individuals employed full-time by a SC LEA public school are eligible for SC-CREATE scholarship funds, including teachers, teacher assistants, non-instructional staff, and central office staff (non-leadership positions).
  • Scholarship funds (tuition waivers) are placed on student accounts at colleges where recipients are enrolled. Out-of-pocket payment is not required. SC-CREATE reimburses for textbook costs and Praxis II exam registration fees (initial licensure only).
  • Funds are awarded on a first-come basis. Recipients take up to 6-8 credits (1 to 3 courses) in each of the fall and spring semesters. More course scholarship funds may be awarded in the summer semester as funds allow.
  • Recipients pursuing add-on programs in special education may take coursework at one/more CREATE-sponsored colleges, unless indicated otherwise. Recipients pursuing add-on programs in related services (BCBA, O&M, STS) and degree programs (Bachelor's, MAT, Master's, Specialist) must take all coursework at the respective CREATE-sponsored college where they are enrolled, unless transfer coursework is approved in advance by their college advisor.

Credential Areas

  • Behavior Interventionist (add-on program): Francis Marion University and USC Columbia offer a program coursework that leads to national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). FMU’s program is fully distance/online. USCC’s program includes online and campus courses. Individuals must first be nominated by the local education agency.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Nominee:

    • Masters degree in special education (or related field); and
    • SC educator license in special education (any area); and
    • Teaching experience in special education.
    Approved nominees then complete a special version of the SC-CREATE application.
  • Orientation & Mobility Specialist (add-on program): USC Upstate offers a program of online and campus (summers) coursework that leads to Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) national certification. Individuals must first be nominated by the local education agency.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Nominee:

    • Masters degree in special education (or related field); and
    • Valid SC educator license in visual impairments; and
    • Teaching experience in special education.
    Approved nominees then complete a special version of the SC-CREATE application.
  • School Psychologist (Specialist degree): The Citadel and Francis Marion University offer a Specialist degree program that leads to State licensure in school psychology. The Citadel’s program is after-school/campus-only. FMU’s program is distance/online. Individuals must first be nominated by the local education agency.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Nominee:

    • Bachelor's or master's in general or special education; and
    • Valid SC educator license in general or special education; and
    • Teaching experience in general or special education.
    Approved nominees then complete a special version of the SC-CREATE application.
  • Secondary Transition Specialist (add-on program): SCDE prescribes a program of coursework that leads to add-on licensure as a secondary transition specialist. All coursework is available online through USC Columbia. Individuals must first be nominated by the local education agency.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Nominee:

    • Masters degree in special education (or related field); and
    • SC educator license in special education (any area); and
    • Teaching experience in special education.
    Approved nominees then complete a special version of the SC-CREATE application.
  • Special Education Teacher (add-on program): SCDE prescribes programs of coursework leading to add-on licensure in teaching Early Childhood Special Education, Emotional Disabilities, Hearing Impairments, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Multi-categorical Special Education, Severe Disabilities, and Visual Impairments. All individuals who hold a valid, current SC educator license (instructional areas) are eligible. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Special Education Teacher (alternative program): SCDE prescribes a program of three graduate courses, all available online, for individuals pursuing alternative licensure in special education through the Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). Individuals who hold a degree in psychology or sociology and who do not hold a SC educator license are eligible. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Special Education Teacher (Bachelor’s degree): Columbia College offers a fully distance/online Bachelor’s degree program that leads to initial licensure in Multi-categorical Special Education. No previous college coursework is required for CREATE funding. USC Aiken also offers a Bachelor’s degree program (distance/online and campus courses) that leads to initial licensure in Multi-categorical Special education. Sixty (60) credits of completed/transfer coursework are required for CREATE funding. All individuals employed as teacher assistants/paraeducators and other non-instructional staff who do not hold a Bachelor’s degree are eligible for either program. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Special Education Teacher (MAT degree): Converse College, Francis Marion University, Lander University, USC Columbia and USC Upstate offer Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree programs that lead to initial licensure in various special education areas. Converse offers an MAT in ID or LD (online/after-school-campus/summer courses) leading to initial licensure. Lander offers an MAT in Multi-cat Special Education (fully distance/online) leading to initial licensure. USC Columbia offers an MAT in ED, ID, LD or Severe Disabilities (online/after-school-campus/summer courses) leading to initial licensure. FMU offers an MAT in LD (fully distance/online) leading to initial licensure. USC Upstate offers an MAT in VI (fully distance/online program) leading to initial licensure. All individuals who hold a Bachelor’s and/or Master's degree in a non-education area (any major) and who do not hold a SC educator license in an instructional area are eligible for the MAT program. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Speech-Language Pathologist (Master's degree): USC Columbia offers a Master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology (fully distance/online) that results in initial SC educator licensure. Individuals who hold a Bachelor’s degree (any major; education or non-education areas) are eligible. Full CREATE funding available after completion of pre-requisite/background courses. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.