Alternative Teacher Certification in South Dakota

Not all South Dakota teachers receive their certifications through traditional education programs. Instead, many pursue an alternative teacher certification. Learn what it takes to receive alternative teacher certification in South Dakota.

Although many South Dakota teachers choose to receive their certification through a traditional postsecondary education program, the state also offers several alternative certification options. The requirements for each vary slightly, but each requires a preliminary certification before a prospective teacher can choose their desired path. These are the alternative certification requirements for a teacher in South Dakota.

South Dakota Teacher General Information

Average Salary for Teachers in South Dakota (2017)* $41,570 (Elementary School); $42,520 (Middle School); $41,980 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Major must be in the intended teaching subject
Testing Requirements Praxis Principles of Teaching and Learning (PLT), Praxis Subject Assessments for desired endorsements

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Receive an Alternative Teacher License in South Dakota

Alternative Preliminary License

Before pursuing an alternative teaching certificate in South Dakota, all individuals must receive preliminary certification. To receive this certification, a prospective teacher must pay the $20 initial alternative preliminary certificate fee and hold a bachelor's degree or higher in their intended teaching subject.

Those wishing to pursue the career and technical education certificate must meet alternative requirements. These candidates must have a bachelor's degree, an Associate of Applied Science degree or higher in a technical field, 4,000 documented hours of work experience in a technical field, or national certification in a technical field.

All preliminary licenses require candidates to pass the required Praxis Exams and attend one hour of suicide awareness and prevention training, as well. This preliminary certification features a two-year duration and expires on June 30 of the applicable year but can be renewed for two years at a cost of $20.

General Education

A general education alternative certificate allows a candidate to teach as an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, or high school teacher, depending on their individual endorsements. To receive this certification, a prospective teacher must have a valid alternative preliminary certificate, hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree or higher, and receive an offer of employment from a public or South Dakota Department of Education-accredited school. Additionally, candidates must pay the $25 initial educator certificate fee.

This certificate is valid for one year but can be renewed for two additional one-year terms. Each renewal costs $25, and the certificate expires on June 30 of the applicable year.

Career and Technical Education Alternative Certification

Career and technical education alternative certificate requirements are similar to those needed for a general education alternative certificate. However, this certification allows a candidate to teach vocational classes to elementary, middle, and high school students. To receive this certification, a prospective teacher must have an Associate of Applied Science degree or higher in a technical field, 4,000 documented hours of work experience in a technical field, or national certification in a technical field. Additionally, the candidate must have a job offer from a public or South Dakota Department of Education-accredited school.

This certification has a cost of $25 for an initial one-year license and can be renewed for two additional one-year terms. Each renewal costs $25, and the certificate expires on June 30 of the applicable year.

Teacher for America Alternative Certification

The Teacher for America certification program offers a unique opportunity for alternative education in South Dakota. This certification is offered in partnership with the Teach for America national program and offers additional focus on educational inequality in elementary, middle, and high school.

To receive this certification, a prospective teacher must have a valid alternative preliminary certificate, meet the requirements of the national TFA teacher corps, be a current participant in the TFA program, and receive an offer of employment from a public or South Dakota Department of Education-accredited school.

This certification has a cost of $25 for an initial one-year license and can be renewed for two additional one-year terms. Each renewal costs $25, and the certificate expires on June 30 of the applicable year.

Special Education Alternative Certification

The special education alternative certification allows general education teachers an alternative way to receive a special education endorsement for either early childhood or K-12 classes. To apply for this certification, a candidate must have a valid teaching certificate, three years of teaching experience within the past five years, and be employed by a qualifying school district.

Additionally, teachers seeking a special education endorsement must complete a six-credit practicum, nine credits of coursework in special education law classes, assessments, and a specific course related to special education. South Dakota pedagogy and content tests must also be completed before the candidate can receive an endorsement from the employing school or district.

Alternative Licensing Resources for South Dakota Teachers

Additional information regarding licensing preparation for South Dakota teachers can be found through the link below.


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