Frequently Asked Questions - Teacher Certification

How do I check the status of my online application?

You can check the status of your online application at Check Status. The status report confirms the receipt of documents by SDDOE, and indicates any documents that need to be submitted to complete the application.

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 (i.e. one-year, five-year, ten-year).

When can I renew my certificate?

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

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. During the summer months processing can take up to 10 weeks.

Can I request that my application be expedited?

No. Applications are processed in the order they are received. 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?

Your certificate will not lapse on July 1st if your renewal application was submitted online or postmarked prior to July 1st.

How do I pay for my certificate?

• If you are applying online you can use a credit 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 card.
• Online payments cannot be made using a debit card.
• 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 much does it cost for a certificate?

(Effective July 1, 2016) Fee for a South Dakota certificate. The following are the nonrefundable fees for issuance and renewal of a South Dakota certificate:
    (1) One year validity - $25;
    (2) Two year validity - $33;
    (3) Five year validity - $51;
    (4) Ten year validity - $86;
    (5) Any action requested by the holder which warrants the review of certification records or issuance of a new certificate - $33.
     An applicant has 30 days from the certificate issuance date to report certification errors at no additional fee.

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 have to apply for a South Dakota Certificate?
Yes.

• All educators new to South Dakota must complete the initial certification requirements.

• All educators new to South Dakota must complete an approved three-credit South Dakota Indian Studies course and a three-credit Human Relations course.



Transcripts

How do I electronically submit my transcript?
Electronic transcripts will only be accepted if submitted directly to certification@state.sd.us from the university.

Are transcripts automatically sent to the Department of Education?
No. Applicants must place a request for transcripts with their university (ies), and have them send the transcript to the South Dakota Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501.

Can I fax or scan my transcript and send it to SDDOE?
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.



Five Year Certificate

Am I eligible to apply for a five-year certificate?
You are eligible for a five-year certificate if you have the minimum professional preparation requirements and the following:
• completed a South Dakota Indian Studies course approved by the Department;
• a minimum of six university transcripted credits completed within the past five years (three of which can be met through South Dakota Indian Studies);
• completed the required Praxis II content test; and
• completed the Praxis II teaching methods test or have verification of teaching experience in another state and a valid teacher certificate

I need to renew my five-year certificate. What are the requirements?
All educators are required to earn six credits to renew their certificate. The type of credit is determined by the educator’s highest degree:
• Bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 3 transcripted university credits and the remaining three credits may be university transcripted credits or continuing education contact hours.
• Advanced degree or National Board Certification requires any combination of university transcripted credits and continuing education contact hours. All 6 credits may be contact hours.



Ten Year Certificate

Who is eligible to apply for a one-time 10-year certificate?
Educators who meet the initial certification requirements, including a South Dakota Indian Studies course approved by the Department, and have obtained a masters, specialist or doctorate degree or acquired National Board Certification may be eligible for a 10 year certificate. The 10 years begin the year the degree was completed and you may receive it only once.

When should I apply for my 10-year certificate?
You can request this certificate as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements. It is not necessary to wait for the scheduled renewal of your current certificate.



Continuing Education Requirements

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 January 7th, 2010, you can use credits earned after this date toward your renewal.

University transcripted credits can be either undergraduate or graduate credits.

I have an advanced degree but let my certificate lapse. Can I still use 6 continuing education contact hours?
No. According to ARSD 24:15:03:09 if you let your certificate lapse you must submit six transcripted credits obtained within the past five years. You may receive a one-year certificate which will provide you with additional time to complete the credit requirement.

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.

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 continuing education opportunities.

Is my summer workshop completed as a University Credit a “semester” or a “quarter” credit?
This 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.

Can I fax or scan my contact hours and send to SDDOE?
Yes. You can email your information to DOECertification@state.sd.us. You can also fax your information to 605-773-3782 or mail to the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Certification and Teacher Quality, 800 Governors Drive 57501.

Where can I find information regarding SDDOE sponsored workshops?
DOE’s Calendar of Events is posted on the South Dakota Department of Education website.



Additional Authorizations and Endorsements

What is required to add Elementary Education to my existing certificate?
An Elementary Education authorization can only be added to a certificate by completing the Elementary Education Program.

What is an additional authorization and when can I add it to my certificate?
• You may add an additional authorization to your certificate after you have completed a program or additional major through an accredited university.

• You may add this authorization when you complete the renewal application.

• If you would like to add an additional authorization to your certificate prior to your renewal you must complete the online authorization application. If you require an updated certificate before your renewal you must complete the duplicate request application and pay the duplicate request fee.

How can I add an endorsement to my certificate?
An endorsement can be added by completion of coursework or a Praxis II test. Once you pass the required Praxis II test the endorsement is automatically added to your certificate. The endorsement will immediately be visible on Teacher 411.

If you want an updated certificate before your scheduled renewal you will need to complete the duplicate request application and pay the duplicate request fee.



Praxis II Tests

Which Praxis II tests do I need to take to add an endorsement?
Praxis II testing requirements and qualifying scores for all authorizations are listed on the "What Tests do I need to Take” document.

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.

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.



My Certificate

How may 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 duplicate request 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?
To complete a name or address change you must complete the Personal Profile Change Form. If you are renewing your certificate you can make these changes in your renewal 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 type, issue and expiration dates, degree information, professional preparations, majors, endorsements and most recent assignments.

Highly qualified core content teaching assignments a person is certified to teach can be accessed by selecting the “Click Here to View Highly Qualified Core Content Assignment” button.

This site also lists the certification requirements for each assignment. To access this information select the “Certification Requirements for Assignments” button.





Contact

Paper documents should be mailed to SD Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Dr., Pierre, SD 57501
Questions can be directed to: certification@state.sd.us