Alternative Certification

Certification Processing Time is Around 10 Weeks
Summer Processing Time May Exceed 10 Weeks

Department of Education Alternative Certification Program

The Department of Education alternative certification program is limited to 7-12 or K-12 content areas. Elementary certification is not available through this alternative certification program.

The alternative certification program shall consist of on-the-job classroom training, district mentorship and orientation, six credits in educational pedagogy, South Dakota Indian Studies, human relations, and state Praxis II examinations. Candidates have three years to complete the program.

Once the candidate has successfully completed all the required coursework, the Praxis II examinations, and has received a positive recommendation from his/her on-the-job mentor, the candidate must file the five-year alternative certification application.

Application Process

1) Prior to applying for the Department of Education alternative certification program, a candidate must have an offer of employment as a classroom teacher with a state accredited school.

2) Apply for a two-year alternative certification instructor’s certificate by submitting:
- Alternative route application which includes the conduct review statement;
- An official transcript of all non-teaching undergraduate and/or graduate degrees;
- A copy of the signed employment contract; and,
- Nonrefundable processing fee.

3) If needed, apply for a one-year extension by submitting the alternative route application and required nonrefundable processing fee.

4) Once all requirements of the alternative program are complete, application can be made for a five-year teacher certificate by submitting:
- Five-year alternative certification application which includes the conduct review statement;
- Nonrefundable processing fee;
- Official transcript(s) for the credits required on the alternative certification program;
- A copy of the Praxis II score sheet; and,
- Written certification recommendation from your school mentor.

Distance Delivery Alternative Certification Program

The South Dakota teacher preparation programs at the public universities have collaborated to prepare an online secondary certification program. Coursework is taken through online delivery with field experiences planned in your local community. Admission to teacher education, advising, registration, scholarship application, financial aid, and field supervision is completed with the campus of your choice.

Contact any one of the following individuals now for application to the program:
- Black Hills State University, Micheline Nelson
- Dakota State University, Dr. Kristine Harms
- Northern State University, Dr. Alan Neville
- South Dakota State University, Teresa Telkamp
- University of South Dakota, Dr. Nicholas Shudak

Alt. Certification - FAQ
Change/Duplicate Request Form
Outline - Alt. Cert. Programs
Alternative Program Requirements
Codified Laws -Teacher Cert.
Troops to Teachers


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