HCS offering information session on alternative certification

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County Schools is in the process of hiring around 250 teachers for next school year and is holding an information session about alternative certification Thursday, according to Spokesperson for Horry County School District, Lisa Bourcier.

Recruitment started in January and the district has already started making job offers. According to Bourcier, leaders are hoping to complete the hiring process over the summer.

Alternative certification allows people to take different routes when seeking ways to become a teacher. There are different programs that offer alternative certification like American Board and Program of Alternative Certification for Education, or PACE.

One teacher at Socastee High School went through the process of alternative certification. Robert MacLeod teaches math. He spent 27 years in the Coast Guard and decided when he got out he wanted to teach, but said he didn't want to go back to school.

MacLeod said he chose to go through the American Board for his certification. He paid them a fee that he said costs less than a college class and was given the materials to study and prepare for testing. When he was ready, as long as it was within the timeframe of a year, he said he took and passed two tests and then got a provisional certificate to be hired in the state of South Carolina.

He said he liked that he could go at his own pace with learning the material.

“The only requirement I believe for the American board was to have a bachelor's degree,” said MacLeod, “So, if you've already got a bachelor's degree and you want to be a teacher, I think this is definitely the way to go. It's a lot quicker and a lot less expensive definitely."

Bourcier said at the meeting about alternative certification, people will be learning what it takes to receive the certificate as well as go over human resource questions regarding the hiring process, benefits and insurance.

The meeting is at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Horry County Schools administration building on 335 Four Mile Road.

Click here for more information about the alternative certification process or the meeting.

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