EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION FAQS

New Certification Rules
Who do I contact if I have a question or need to update my certificate?
Reciprocity Requirements (Out-of-State Applicant)
Endorsement Requirements
Renewal Requirements
Alternative Certification
Educator Permits
Paraprofessionals
South Dakota Indian Studies Requirements
Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training Requirements
Transcripts
Continuing Education Contact Hours
State-Designated Tests
Major in Content
Certification Fees


New Certification Rules
Who do I contact if I have a question or need to update my certificate?
Office of Educator Certification Hours of Operation

Office of Educator Certification Hours of Operation
(Monday through Friday):

  • Certification staff processes applications daily from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Central
  • Certification staff responds to emails and phone calls daily from 8 – 10 a.m. and 3 – 5 p.m. Central
Before contacting the Office of Educator Certification it is recommend you try the following: Remember that processing time can take up to 10 weeks.

How can I get a copy of my certificate?

A pdf of your certificate is emailed to you when it is issued. If this pdf is not saved or is misplaced an additional copy can be requested by:

  • Submitting the ‘Request a Duplicate or Update Demographic’ application and paying the duplicate request fee; or
  • Printing the certification information from Teacher 411

I have moved or changed my name. How do I update my certificate to reflect the change?

  • If you are renewing your certificate you can make these changes in your renewal application.
  • To complete a name or address change you must complete the ‘Request a Duplicate or Update Demographic’ application.

What is Teacher 411?

Teacher 411 is an online system that allows you to search for individuals with a certificate in South Dakota. Teacher 411 includes certificate details such as the certificate type, certificate level, issue and expiration dates, degree information, professional preparations, endorsements and most recent assignments.

All assignments a person is certified to teach can be accessed by selecting ‘State Certified Assignments’. This site also lists all endorsements and the requirements to add an endorsement. To access this information select the “Endorsement List” link.

Application Process
I am having trouble logging into the online application. Are there are instructions?

Yes. You can access instructions for creating an account and logging into the online application by clicking on this link.

I want to upload documents to my application. What are the requirements for the file type?

All documents uploaded to the on-line application system must be saved as a pdf.
Note: Transcripts cannot be uploaded.

How do I check the status of my online application?

You can check the status of your online application by logging into the online application system. You will then click on the Check Status button. The status report confirms the receipt of documents by SDDOE, and indicates any documents that need to be submitted to complete the application. You can also upload documents by selecting the Upload button.

screenshot of the application status screen.

Note: Unchecked boxes indicate you need to submit the document.

What does it mean when my application status indicates ‘waiting for processing by a certification officer’?

When this status is shown, all required documents have been received and your application is complete and waiting to be processed. It does not mean the certification officer is currently processing the application. During the summer months processing can take up to 10 weeks.

When does my certificate expire?

All issued certificates have a July 1st expiration date. The year of the expiration will depend on the type of certificate that was issued. You can view information about your certificate at Teacher 411.

When can I renew my certificate?

A renewal application may be submitted after January 1st of the year the certificate expires.

When can I submit CEUs and other documents required for renewal?

Documents should not be submitted until you have completed the application for renewal. Documents submitted prior to the application are not tied to this application and can cause a delay in processing.

Can I request that my application be expedited?

No. Applications are processed in the order the application is completed and all requirements are met. Processing can take up to 10 weeks so it is important to plan ahead.

I submitted my renewal application before July 1st. What happens if I have not received my updated certificate by the July 1st expiration date?

You certificate will not expire on July 1st if your renewal application was submitted online or postmarked prior to July 1st. You must meet all requirements and submit the required forms and documentation prior to October 1st of the year of expiration or your certificate will become invalid.

How do I pay for my certificate?

  • If you are applying online you can use a credit card or debit card at the time your application is submitted. If you do not pay at this time you will not be allowed to pay using your credit/debit card. Some debit cards are not accepted.
  • Payment may also be made by mailing a personal check or money order payable to the Department of Education and mailed to the South Dakota Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501.

How will I receive my certificate?

Your certificate will be emailed to you as a pdf file. The pdf should be saved for printing should you need additional copies in the future.

