Alternative Teacher Certification in North Dakota

Jan 02, 2019

Not every teacher gets their start with a degree in education. Find out how a degree in your own field might be the ticket to a career as a teacher, and how to obtain an alternative form of certification in North Dakota!

In North Dakota, non-traditional teachers can obtain a credential known as the Alternate Access License. This opportunity comes when a teacher shortage is documented and a call is put out by school administrators for qualified professionals to become teachers.

Requirements for Alternative Teacher Certification in North Dakota

Average Salary for Teachers in North Dakota (2017)* $48,470 (Kindergarten), $51,090 (Elementary), $55,880 (Middle), $51,400 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree and teacher preparation/transition program
Degree Field Dependent on vacancy field
Testing Requirements Praxis exams required by the expiration of alternate license

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Alternative Teacher Certification in North Dakota

Regardless of the documented shortage area, obtaining an alternate license in North Dakota requires a bachelor's degree. This could be in any number of fields, and filling this job may involve recruiting those who may not normally be the first potential candidate for a teaching position. For example, having a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science might lead to a position as a computer teacher for high school students. However, education coursework and teacher training must be completed within 3 years of taking the position. Candidates need a plan of study profiling how these requirements will be met for each of the three years.

Professional education and transition-to-teaching programs are available for those with an existing bachelor's degree. Approved programs include a clinical practice that fulfills student teaching obligations to earn credentials. Other aspects of this program can include courses in understanding cultural diversity in education, developmental psychology, and trends in assessment and educational issues.

Testing Requirements for Alternative Teacher Certification in North Dakota

Initially, there are no formal exam requirements when obtaining the Alternate Access License in North Dakota. Once the time comes to earn a formal teaching license, however, candidates need to pass a series of Praxis exams administered by ETS. Finishing a teacher education program requires taking the Core Academic Skills (CAS) for Educators test, which is made up of three parts: reading, writing, and mathematics. All of these subtests consist of multiple-choice questions, and the writing section is home to open-response questions requiring longer answers.

Those taking the CAS can break up the exam into three parts, or schedule one long appointment to get all of it done in one sitting. From here, a number of Praxis subject exams cover specialization areas according to grade and content. High school computer teachers, for instance, would take the Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 and Computer Science exams, which are required for secondary computer specialists.

Alternative License Procedures for Teachers in North Dakota

Those obtaining an Alternate Access License are expected to earn a teaching degree or complete coursework and training. A local school administrator must submit a written statement about the shortage and the unsuccessful search for a qualified applicant, along with a request for this type of license. Official transcripts of the applicant's existing degree and a plan of study for the education program should be included with the application. The Alternate Access License is issued one year at a time for a maximum of three times. The license comes with a one-time fee of $150, on top of the $30 fee for the initial application, and $44.50 for the fingerprinting process.

Additional Alternative Teacher Certification Resources for North Dakota

When it comes time for the Praxis exams, has a wide assortment of review guides for your convenience. Check out some of the practice exams available in the links provided below:

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