South Dakota, like other states, has a strict policy regarding the certification of teachers so that the schools of the state have highly qualified personnel filling all the positions. However, if you do not meet the requirements of regular certification, there are alternative routes you can take to get hired as a teacher in this state. For initial certification you must provide the state teacher licensing board proof that you have attained the appropriate qualifications from an accredited university. You must also sign a notarized statement that you are a US citizen and do not have any criminal records in your background. In addition, this state has a requirement that you must take courses in human relations and South Dakota Indian studies.
Your initial teaching certificate to enable you to get a job as a teacher in South Dakota can be for a five or ten-year period. If you attained your university degree more than five years before you apply for this initial certificate, you will need to have taken at least two university or college courses in that period and submit the transcripts to prove that you passed these courses. You must also pass the appropriate Praxis 11 exams showing that you have competency in the subject areas or grade level you wish to teach. Teachers new to the state or the teaching profession must also pass the Praxis Principles of Teaching and Learning exam. Usually, a fiver-year certificate is the first one issued, and if you enroll in a program leading to an advanced degree during that time you can apply for a ten- year initial certificate. However, this certificate cannot be renewed for a further ten years.
During the validation period of your initial certificate as a teacher in South Dakota, you must take courses that will further your knowledge of the subject area you teach or courses leading to an advanced degree. If you do not engage in further studies during this time, your teaching license will be revoked although you may be issued a certificate valid for only one year in order to give you a bit more time to meet the requirements. Generally teachers are required to take two university courses in order to qualify for certificate renewal.
When you get a job as a teacher in South Dakota, the Praxis exams you take denote what you are permitted to teach. These areas are noted as authorizations on your teaching certificate. You can study for and pass additional Praxis 11 exams if you wish to expand your teaching credentials and allow you to apply for different positions. To have additional authorizations added to your teaching certificate, you must provide proof that you have met the requirements by submitting your exam scores to the certification board.
There is an alternative route to getting a job as a teacher in South Dakota for high school teachers only. This program is administered by the state department of education and has specific admission regulations. For example, if you are a recent university graduate, you cannot apply to this program unless you have been out of university for at least two years. You do have to take the teacher training program to become a certified teacher, but your alternative certificate is valid for only three — to five years, during which time you must meet the usual licensing requirements. In order to gain admission to this program, you also need a job offer from a school district in the state in an area for which the district is having problems attracting qualified teachers.