South Dakota Alternative Teacher Certification

Becoming a teacher can be achieved using an alternative path to obtain certification. This article provides information on the alternative teacher certification route in South Dakota. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Requirements for Alternative Teacher Route in South Dakota

Becoming a teacher in South Dakota requires the candidate to complete the proper education, preparation, examinations, and application to become certified. It is also required that the candidate receive specialized training that focuses on the cultural heritage of the Native American tribes of the region. For aspiring educators who did not receive an undergraduate or graduate education that included a teacher preparation program, the South Dakota Board of Education (SDBOE) provides an alternative path to receiving teaching certification.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam and a Praxis Subject Assessment
Certification Validity Period Initial Alternative Certification is valid for one year and may be renewed up to three times before applying for standard certification
CEU Credits Required for Renewal Six credits of coursework OR participation in a mentorship program (as a mentor or mentee) OR national board certification
Average Salary (2018) $43,140 for elementary, $43,860 for middle school, and $42,960 for high school teachers (South Dakota stats)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 7% for elementary school, 8% for middle and high school teachers (nationwide)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Preparation

To qualify for certification using an alternative path in South Dakota the applicant must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. The candidate must first apply for an Alternative Preliminary Certificate to find employment as a teacher in a South Dakota public or state-accredited school. The applicant must then apply, be accepted into, and successfully complete a general education alternative preparation program approved by the South Dakota Board of Education (SDBOE). This program will allow the candidate to teach while fulfilling the standards required by the state of South Dakota. The educator preparation program must consist of 12 credit hours in classroom management, teaching and instruction practices, student testing, child psychology, and the South Dakota Indian studies course.

Exam

To qualify for a teaching certificate, candidates must be approved for testing in the subject they will teach by their alternative teacher preparation program. Candidates are required to pass two exams to receive certification. The first is the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam, and the second exam is the Praxis Subject Assessment that evaluates the candidate in a specific subject area. Both tests are administered by ETS and must be passed before receiving endorsement and applying for the Alternative Teaching Certification.

Apply

Requirements for the Alternative Teaching Certification must be completed within three years of receiving the Preliminary Certification. Once the candidate has completed all alternative certification requirements and completed suicide prevention and awareness training, he/she may begin the application process to upgrade the Alternative Preliminary Certification to a General Education Alternative Teaching Certificate. This is done on the SDBOE website and requires candidates to login into their accounts. Documents that provide proof of completion of an alternative teacher preparation program, the suicide prevention training certificate, and school endorsement must be submitted. Candidates will then submit the $25 application fee online or by mail to the Office of Educator Certification and wait for notification of the Initial Alternative Teaching Certification to be issued.

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