If you do not receive your certificate, check your email inbox and junk folders.

I hold a certificate in another state. Do I still need to apply for a South Dakota Certificate?

Yes. You can access information about application options by clicking on this link. All educators new to South Dakota must complete an approved three-credit South Dakota Indian Studies course and the Suicide Awareness and Prevention course.

I did not request endorsements when I completed my application. Can I add endorsements before my application is processed?

Yes. If you did not request endorsements, or realized you forgot to add a specific endorsement you may complete the Request a Change to an Active Application form. This form can be emailed to certification@state.sd.us.

If your certificate has been processed, you will need to login to the online application system and complete the application to ‘Add Endorsement or Update Existing Certificate’.

Reciprocity Requirements (Out-of-State Applicant)
What is reciprocity?

Reciprocity or reciprocal certification is the process by which the Secretary recognizes an educator certificate issued by another state and issues an equivalent South Dakota certificate.

Endorsement Requirements
I would like to add an endorsement to my certificate. How can I find information about adding an endorsement?

Most endorsements can be added through a state-designated test, completion of coursework, or a major in content. Resources have been developed to help you quickly identify what you need to add an endorsement.

Click on the preparation type you received to identify what is needed to add an endorsement:

Requirements for specific endorsements can be accessed by clicking on this link.

NOTE: If you are unsure of your preparation, you can check Teacher 411.

I completed an Elementary Preparation. What endorsements should I add?

This will depend on the state-designated test you passed

If you passed the 5018 Elementary Praxis Test or all four subjects of the Multiple Subjects test (5001) or the Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) (7801) you may add all elementary endorsements.

  • Self Contained K-4th Grade
  • Self Contained 5th – 8th Grade
  • K-4th Grade English Language Arts
  • K-4th Grade Math
  • K-4th Grade Science
  • K-4th Grade Social Science
  • 5th – 8th Grade English Language Arts
  • 5th – 8th Grade Math
  • 5th – 8th Grade Science
  • 5th – 8th Grade Social Science

This allows you to teach K-8th grade English language arts, math, science, social science, and K-8 self-contained assignments.

If you passed only one subject area of the Elementary Education Multi Subject Test (5001) or the Elementary Education: CKT (7801) you may add only the endorsements in that subject area.

Example: You passed the Math subtest

This allows you to receive the following endorsements to teach K-8th grade Math. You may not add the self-contained endorsements or other endorsements in the areas of science, social science and English Language Arts.

  • K-4th Grade Math
  • 5th – 8th Grade Math

I have a K-12 or Secondary preparation. Can I add endorsements for K-4 subject areas?

No. You may not add endorsements for Early Childhood Birth through Grade Three, Self Contained K-4th grade or K-4th Grade subject specific endorsements unless you complete the Early Childhood or Elementary preparation.

When can I add an endorsement to my certificate?

  • You may add an endorsement to your certificate, at the time of renewal, for no additional cost.
  • You may add an endorsement to your certificate, outside of the time of renewal for an additional cost.

In the past, endorsements would automatically be added following passage of a state-designated test. Why must I now request an endorsement to be added?

Endorsements are no longer automatically added based on passage of a state-designated test. It was determined during review of the new certification rules that endorsements should not be added without applicants specifically identifying which endorsements they want to be listed on their certificate.

You must request an endorsement be added when you apply for an initial certificate, during the renewal of a certificate, or by completing the application ‘Add Endorsement or Update Existing Certificate’.

Renewal Requirements
What are the renewal requirements for my certificate?

Information about renewal requirements can be accessed on the SDDOE Renewal Requirements site.

What are the types of renewal options?

Information about the types of renewal options can be found on the General Renewal Requirement site.

What credits can I use to renew my certificate?

Educators may use credits obtained after the issue date of their current certificate. For example, if the issue date is Jan. 7, 2016, you can use credits earned after this date toward your renewal.

University transcripted credits can be either undergraduate or graduate credits.

How do I submit official transcripts and contact hours?

