Leading the Way 

Columbia College is leading the way in alternative certification in South Carolina. The College received a five-year grant from the SC Commission on Higher Education to research and develop a quality alternative certification program. The Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification program, called APEC, is ideal for career changers and employees of our partnering school districts who are interested in teacher certification but need a program that supports working adults. The APEC Program prepares our students through coursework, classroom experiences, and mentoring to become successful classroom teachers. 

Our APEC Program was one of three South Carolina initiatives recognized for its effectiveness in improving student outcomes in public schools. It was recently named a finalist for the 2020 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award presented by Furman University’s Riley Institute. Learn more about this recognition.

How to Enroll

Check out our enrollment steps and timeline, so you know what to expect during the APEC enrollment process.

1. We recommend attending an information session.
2. Complete your application by January 15, 2022.
3. Qualified applicants will be invited to interview the week of February 1, 2022.
4. APEC Fellows are selected by March 15, 2022.
5. APEC Fellows attend program orientation in April of 2022.
6. Summer Session Module 1 begins on May 2.

APEC Center Handbook

APEC Information Session

Want to learn more about the APEC Center?  Watch one of our previous sessions.

Professional Learning Series

The APEC Center hosts a professional learning series called Polishing Your Performance (PYP) in which experienced educators share their expertise and experiences with our APEC Fellows, Columbia College students, and employees of our partner districts. 

Check out the newest installment of Polishing your Performance below. Math-ology: Student Edition with Laresha McDaniel

View Previous PYP Series

  • Response to Intervention, featuring Dr. Dana Richardson. Watch now.
  • REVIVED! Finding the Passion and Power of Teaching, featuring Dr. Akil Ross. Watch now.
  • Teacher Leadership & Advocacy, featuring Patrick Kelly. Watch now


Have questions about the process or the program? Connect with us directly at apeccenter@columbiasc.edu.