BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Facing an ever-growing teacher shortage across South Carolina, the Berkeley County School District is getting creative to help fill open positions.

District leaders say they have programs available even if you do not have a teacher certification that could place you in a classroom in time for the new school year.

At any given time, the Berkeley County School District has about 2,500 teachers working within the district. But with more teachers retiring, and fewer college students studying to become teachers specifically, BCSD is looking for other ways to find great teachers – even if they are not certified.

If you have a four-year degree in some math, science, or other subjects, you could find yourself in a classroom sooner than you may think.

“If you have a degree, and you’re interested in teaching, you will reach out to the South Carolina Department of Education. They have a vetting process where they will take transcripts, you’ll submit an application, and based on the course work that you have taken, they will determine what you are eligible to possibly be certified in,” explained Dr. Natasha Wright, Interim HR Chief for the school district.

Stephanie Moore says she never wanted to become a teacher until she was laid off from the medical industry.

“Truthfully, I never did. it was literally because COVID happened. I took on a job as an assistant and I absolutely fell in love with it- fell in love with the kids, just seeing them grow and just seeing that I made an impact,” she said.

Moore works at Bowens Corner Elementary and is moving soon into a full teaching job soon.

Cheryl Rivers has been working in the schools since 2007, but a year ago she learned about a path for her to become a certified teacher. She is now teaching 5th grade at Goose Creek Elementary.

“I can’t put into words how thankful I am to have this opportunity to be able to just to pour into children and to nurture them and love on them through education and just to watch and see them grow,” said Rivers.

The Berkeley County School District is holding a job fair at the Berkeley County Education Center in Moncks Corner on June 30 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.