Applicant may:
Mail official/original transcripts (transcripts may be removed from the sealed envelope).
Contact hour certificates can be uploaded to application, email or mail copies

University may:
Submit electronic transcript directly to DOE
Mail official/original paper transcripts

Mailing address: Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Dr., Pierre, SD 57501
Email address: certification@state.sd.us

Will transcripts uploaded through the online application system be accepted?

No. They must be mailed by the applicant or submitted electronically through a university.

My certificate is invalid. What requirements do I need to meet in order to renew my certificate?

24:28:17:10. Renewal requirements for an invalid educator certificate. The educator renewing an invalid educator certificate shall complete the following requirements:
(1) The educator with a teaching certificate, administrator certificate, or education specialist certificate shall complete a total of six transcripted credit hours;
(2) The educator with a general education alternative certificate, CTE alternative certificate, TFA alternative certificate, or administrator alternative certificate shall complete three transcripted credit hours;
(3) The educator with an educator permit shall complete six education-related credits; or
(4) The educator with a performing artist educator permit shall complete one education-related credit.

All other renewal requirements must be met.

Note: If your certificate becomes invalid, you are not required to once again meet the requirements of the endorsements on your certificate. This includes passing the state-designated content test. If you want to add an endorsement you previously did not have you will be required to meet all requirements of that endorsement.

I have more than six credits. Can any of these credits be used for a future renewal?

No. Credits cannot be saved for future renewals. When you are submitting your renewal application you do not need to list more than six credits on your application.

Is my summer workshop completed as a university credit a “semester” or a “quarter” credit?

The answer depends on whether the University is a semester or quarter university. Most universities operate in semesters, so the proper selection would be a “semester” credit no matter the length of the workshop.

How do I know which renewal credits I have completed?

Educators are responsible for keeping track of credits and continuing education contact hours. These are not automatically submitted to DOE. You will need to submit them when you complete your application.

How can I submit my contact hours?

You can save your contact hours as a pdf document and upload to the online application system.

Where can I find information regarding SDDOE sponsored workshops?

DOE’s Calendar of Events is posted on the South Dakota Department of Education website.

Alternative Certification
Which types of alternative certification options require me to obtain an Alternative Preliminary Certificate prior to being eligible for Alternative Certification?

Prior to applying for one of the following alternative certificates, an applicant must receive an Alternative Preliminary Certificate:

  • General Education alternative certification
  • Career and technical education (CTE) alternative certificate
  • Teach for America (TFA) alternative certificate
  • Administrator alternative certificate (unless an applicant has a teacher or principal certificate)

Information about the Alternative Preliminary Certificate can be accessed at – Alternative Preliminary Certification.

What are the types of Alternative Certification options?

General Education Alternative Certification
  • Grades 5-8 elementary assignments
  • Secondary assignments
  • K-12 assignments such as music, physical education, art, etc.

Teacher for America Alternative Certification
  • Must be a participant in the TFA Program
  • Grades K-8 elementary assignments
  • Secondary assignments
  • K-12 assignments
  • CTE assignments

CTE Alternative Certification
  • CTE assignments

Special Education Alternative Certification
  • Must have an active South Dakota teaching certificate and a minimum of three years of teaching experience
  • Available for Early Childhood Special Education
  • Available for K-12 Special Education

Administrator Alternative Certification
  • Superintendent Alternative Certification
  • Principal Alternative Certification

Educator Permits
What is an Educator Permit?

An educator permit is defined as a certificate that restricts the holder to the endorsement indicated on the certificate. It is available for very specific, limited areas.

I am a teacher, administrator and/or education specialist. Can I add an Educator Permit?

Yes. If you meet the requirements of the specific permit you can add this to your educator certificate.

What are the types of Educator Permits?

American Sign Language Instructor
 • Allows applicants to serve as an instructor of sign language.

Athletic Coaching
 • Non-categorical permit limited to the area of athletic head or assistant coaching.
 • It is no longer broken out by specific areas such as football, basketball, gymnastics, etc.
 • Must meet requirements of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

Braille Education
 • Allows applicants to serve as an instructor for blind or visually-impaired students in a district.

