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North Dakota Alternative Teacher Certification

The alternative route to becoming a teacher in North Dakota is fairly straightforward. Check out the article below for more information on education and experience requirements as well as salary statistics for this position.

Overview of North Dakota Alternative Teacher Certification Requirements

The state of North Dakota provides multiple alternative routes to traditional teacher certification. North Dakota requires individuals seeking an Alternate License to hold a bachelor's degree. Prospective teachers may apply for an Alternate Access License in areas where they are suffering a teacher shortage, or an Initial Alternate Pathway License if the applicant has already completed the requirements as set forth by the American Board for North Dakota Licensure.

Education/Experience Required* Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements* All new teachers required to take Praxis Core exams
Alternate Access License requires Praxis Core exams and may require additional exams within a specific area of focus
Initial Alternate Pathway License requires American Board exams in a specific area of focus
Licensing* 2-year Initial Alternate Pathway License (or)
1-year Alternate Access License
Official transcripts
Fingerprinting and background check
Application
Fees
Average Salary (2018)** $53,440 (kindergarten)
$55,860 (elementary school)
$60,900 (middle school)
$55,400 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)** 7-8% nationally projected growth rate for kindergarten through high school teachers

Sources: *North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (NDESPB) **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Initial Alternate Pathway License & Alternate Access License

There are 2 types of alternate license in North Dakota; the Initial Alternate Pathway License and the Alternate Access License. Although both provide an alternate option to gaining teaching certificate, they have slightly different requirements. Both will allow prospective teachers to gain a valid teaching certification without a specific teacher preparation program attached to their degree. The Alternate Access license specifically is used to place teachers in areas where there are current education provider shortages.

Education Requirements

Both Alternate Licenses require a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

The Initial Alternate Pathway License also requires documented completion of the American Board alternative program, and a specialized teaching degree may be required.

An Alternate Access License requires a specialized degree in the content area of teacher vacancy they are seeking to fill, along with a documented plan of coursework geared towards attaining a teaching degree. If additional education coursework is required, it is expected to be completed within a period of 3 years.

Exam Requirements

As of September 1, 2019, applicants seeking teacher licensure, regardless of route, must pass the Praxis Core exams 5713, 5723, and 5733. Qualifying minimum scores for these new tests are yet to be decided.

In addition, applicants through the Initial Alternate Pathway are required to pass American Board exams.

Whereas, Alternate Access License applicants may be required to complete some additional testing specific to areas of focus.

Application

To apply for either license, candidates are required to submit a completed application, official transcripts, license fees, fingerprints and background check, exam scores, application and processing fees.

The following fees are applicable;

  • $44.50 fingerprinting fee
  • $30 application fee
  • $5 processing fee

Specific license fees are also payable;

• Initial Alternate Pathway License - $70

• Alternate Access License - $155

Renewals

An Initial Alternate Pathway License can be renewed after 2 years by submitting a renewal form and associated fees. There are no required continuing education credits for renewal. If the license holder has more than 18 months of full-time teaching experience, they can apply for a 5-year license instead of the standard 2-year license at this time.

An Alternate Access License can be renewed after 1 year by submitting a renewal form, associated fees, a written request from your school to renew, a copy of Program of Study, and unofficial transcripts reflecting progress made.