Teaching Degrees in South Dakota

South Dakota has over 700 public schools. With a notable percentage of Native American students, high student-to-teacher ratios, and higher than average standardized test scores, South Dakota is an attractive environment for prospective teachers. Those looking for a teaching degree in South Dakota should be aware of several factors, including:

  • The impact of a master’s degree
  • Scholarships and grants
  • South Dakota teacher certification

Also included here is a list of additional resources and a comprehensive directory of fully- accredited teaching degrees in South Dakota.

Teaching Degrees in South Dakota

There are seven accredited college and university teaching degree programs offered in South Dakota.The starting salary with a teaching degree in South Dakota is $34,016; the average salary for South Dakota teachers is $35,070. Teachers with a master’s degree comprise 30.9 percent of all teachers in the state and earn $5,250 more per year than teachers with a bachelor’s degree.

Teaching Scholarships and Grants in South Dakota

There are many options for financial aid, including grants and scholarships, for teaching programs in South Dakota. Some of these are:

Annis I. Fowler/Kaden Scholarship
Like the Board of Regents scholarship above, this award is granted annually to students at various South Dakota institutions who are pursuing education degrees.

Black Hills State University
This is the scholarship and grants portal for Black Hills State University, with information on several varied awards for prospective educators.

Ramia Boersma Scholarship
Three scholarships of $750 per academic year are offered through the South Dakota Education Association/NEA to outstanding students who are pursuing a teaching degree in South Dakota.

Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
This portal page includes information on several grants and scholarships, including the James B. and Vera A. Sadler Undergraduate Scholarship for students pursuing a degree in education who have graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Board of Regents: Haines Memorial Scholarship
This annual award is presented to a student at BHSU, DSU, NSU, SDSU or USD who is pursuing a degree in education.

University of South Dakota: School of Education Scholarships
This is the portal for USD’s School of Education, with information regarding a broad range of scholarship opportunities to recognize excellent academic performance by both high school, first year students, and upper class students.

South Dakota Teacher Certification

To obtain a teaching license in South Dakota, certain criteria that must be met and completed. Certification requirements include:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of an approved and accredited teacher preparation program within five years of the application, or an additional six credit hours of study in the prospective teacher’s field of focus if the teaching program completion was more than five years old.
  • Passing of criminal background checks and clearances
  • Passing scores on the Praxis exams
  • Completion of coursework in Human Relations and South Dakota Indian Studies

There is an alternative certification for those who hold bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities but do not have a teaching degree in South Dakota; these still teach in South Dakota with a three-year alternative teaching certificate that requires specific requirements, including classroom training, mentorship programs, six credits of education coursework, and the requisite human relations and South Dakota Indian Studies work. The state also has the Lewis and Clark Region Troops to Teachers program, which helps veterans of the armed forces transition into teaching careers.

Important Note: South Dakota accepts some teaching credentials from out of state. To find out if your credentials are valid in South Dakota, contact the Department of Education.

A teaching license in South Dakota lasts for five years. Renewing the certification requires six credits depending on the educator’s highest degree. For bachelor’s-level teachers, at least three credits must be from an accredited college program, with the remaining three from continuing education. Teachers with an advanced degree or National Board Certification can use any combination of college credits or continuing education hours.

Additional Resources about Teaching in South Dakota

The following resources provide additional information relevant to obtaining a teaching degree in South Dakota and maintaining this status.

South Dakota Department of Education
The Department of Education is always an excellent starting point for information regarding teaching licensure and about state public schools, and professional development.

South Dakota Department of Labor
The South Dakota Department of Labor provides a comprehensive overview of the labor market and job opportunities in the state.

South Dakota Education Association
The South Dakota Education Association is a professional organization which advocates for education excellence and reform. There are a lot of resources for teachers and educators through this organization.

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