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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 public/charter schools and SCDE-operated programs 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 2020-2021

  • SC-CREATE begins Year 18 operation with the 2020-21 school year.
  • All individuals employed full-time by a SC public/charter school or by a SCDE-operated program are eligible for SC-CREATE scholarship funds, including teachers, teacher assistants, non-instructional staff, and central office staff (in 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 textbooks 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. Recipients pursuing add-on programs in related services (BCBA, O&M, STS) and degree programs (Bachelor's, MAT, MSSLP, 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.

Funded Programs

  • Behavior Interventionist (add-on program): Francis Marion University and USC Columbia offer program coursework that leads to Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) national certification. FMU’s program is distance/online. USCC’s program is after-school/campus-only. Individuals must first be nominated by the school district.

    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 school district.

    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 school district.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Nominee:

    • Bachelors or masters degree in early childhood, elementary, or special education; and
    • Valid SC educator license in early childhood, elementary, or special education; and
    • Teaching experience in early childhood, elementary, 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 school district.

    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 teaching Emotional Disabilities through the Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE)-ED. 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 Bachelor’s degree program (online/after-school-campus courses) that leads to initial licensure in Multi-categorical Special Education. No previous college coursework required for CREATE funding. USC Aiken offers a Bachelor’s degree program (distance/online courses) that leads to initial licensure in Multi-categorical Special education. Sixty credits (60 cr.) of completed/transfer coursework required for CREATE funding. All individuals employed as teacher assists/paraeducators and other non-instructional staff are eligible for either program. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Special Education Teacher (MAT degree): Converse College, Francis Marion 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 online/after-school-campus coursework leading to initial licensure in ID or LD. USC Columbia offers online/after-schoo-/campus coursework leading to initial licensure in ED, ID, LD, or Severe Disabilities. FMU offers a fully distance/online program leading to initial licensure in LD. USC Upstate offers a fully distance/online program leading to initial licensure in VI. All individuals who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a non-education area (any major) and who do not hold a SC educator license are eligible for the MAT program. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.
  • Speech-Language Pathologist (MSSLP degree): USC Columbia offers a fully distance/online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MSSLP) degree program leading to State licensure in SLP. All individuals who hold a Bachelor’s degree (any major; education or non-education) are eligible. No district nomination required. All CREATE applications accepted.