A teacher shortage area is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as “an area of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or a geographic area in which … there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” The Department allows states to identify their own teacher shortage areas, but encourages them to follow a prescribed methodology based on unfilled teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors with irregular certifications, and positions filled by teachers certified in other subject areas.
Career and Technical Education
English Language Learners
Special Education (Non-Core)
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in South Dakota
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/24/2016
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of South Dakota, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit a South Dakota teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your South Dakota Teaching Credential
South Dakota teaching certificates are normally renewable every five years. A teacher who has earned an advanced degree may be eligible for a one-time 10-year license. If you already have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your South Dakota credential through the interstate reciprocity.
Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements: curricula and fieldwork. Curricula includes pedagogy (the science of teaching), instruction on fundamental skills and knowledge, and preparation in designing, researching and implementing learning experiences in particular fields of study. Fieldwork typically includes student teaching, internships and field observations.
To teach in the U.S., teachers must, generally, hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Some states have additional requirements of undergraduate credit hours for certification in specialty areas. South Dakota requires all teacher preparation programs to include three semester hours in human relations and three semester hours in South Dakota Indian Studies. South Dakota does not list any other specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the South Dakota Department of Education for more information.
Step Two: South Dakota Teacher Certification Programs
To teach in South Dakota, individuals must successfully complete a teacher education program from an accredited college or university. A list of approved teacher preparation programs in South Dakota can be found here.
Step Three: Required Tests for South Dakota
In many states, to become a certified teacher, you must successfully complete a basic skills test, in addition to subject area competence assessments specific to your area of instruction. Teachers in South Dakota are not required to take a basic skills test, but they must complete the relevant Praxis test as part of their subject area competence assessment. The South Dakota Department of Education maintains a list of the relevant Praxis examinations for each subject area on its website.
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Alternative Certification in South Dakota
Those who have earned bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities in an area other than education and who have not earned a teaching certificate can still teach in South Dakota by obtaining a five-year alternative teaching certificate by fulfilling specific requirements, including on-the-job classroom training; district mentorship and orientation; six credits of coursework in educational pedagogy, human relations, and South Dakota Indian Studies courses; as well as state Praxis II examinations.
Although public school teachers are generally not required to have a master's degree in the field of education, educators are increasingly realizing the value of an advanced degree. Since the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Child Succeeds Act, greater emphasis has been placed on teacher performance, teacher qualifications, and student results in the classroom.
A master’s degree thus carries a lot of weight in the job market, and those who have their master’s are regarded as experts in their field. Teachers with a master’s degree are more likely to be hired, promoted, and better compensated for their work.
When applying for their Initial Certificate in South Dakota, teachers with prior contracted teaching experience on a valid out-of-state teaching certificate may submit a Verification of Experience form in lieu of passing a Principles of Learning and Teaching Praxis exam. Besides this, they must meet all other requirements for their Initial Certificate, such as paying the nonrefundable fee, providing official transcripts from all attended postsecondary institutions, and obtaining university sign-off for their teacher preparation program. To inquire about your specific situation, contact the South Dakota Department of Education.
South Dakota teacher retirement benefits are provided by the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS). According to SDRS, teachers in South Dakota with at least three years of service can retire at 65 with full benefits or at 55 for reduced benefits,and teachers whose age and years of service total at least 85 can retire for full benefits at any time. For more information regarding benefits and valuable retirement planning resources, visit the SDRS website.
Professional Development for South Dakota Teachers
The Teacher to Teacher Support Network is an online mentoring program for new South Dakota teachers offered through the South Dakota Department of Education. The Department also provides professional development resources on its website, including tools, guides, and webinars.
Individuals searching for South Dakota teaching jobs can create a free account and browse available teaching positions through the Associated School Boards of South Dakota’s (ASBSD) Teacher Placement Center. Its database, which is updated daily, enables users to submit resumes to more than 190 local school district recruiters. Many high-needs schools in South Dakota also recruit through Teach for America and Troops-to-Teachers.