CEO Educator
 • May serve in the leadership role for the district or school in the absence of a certified school superintendent or K-12 principal.
 • May not complete teacher evaluations or be designated as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, or assistant principal.

CTE Instructor Permit
 • Allows applicants to teach in CTE fields limited to the following endorsement areas:
    - CTE career pathway;
    - Education and training career cluster; or
    - Law, public safety, security, and correction career cluster.

Drivers Education Instructor
 • Allows applicants to teach drivers education.

Eminent Scholar Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Language and Culture Permit
 • Allows applicants to teach Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota language and culture.
 • Must meet the requirements of the Eminent Scholar Program

Expert Lecturer
 • Allows applicants with distinctive qualifications and a unique capacity to enhance education programs in schools and is limited to the area of the expert’s specialty.
 •Not intended to fill a vacant position, but to offer enhanced learning opportunities for students.

International Exchange Teacher Permit
 • Allows applicants to teach in the fields identified as comparable to fields in South Dakota by an approved foreign transcript evaluation.
 • The applicant must have a valid J1 or H1B visa, hold the U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher and has a foreign educator credential in a teaching field comparable to those recognized in South Dakota.
 • Non-renewable certificate

Junior ROTC
 • Allows applicants to teach ROTC assignments.

Native American Language Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Language and Culture Permit
 • Allows applicants to teach Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota language and culture.

Advanced Paraprofessional Permit
 • Allows applicants to serve as a paraprofessional in a school district including Title I Targeted and School-wide schools.

Standard Paraprofessional Permit
 • Allows applicants to serve as a paraprofessional in a school:
    - That is not Title I school wide; or
    - Is a Title I Targeted school if the position is paid with funds other than Title I; or
    - All other schools.

Performing Artist Permit
 • Allows applicants to teach in the areas of art, dance, drama, and music.

School Business Official
 • Issued to individuals responsible for the financial requirements of school districts.

Paraprofessionals
What is the difference between a Standard Paraprofessional and an Advanced Paraprofessional?

  • An Advanced Paraprofessional must hold an associate degree or higher, OR complete 48 semester hours at an institution of higher education, OR holds a high school diploma or equivalent and passes the state-designated paraprofessional assessment.

  • A Standard Paraprofessional must hold a minimum or high school diploma or equivalent, OR be at least 18 years of age and not hold a high school diploma or equivalent AND pass the state-designated paraprofessional test.

Is passage of the Paraprofessional Assessment required to receive a Standard or Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate?

No.
If an applicant has an associate degree or higher or 48 credit hours, the paraprofessional test is not required to receive an Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate.

If an applicant has a high school degree or equivalent, the paraprofessional test is not required to receive a Standard Paraprofessional Certificate.

What school types can I work at if I have a Standard Paraprofessional or an Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate?

If the school is Title I Schoolwide the paraprofessional must have an Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate.

If the school is Title I Targeted and the position is paid with Title I funds the paraprofessional must have an Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate.

If the school is Title I Targeted but the paraprofessional is paid with funding other than Title I the paraprofessional may have a Standard or Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate.

If the school is not Title I the paraprofessional may have a Standard or Advanced Paraprofessional Certificate.

Do I need to renew my Paraprofessional certificate?

Yes. This permit must be renewed every five years. Renewal requirements include completion of an approved suicide awareness and prevention training and three education-related credits to include continuing education contact hours, or specialized learning experience hours, or transcripted credits.

When do the requirements for a Standard and Advanced Paraprofessional Permit become effective?

Beginning July 1, 2019, the paraprofessional permit is required for an employee assigned to assist and support teachers or other approved professional personnel.

South Dakota Indian Studies Requirements
Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training Requirements
Who is required to complete Suicide Awareness and Prevention training?

According to 13-42-71 this training is required for anyone receiving an initial certification or to renew a certificate beginning July 1, 2017.

Where can I find a list of approved Suicide Awareness and Prevention trainings?

You can find information about this course on the SDDOE Certification Website.

Note: If you participated in a training that is not pre-approved click on the link “this document” to access the certificate which should be used.

Transcripts
Are transcripts automatically sent to the Department of Education?

No. Applicants must place a request for transcripts with their university, and request the university send the transcript electronically or mail to the South Dakota Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501.

How do I submit official transcripts?

Applicant may:
• Mail official/original transcripts (transcripts may be removed from the sealed envelope).

University may:
• Submit electronic transcript directly to DOE
• Mail official/original paper transcripts

Mailing address: Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Dr., Pierre, SD 57501
Email address: certification@state.sd.us

Can I fax or scan my transcript and send it to the Department of Education?

No. Transcripts must be official transcripts issued by the university.

When can I submit my transcript?

You can submit your transcript anytime; however, final grades and degree completion must be posted on the transcript prior to being sent to SDDOE.

Do transcripts need to be in the original sealed envelope?

No. Transcripts can be taken out of original envelope.

Continuing Education Contact Hours
How many continuing education contact hours equal one credit?

Fifteen contact hours equal one credit and one continuing education unit (CEU) equals ten hours. For more information you can go to the link for educator certification renewal requirements.

How do I submit continuing education contact hours?

It is recommended you save all contact hours as one pdf and upload at the time you apply. When submitting the number of credits you may sum all credits and enter one number.

screen shot fo the Renewal Credit Summary

Applicant may:

  • Upload to application, email or mail copies of contact hour certificates
Mailing address: Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Dr., Pierre, SD 57501
Email address: certification@state.sd.us

State-Designated Tests
Can I submit a copy of my Praxis Score sheet?

Yes. Additionally, if you designated SDDOE as a score recipient, or took the test in South Dakota, your scores will automatically be sent to SDDOE. It typically takes two weeks before DOE receives this information from the vendor.

I took a Praxis test while living in another state. Why is my Praxis II test code not included on the application?

South Dakota accepts only the Praxis II test codes listed on the application. If your test code is not listed, it is a test code that is not accepted in South Dakota.

Major in Content
I have heard that an endorsement can be added by a major in content. What are the requirements?

A major in content is defined as a minimum of 27 semester hours of coursework, with a grade point average of 2.7 or higher in the content area. This does not include remedial coursework, or developmental courses which do not count toward a degree.

Can a major in content be used to add an Intermediate Endorsement?

Yes. A total of 27 credits in the following areas are required in each of the specific areas.

Secondary Intermediate English Language Arts
   • A minimum of 12 hours in Literature
   • A minimum of 12 hours in Composition
   • A minimum of 3 hours in Grammar

Secondary Intermediate Science
   • A minimum of 10 credits in Biology
   • A minimum of 8 credits in Physical Science
   • A minimum of 8 credits in Earth Science
   • A minimum of 1 additional credit in Biology, Physical Science, or Earth Science

Secondary Intermediate Social Science
   • A minimum of 10 credits in History with at least 3 credits in American History
   • A minimum of 8 credits in Political Science
   • A minimum of 8 credits in Geography
   • A minimum of 1 additional credit in History, Political Science, Geography

Certification Fees
What are the certification fees?

Fee Types Years Fee
Teacher/Admin/Education Specialist
Initial Educator Certificate 5 $60
Renewal Educator Certificate 5 $60
Out-of-State/Out-of-Country Provisional Certificate 1 $35
Out-of-State/Out-of-Country Provisional Certificate Renewal 1 $35
Educator Permit ONLY
Educator Permit 5 $25
Educator Permit Renewal (excluding International Exchange) 5 $25
Alternative Certification (ONLY)
Alternative Preliminary Certificate 2 $20
Alternative Preliminary Renewal 2 $25
Alternative Certification Certificate 1 $25
Alternative Certification Renewal 1 $25
Alternative Certification Transition 5 $60
Alt Cert AND Teacher or Administrator
Alt Cert AND Teacher/Admin Renewal @ same time 5 $60
All
Adding Endorsement - Test $35
Adding Endorsement - Transcript Analysis $50
Adding Endorsement - Test and Analysis $50
Conversion to Advanced Certificate $25
Duplicate Educator Certificate $25