If the idea of a career in academics appeals to you, then you should look into being a teacher in North Dakota. Each state develops individual credentialing standards when it comes to teaching licenses. Since a license is an important requirement for any teacher, it is vital to understand how to obtain initial teaching certification in North Dakota as well as how to maintain that certification throughout the life of your career.
Requirements for certified teachers in North Dakota
If you are applying for an initial teaching license, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college. Per North Dakota’s regulations, the bachelor’s degree program should include general studies, a major concentration and a professional teaching program. A minimum of 40 quarter hours of a teacher preparation program is required for people who intend to become teachers at the secondary level. Prospective elementary educators must complete 50 quarter hours of teacher preparation.
You must maintain a 2.5 grade point average while earning your bachelor’s degree to teach in North Dakota. You must also successfully complete a minimum of 10 weeks of student teaching at the intended grade level and in the appropriate subject matter. All candidates are fingerprinted for a criminal background check. You also must receive recommendations for licensure from recent supervisors to become a North Dakota certified teacher.
All teaching candidates must pass the appropriate tests of the PRAXIS series exams to be qualified for certification. The first test taken is the PRAXIS I Pre-professional Skills test. This assessment of your math, reading and writing skills focuses on basic knowledge that you will use throughout your career. You must also take at least one of the PRAXIS II tests to measure your abilities with the subject matter you hope to teach. You may test for more than one of these certifications at a time, and you are also eligible to take further PRAXIS II tests throughout your career.
In addition to the PRAXIS exams, North Dakota teachers must take a course in Native American and multicultural studies.
North Dakota jobs for licensed teachers
The state issues a number of different teaching certificates depending upon your circumstances and education.
- 40-day Provisional: You may receive this license if you have been offered a job and have completed all certification requirements, but the results of your criminal background check have not been received yet.
- Initial License: This two year certificate is issued to first-time applicants.
- Regular License: This certificate is issued to teachers who have taught in North Dakota for at least 18 months and will need to be renewed every two or five years, depending on the recency of your teaching experience. You must also submit four semester hours of reeducation for every five-year renewal period.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for North Dakota for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Agriculture Education
- Business and Office Technology (Business Education)
- Career Clusters
- Computer Education
- English as a Second Language
- English Language Arts
- Family and Consumer Science
- Health Careers
- Information Technology
- Languages/Native American Languages
- Marketing Education
- Social Studies
- Special Education Programming
- Technology Education (Industrial Arts)
- Trade and Industrial Education
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in North Dakota
North Dakota participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.