Coker University to Launch New Program to Address Need for Qualified Educators in South Carolina

    Coker University to Launch New Program to Address Need for Qualified Educators in South Carolina


    Coker University recently announced the approval of its Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification (APEC) Program, which aims to address the critical shortage of qualified educators in South Carolina. 

    "We are thrilled to receive approval from the South Carolina State Board of Education for the Coker APEC program," said Dr. Lisa Stockdale, Dean of the School of Education at Coker University. "This program represents our dedication to creating accessible and effective pathways for individuals within the Pee Dee who are passionate about pursuing a career in teaching."

    The APEC program provides a pathway for career changers and employees of partnering school districts to become certified classroom teachers. Participants, known as APEC Fellows, receive certification area-specific coursework, ongoing support, and mentoring as they engage in a year-long work-embedded teacher residency alongside a veteran mentor teacher. 

    This comprehensive program is designed to support the development of effective educators and prepare them for success before they enter the classroom as the teacher of record with alternative certification.

    The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) recently awarded Coker University’s Center of Excellence for Alternative Pathways for Educator Certification (APEC) Program $120,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 to replicate the APEC Program originally established at Columbia College. Coker APEC will serve employees of partnering school districts in the Pee Dee Region. 

    Coker APEC Fellows will have the opportunity to seek certification in the following areas: 

    • Art Education (PreK-12), Biology Education (9-12), 
    • Dance Education (PreK-12),
    • Early Childhood Education (PreK-3), 
    • Elementary Education (2-6), 
    • Mathematics Education (9-12), 
    • Music Education, 
    • Choral & Instrumental (PreK-12), and 
    • Physical Education (PreK-12). 

    Coker APEC is accepting applications for its inaugural cohort, set to commence in May 2024. For more information about the Coker APEC program and application details, please visit the Coker APEC Program -

    The Coker University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve this program at the April 2024 meeting.