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Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in South Dakota

According to a report by the National Center for Education Information, between 1985 and 2009, the South Dakota Department of Education issued only 26 certificates to persons entering teaching through alternative routes. But don’t let those numbers stop you. If you would like to make a career change into secondary school teaching, South Dakota offers some viable alternative certification options.

However, those seeking to become elementary school teachers are largely out of luck. The state’s two main paths to alternative certification are open only to secondary school candidates.

It’s also worth noting that all teachers, regardless of their certification path, must take a three-credit American Indian studies course and a three-credit human relations course. That’s because nine American Indian tribes are located within, or partially within, South Dakota’s borders, and American Indians make up a large percentage of the state’s minority population.

The South Dakota Department of Education’s alternative certification program is open to candidates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree who have received an offer of employment from a state accredited school. Candidates are assigned a district mentor and have a maximum of three years to obtain full professional licensure. They may complete required coursework at a regionally accredited college or university or through an online secondary certification program available at Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota State University or the University of South Dakota.

If you’d like to have your tuition costs reimbursed and are willing to teach in a high-need area for at least five years, consider the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching Program. Managed through Montana State University this alternative certification path is open to aspiring secondary school teachers in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. This is a distance-learning program. Candidates enter the program first and then find placement as a teacher after taking three qualifying courses. Full professional licensure through NPTT takes one to three years to complete.

Top Online Schools for Teachers In South Dakota

Recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics point to a
need for more teaching professionals in the state of South Dakota.
With that in mind, those looking to become teachers and
educational administrators are drawn to more alternative means
to reach those goals.

South Dakota State University
Getting an online degree at South Dakota State University means
that you would engage the Department of Teaching and Learning
Leadership. There are both undergraduate and graduate degrees
available for students to pursue.

Grand Canyon University Online
Grand Canyon University is home to a fair number of online degrees
in the field of education. Potential students may also find that the
school can work with them in terms of their tuition costs as they
go through the program.

Black Hills State University
At Black Hills State University, there are a few online education
degrees offered to interested parties. In addition, the school has
an online portal one can use to both access classes and to gain
assistance with applications one would need for coursework.

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