Teacher helping a student with other students at their desks in the background

Student Teaching - Internship

School of Education

Student Teaching: Internship

The internship component of the teacher education program is required by the South Carolina Department of Education. It is the culminating experience in preparation for a career in education. The Field Experience Office will place student teachers in school districts that have entered into a cooperative agreement with USC Aiken. That district will assign a Cooperating Teacher that meets the criteria set forth by the SC Department of Education and the university. 

Candidates applying for admission to the Student Teaching Internship must meet the following criteria:

1. Be fully admitted to the Professional Program at least one full semester before the internship semester.
2. Have successfully completed (Or have the prior consent of the dean):

a. ALL coursework, other than Internship and Senior Seminar
b. The Writing Proficiency Portfolio (or passed ENGL A201)
c. All Writing Intensive Courses for the University
d. All ICE Credits

3. Have a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the semester proceeding internship AND have a “C” or better in:

a. All education courses, to include pre-professional and professional
b. All subject area course requirements
c. General Education Courses: ENGL A101, ENGL A102, MATH A108, COMM A201 or A241

S.C. Department of Education Internship Certificate

The Internship Certificate allows a school district to employ an eligible student-teacher as the teacher of record while that student also completes all requirements of the university’s clinical experience. The student-teacher will not have a Cooperating Teacher in the classroom but will have a University Supervisor from the School of Education and a Mentor from the school district. This type of experience is not for everyone. Only students who meet the highest levels in the areas of knowledge, skills, and disposition should apply.

Process for Interns:

  • Indicate your desire to participate by completing the Internship Certificate section of the USC Aiken Internship application, due by Internship Certificate. 
  • School of Education faculty will review applicants for demonstrated evidence in the areas of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that indicate the applicant is exceedingly prepared for this advanced challenge. Recommendations will be made to the dean for final approval.
  • Interested applicants will attend a mandatory meeting to discuss the program and help them make an informed decision concerning participation.
  • The School of Education must receive passing scores for the Praxis PLT and Subject Assessment test(s) before the stated deadline.
  • Names of those who have indicated interest, been approved by the faculty and Dean, and successfully completed all praxis requirements will be available to school districts as eligible applicants for this program.
  • School Districts will review the applicants and their employment needs. They will notify the SC Department of Education and USC Aiken School of Education if they wish to proceed with the process, which would include:
    • Student interview with School District
    • Official letters and agreements signed by SC Dept. of ED, School district, USC Aiken School of Education, and Intern Certificate candidate.

Internship Application Process

All components of the USC Aiken Internship Application, the South Carolina Department of Education Application, and the associated fee must be fully completed within two weeks of advisement, one year before a student's planned internship. (See date chart below) The fingerprint process must then be completed by the last CLASS DAY of the semester.

Semester of Internship

- USC Aiken Application Due Date*

- SCDOE Application Due Date*

- SCDOE Application Fee Due Date*
SCDOE Fingerprint Completion
Fall 2023 November 15, 2022 End of Fall 2022 Semester
Spring 2024 April 15, 2023 End of Spring 2023 Semester
Fall 2024 November 15, 2023 End of Fall 2023 Semester
Spring 2025 April 15, 2024 End of Spring 2024 Semester
*if the due date falls on a weekend, the application will be due the following business day

Please read all directions before clicking any links.

STEP 1 of 3

Complete the USC Aiken School of Education Internship Application within two weeks of advisement, one year before the internship (see date chart above).

Internship Application

On the application, you will be given the option of “requesting” a specific district and three specific schools in that district. However, the School of Education reserves the right to deny these requests based on Cooperating Teacher availability, SC Dept. of Education requirements, and School of Education requirements.

STEP 2 of 3:

Register a New Users account at the South Carolina Department of Education Certification Application Technology Services (CATS) portal.  Complete the Student Teaching Application AND pay the application fee (SCDOE processing fee $105.00) within two weeks of advisement, one year before internship (see date chart above). 

Once you complete your application and pay the fee, your name will populate a “Student Teacher” list at the SCDOE for the term in which you will Intern. The USC Aiken School of Education can view this list and know you have completed this requirement.  You will show a status of “incomplete” until you complete step 3.

STEP 3 of 3:

Using the account you created in step 2, schedule a fingerprint appointment at one of the locations listed.

Once your fingerprints are taken, an automatic national background check will be initiated.  When the background check is successfully completed, your “Student Teaching” status will change from “incomplete” to “cleared.”  This designation not only clears you to student teach but also to ultimately receive your SC State “Teaching Certificate” (once ALL University, Praxis, and SC Department of Education requirements have been met). 

NOTE: The USC Aiken School of Education can view this student list, but nothing more.  This process is between you and the SCDOE, so until you reach the status of cleared. You will need to log into your account throughout this process to see if there have been “holds” placed on your account or if further information is needed.