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Become a Teacher in South Dakota
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Teaching in South Dakota Snapshot
All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing
Explore Featured Degree Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Learn More||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||Learn more about USC Rossier||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||Learn more from Fordham University||Fordham University’s online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Learn more about Vanderbilt Peabody||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|
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 update: 02/21/2019)
Prerequisite Coursework in South Dakota
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.
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.
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.
You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.
Initial Teaching Certifications
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.
Learn more about earning your South Dakota teaching credential on the state Department of Education’s website. ReadLearn Get more information about obtaining your teaching credential in general on Teach.com and Certification Map .
Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center
Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.
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.
The Lewis and Clark Region Troops to Teachers program also offers an alternative certification pathway for qualified military personnel who wish to make the transition from the armed services to service in public school classrooms.
South Dakota Teacher Certification Information & Links
Transferring Your Certification
Certification Reciprocity in South Dakota
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.
To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in South Dakota, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on Teach.com.
Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in South Dakota
South Dakota Teaching Jobs
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.
Learn more about finding a teaching job on Teach.com.
South Dakota Teacher Salary and Incentives
According to data from the National Education Association, South Dakota ranked 48th among states for teacher salaries in 2017, with the average in-state being $46,979. Although South Dakota has ranked last or second to last for average teacher salary for years, a recent statute aims to raise statewide average teacher salary to $48,500. According to the state Department of Education, South Dakota teachers who teach in shortage areas may also receive other incentives, such as loan cancellations.
Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.
South Dakota Teacher Benefits and Retirement
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.
Learn more about benefits for teachers on Teach.com.
South Dakota Teacher Shortage Areas
A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in South Dakota for the 2017-18 school year as reported by the U.S. Department of Education. (see page 160)
- Career and Technical Education
- English Language Learners
- Fine Arts
- Language Arts
- Physical Education/Health
- Social Science
- Special Education (Non-Core)
- World Languages
Financial Aid in South Dakota
South Dakota residents are eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the TEACH Grant, which offer financial aid to students in return for agreements to teach in high-need schools.
Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on Teach.com.
Professional Development for South Dakota Teachers
The Department also provides professional development resources onits website, including tools, guides, and webinars.
Benefits of a Master's Degree in South Dakota
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.
According to the Sioux Falls Teacher/Certified Staff Salary Schedule, for example, teachers holding a master’s degree can earn up to $5,477 more a year than their peers who only hold a bachelor’s degree.
Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on Teach.com.
Explore Featured Program Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Harvard University's Bok Center||Advanced Certification in Teaching||The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|