South Dakota Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in South Dakota
If you are interested in teaching as a career, you need to be aware that each state has specific requirements for earning and keeping a teaching license. A certified teacher in South Dakota has several options; understanding the differences in certification will help you select the path that is best for you.
Requirements for certified teachers in South Dakota
To obtain South Dakota teaching certification, the South Dakota Department of Education requires all candidates to earn an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution approved by the State Board of Education. Aspiring teachers must also demonstrate that they have successfully completed an approved teacher education program.
Teachers who apply to teach in South Dakota for the first time must pass the PRAXIS Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test and required PRAXIS II content-area tests. You will need to supply these test scores as well as information on your degree when you apply for your initial certification.
As an undergraduate, you can specialize in a grade level that interests you. This will help determine which academic areas and grade levels you are eligible to teach in South Dakota. If you have taught elsewhere, you may need to show a copy of that state’s teaching certificate and verify your teaching experience.
Once you are certified in South Dakota, you will be expected to complete an approved course in Indian Studies and in Human Relations.
South Dakota jobs for licensed teachers
Teachers can pursue several types of certification in South Dakota. Categories for licensure include:
- Initial Certificate: You are licensed to teach in another state or you are a first-time teacher in South Dakota.
- One-Year Certificate: You have an Initial Certificate, but do not yet qualify for a Five-Year Certificate.
- Five-Year Certificate: You have an Initial Certificate, have passed all relevant tests, and have completed six credits of post-baccalaureate classes in the past five years.
- Ten-Year Certificate: You have just completed an advanced degree, such a master’s, specialist’s, or doctorate. You may only earn this certificate once in your teaching career.
- Alternative: You have a job offer from an accredited school and can supply transcripts from all degrees.
- Additional endorsements: You possess a South Dakota teaching license but want to be certified to teach another subject, such as a world language.
- Additional authorizations: You are eligible for a specialized license after completing a program that prepares you to work as a school administrator, reading specialist, or counselor.
- Lakota Nakota Dakota: You demonstrate proficiency in these Native American oral and written traditions, as well as in their history and culture. You have completed the necessary coursework related to teaching one of these languages.
The South Dakota state government recently passed the Investing in Teachers package, committing $15 million to attract and keep talented and dedicated teachers. The funds will boost teacher training, provide bonuses to some math and science instructors, offer bonuses to teachers based on student achievement, and offer scholarships to candidates in an effort to attract teachers in particular subject areas.
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 South Dakota for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Career and Technical Education (Grades 7 – 12)
- English as a New Language (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Language Arts (Grades 7 – 12)
- Mathematics (Grades 7 – 12)
- Science (Grades 7 – 12)
- Social Science (Grades 7 – 12)
- Special Education (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- World Languages (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Multiple geographic areas
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 South Dakota
If you have a teaching certificate in another state, you may be a candidate for teaching license reciprocity and may be able to expedite your application to teach in South Dakota.
For specific information on reciprocity and to find out if your current license meets South Dakota requirements, read 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.
- South Dakota Department of Education: Teacher Certification Process
- South Dakota Department of Education: Verification of Teaching Experience application
- PRAXIS Exams in South Dakota