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Education Specialist Degrees in South Dakota

South Dakota education professionals are expected to consistently meet the learning needs of a wide variety of students, which means that your teaching skills are always evolving. Whether you teach in a large city like Sioux Falls or Rapid City, a suburban community, or a reservation, keeping up with research and new teaching standards is the key to improving as a teacher.

Along with annual continuing education credits, you can advance your training with high-level degrees. Education specialist programs in South Dakota focus on the teaching techniques that drive the field forward and promote better student outcomes.

Role of Educators With an Ed.S Degree in South Dakota

Furthering your formal education displays your dedication to teaching and gives you the opportunity to learn as much as possible. Search the list of Ed.S programs in South Dakota below, then contact those that interest you.

No matter which teaching specialty you’re in, you may be able to use an Ed.S to strengthen South Dakota education. However, special education has a particularly significant teaching shortage in South Dakota (Rapid City Journal, 2016). In fact, the statewide shortage is so severe that large districts like Rapid City and Sioux Falls are hiring special education teachers before they even earn their certification.

South Dakota has a larger-than-average Native American population, and promoting equality amongst reservation and off-reservation schools can be a challenge. School districts in this state have received grants to increase the teaching of Native American culture in classrooms (Argus Leader, 2016). This is also an opportunity to increase the number of Native teachers in the area, which is a way to expand educational equity in classrooms.

Ready to explore your advanced education options? Get more information now by contacting schools below.

Getting Your Educational Specialist Degree in South Dakota

Education specialist programs are unique when compared to undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, since they allow you to specialize your training and coursework far more than other degree options. Regardless of which field you choose, your training should balance hands-on experience, research, and conventional coursework.

As you plan the future of your teaching career, consider some of the areas of study available in South Dakota:

  • Educational Administration
  • Health Education
  • School Counseling
  • Special Education Leadership
  • Curriculum Director

Clearly, there are two main types of Ed.S programs. The first type builds on your classroom teaching experience and training to make you a better classroom teacher. The second utilizes your classroom teaching experience to help you learn a new set of skills and transition into a new position in education.

The second option typically requires more courses and a greater amount of practical experience hours.

For example, going into the field of school counseling may require you to take the following courses:

  • Counseling Issues in Schools
  • Childhood Psychopathology
  • Counseling Theories
  • Crisis Intervention in School Counseling
  • Appraisal Procedures in Counseling
  • Family Therapy in Community Settings
  • Clinical Mental Health Services

Leadership is one of the largest training areas at this level, as many schools struggle to attract and retain principals and superintendents. This specialty requires an in-depth knowledge of South Dakota laws and teaching standards, skills you may gain in courses like:

  • Administration and Instructional Supervision
  • Administration and Curriculum Development
  • Special Education Law for School Administration
  • School Law
  • School and Community Relations
  • Advanced Curriculum and Education Practices
  • Elementary School Administration
  • Secondary School Administration

Prior to enrolling in an educational specialist degree program, you may want to contact district administrators to find out if your school district funds training for working teachers. If you commit to staying at your current school for a set period of time after graduation, you may qualify for tuition assistance or reimbursement.

Ed.S programs tend to be very flexible, since they are most beneficial for working teachers. With online courses, weekend classes, and evening classes, you may be able to continue working full-time as a teacher while finishing your education.

Your students may get more from their class time when you earn your Ed.S. The training you get in evidence-based techniques for your area of study may help you reach students, tailor lessons to their learning styles, and reach learning outcomes.

Working With an Education Specialist Degree in South Dakota

If your degree prepares you to teach in a new subject area, teach a new grade level, take on administrative roles, or take on another school position, you’ll likely need a different teaching license or an additional endorsement on your current license. You should begin this process at the South Dakota Department of Education shortly before you graduate to avoid untimely delays in licensure.

Your earning potential and job outlook may change if you shift your career path. Look up data on your intended career path to get ready for the job search.

Some job options are listed below with expected job growth through 2022 and average salary information:

  • School administrator: 2% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $80,500 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Instructional coordinator: 8% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $62,500 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Elementary school teacher: 9% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $43,180 average salary (BLS, 2016)

After completing your degree, it’s crucial to keep up with continuing education requirements, research, and standards. Getting involved in local organizations is highly recommended. At your level of education, you may even be ready to serve in leadership positions. South Dakota groups include the South Dakota Education Association and the South Dakota Art Education Association.

Advanced education degrees in SD give you the chance to hone your teaching skills, develop your confidence as a teacher, and better meet students’ needs. Take your training to the next level by contacting education specialist programs in South Dakota.

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