Add-On Certification

Adding Teaching Fields by Exam

An educator may add designated classroom teaching certification fields to a current, valid Professional educator certificate by presenting a qualifying score on the subject area assessment adopted for certification purposes in the area by the SBE.


Limitations and Exclusions for Adding by Exam

Adding a certification field by exam, as outlined in the Guidelines and Requirements for Adding Certification Fields and Endorsements, is an option only for educators who have advanced to a current, valid Professional educator certificate issued by the SCDE. This document establishes the guidelines and requirements for educators seeking to add classroom teaching certification fields and specialized endorsements to existing educator certificates and supports State Board of Education (SBE) Regulation 43-62 Requirements for Additional Areas of Certification.


Certificate Restrictions

Educators holding the following types of South Carolina educator certificates are not eligible to add a certification field by exam:

  • Initial certificate,
  • Alternative Route certificate (prior to advancing to a Professional certificate),
  • International certificate,
  • Limited Professional certificate, or
  • Adjunct certificate.


Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education

The following limitations apply to educators seeking to add these areas by method of exam.
  • The area of Early Childhood Education may be added by method of exam only if the educator holds a current, valid Professional certificate in Elementary Education.
  • The area of Elementary Education may be added by method of exam only if the educator holds a current, valid Professional certificate in Early Childhood Education.


Special Education

The following Special Education fields focus on services provided to students with sensory impairments and may not be added by method of exam.
  • Special Education: Visual Impairments
  • Special Education: Hearing Impairments

The following Special Education fields may be added by method of exam only if the educator holds a current, valid Professional certificate in another area of Special Education.

  • Special Education: Early Childhood
  • Special Education: Emotional Disabilities
  • Special Education: Intellectual Disabilities
  • Special Education: Learning Disabilities
  • Special Education: Multi-categorical
  • Special Education: Severe Disabilities


Speech-Language Therapist

An educator who has completed an advanced program and is certified only in the service field of Speech-Language Therapist is eligible to add the following classroom teaching fields by coursework or by exam as indicated. All other classroom teaching fields must be added by completion of an approved program.

  • Special Education Fields (excluding Visual and Hearing Impairments)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (not available to add by exam)
  • Literacy Teacher (not available to add by exam)


World Language

American Sign Language may not be added by method of exam.


ESOL and Literacy

The certification fields of ESOL, Literacy Teacher, Literacy Coach, and Literacy Specialist require specialized preparation and may not be added by method of exam.


Other Exclusions

Certification fields for which a subject area assessment is not available or has not been adopted by the SBE may be added only by completion of an approved preparation program or coursework requirements as outlined in this document.


Eligible Fields

Please review the Summary Chart - Options for Adding Teaching Fields to a Teaching Certificate for eligible fields and any limitations that may apply.


Add-On Requirements

Educators that meet eligibility criteria may complete an approved Subject Area Assessment that corresponds with an eligible classroom teaching field to apply for add-on.

The completed exam must be a currently accepted subject area assessment; please contact the Office of Educator Services if you completed an examination that is no longer offered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) in order to verify eligibility.


Add-On Experience Credit 

Adding Experience Credit is the responsibility of the employee. Visit for information and procedures on adding additional experience.


Application Materials

Once all eligibility criteria are met, educators must submit all of the following documents in order to apply for a given field to be added to their certificate: