South Dakota Teacher Certification

Are you thinking of earning South Dakota teacher certification?

With the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and rolling mountains painting the landscape, a rich cultural heritage, and a low cost of living, South Dakota provides teachers and aspiring educators an idyllic setting and ample opportunity for beginning or advancing their careers in education.

Whether you have a degree in education or you're a professional who wants to make a career change, you can teach in the state provided you hold a bachelor's degree and obtain the necessary certification. South Dakota offers teachers and other professionals several paths by which they can obtain teacher certification.

The traditional path to South Dakota teacher certification, whether you are new to the teaching profession or simply new to teaching in South Dakota, requires, in addition to your bachelor's degree in education, that you complete an initial application.

You will also be required to submit your Praxis test scores, a transcript from each of the universities you have attended, a conduct review statement, and documentation from a previous employer, if you have experience as a teacher. You may obtain a one-year, a five-year, or a 10-year teaching certificate.

South Dakota also offers alternative certification for professionals seeking a career change. The catch is you must also have a job offer from a school with state accreditation. You must also have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA that you earned at least two years before you applied for alternative certification.

To apply, you must fill out an application, pay the $20 application fee, provide a copy of your educational transcripts, a cover letter, a photocopy of your employment offer, and a conduct review statement. You will then be enrolled in the alternative certification program which provides classroom training, orientation, and a mentorship with a seasoned educator. You will also be required to complete two pedagogy courses and to take the Praxis II exam before being eligible for alternative certification.

In addition, all teachers are required to successfully complete two three credit courses, Human Relations and South Dakota Indian Studies, offered at select local universities.

Home of the Lakota tribe, the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and children's author Laura Ingalls Wilder, South Dakota offers a laidback lifestyle with a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, cross country skiing, and kayaking. In addition to a low cost of living, South Dakota's unemployment rate stands at 4.5 percent compared to a national unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. Residents also pay fewer taxes per capita than the rest of the United States, and the state does not impose income taxes, personal property taxes, or inheritance taxes.

You can find all of the necessary forms to begin the process of obtaining South Dakota teacher certification by visiting the Department of Education's website. To learn more about living in South Dakota, visit these pages.

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