The South Dakota Department of Education offers alternative certification for those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not been prepared in the traditional method, but wish to teach.
Currently, the following Alternative Route to Certification programs are offered in the state:
- State Alternative Route to Certification Program – You must first have an offer of employment from a South Dakota school prior to applying for this program. You may only teach in a secondary content area. Your Alternative Route Certificate is valid for three years.
- Northern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT) – You must first enroll in this program then find a teaching job at the secondary content level only. The program may last from one to three years
- Troops to Teachers – Designed for former military personnel only, you enroll in this program then find a teaching job in any area. This program lasts for three years.
- Teach for America -– You must first have an offer of employment from a South Dakota school in any area prior to applying for this program. It lasts for two years.
- Certification Only – This program is administered through South Dakota universities to bachelor degree holders without teacher education. You will work in a secondary education position while undergoing teacher training. You will be recommended to the Department for certification when your teacher education coursework is completed.
Alternative Certification Requirements
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For all Alternative Route to Certification programs, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a content area and a 2.5 GPA. Some programs require additional hours of education. See this chart for details.
For all Alternative Route to Certification programs, you must pass the Praxis II exam in your content area prior to enrollment in the program. At the end of the program, you must pass the Praxis Pedagogy exam for your area.
For most South Dakota Alternative Route to Certification programs, no teaching experience is required. Check with the program in which you are interested for more information.
Criminal History Background Check
All applicants to Alternative Route to Certification programs must undergo a criminal background check. This will be started at your employing school district. After your fingerprints are taken, they are run through the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Your school will give you information on how to go about this process.
For more information on the State Alternative Route to Certification program, contact the South Dakota Department of Education Office of Teacher Quality at email@example.com or 605-773-3134.
If you wish further information on NPTT, call 406-994-5662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Troops to Teachers, call 406-587-7586 or email email@example.com.
For more information on Teach for America, call 605-856-4359.
If you wish to find out about the Certification Only plan, contact the South Dakota Department of Education Office of Teacher Quality at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-773-3134.
For more information on Project Select, email NancyWhitcher@bhsu.edu.