The Carolina Collaborative for Alternative Preparation (CarolinaCAP) is a high-quality, targeted alternative preparation pathway administered by the University of South Carolina (UofSC) in partnership with the Mira Education and school districts in South Carolina. As part of UofSC’s commitment to preparing and supporting educators for systems most in need, CarolinaCAP provides wider accessibility and targeted supports to rural school districts and candidates via this rigorous, university-based preparation program. Nonrural districts may also participate.

In its third year of design and programming and second year in operation, CarolinaCAP has made gains despite the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. District and candidate recruitment efforts yielded an increase in district partners across the state and bolstered the pipeline of applicants available to teach in South Carolina school districts. For the 2021–2022 school year, 80 CarolinaCAP candidates served students in 17 districts and 54 schools across South Carolina. The expansion of the CarolinaCAP team provided additional expertise and more support for districts, applicants, and candidates as they progressed through partnership and candidacy. Advancing the implementation of residency pathways within CarolinaCAP is providing additional avenues for recruitment and support. Residents are serving alongside high-quality teachers of record for one year prior to transitioning to CarolinaCAP candidacy status.

The external evaluation team has collected data over the past two years via a baseline survey of candidates, an end-of-year survey, interviews and focus groups, and site visits to seven of the 17 district partner sites. Based on the results of this data, the team identified areas of strength in addition to recommendations to meet challenges and continue to grow the program and its effectiveness for the state. The summary of accomplishments and key challenges (opportunities for improvement) below are addressed in more detail in the report narrative.