Clemson offers free teaching master’s degree in exchange for 3-year commitment

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(Clemson, SC) – Individuals seeking a career change may be eligible for a new program adopted by Clemson University.

Funded by a grant from the South Carolina Department of Education, the College of Education’s Grow Your Own program will offer an opportunity for 36 individuals to pursue master’s degrees in teaching for free.

To be eligible for the program, students must have a bachelor’s degree and meet the requirements for student-teaching clearance.

As program participants work to complete their degrees entirely online, they will also be employed as educational assistants. Following graduation, students must commit to teach for three years in one of the participating districts, including:

  • Spartanburg District Two
  • Aiken County Public Schools
  • Anderson School District One
  • Anderson School District 5
  • Florence 1 Schools
  • Florence School District 3
  • School District of Pickens County

“There are people out there with the content knowledge and interest in the community to become teachers, but they don’t want a tuition bill on top of classes and an income gap when changing careers,” said Angela Hinton, assistant superintendent of instructional services in Spartanburg District Two. “I think this approach removes most if not all the financial and logistical hurdles for people on the fence about pursuing a career change to become a teacher.”

Program candidates will begin coursework May 2024 and finish June 2025 with an August 2025 graduation date. For more information, click here or contact Michelle Cook at

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