Certification Process

Frequently Asked Questions
Certification Processing Time is Around 10 Weeks
Summer Processing Time May Exceed 10 Weeks
  • Apply Early – 2015 renewal applications can be submitted after January 1.
  • Pending Processing – If your application status indicates “Pending processing by a SD Department of Education Certification Officer” this means all documents have been received and the application is ready to be processed.
  • July 1 expiration – If all documents have been received by July 1, certificates will not be considered lapsed.

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If you are applying for a South Dakota Teaching certificate, you will need to complete one of the following applications:

Initial Certification

Educators who have never held a South Dakota teaching certificate must complete the online initial application.
Initial certification requires verification from an accredited university that the candidate has completed an approved education program.

(Paper application also available.)
To receive a five-year certificate candidates must:
Have completed a teacher preparation program
Have completed six credits within the past five years
Have completed the required Praxis II tests
One-Year Certificate
Individuals may receive a one-year certificate if they have completed a teacher education program, but do not have the required six transcripted credits obtained in the past five years or required Praxis II tests.
Additional Paper Documents May Be Required
- Official transcripts showing the education degree and recent credits completed
- University sign-off verifying completion of the teacher education program
- Copy of Praxis II test scores
- Copy of teaching certificates from other states
- Verification of teaching experience in another state
- Documents supporting legal alien status for non-citizenship
- Copy of legal documents required for any criminal offense declared through the online initial application
- International academic credentials must be evaluated to ensure they are recognized in the United States
Additional Coursework Requirements
Once South Dakota certification is obtained, educators must complete:
- Human relations course
- South Dakota Indian studies course




Renewal Certification

Educators who have a South Dakota teaching certificate (valid or lapsed) need to renew by completing the online renewal application.
- All certificates expire July 1
- Renewal application may be submitted after Jan. 1 of the year the certificate expires
- Once renewal application is submitted, credits may be earned for the next renewal

(Paper application also available.)

Renewal Requirements
All educators are required to earn six credits for renewal purposes. The type of credit varies based on the educator’s highest degree:
--Bachelor’s degree – At least three credits must be transcripted; the remaining credits may be continuing education contact hours.
--Advanced degree or National Board Certification – These credits can be any combination of transcripted credits or continuing education contact hours.
One-Year Option
- Educators that have not met renewal requirements may be eligible for a one-year extension to keep the certificate valid for one additional year.
Five-Year Option
- Educators who have met all certification requirements.
Ten-Year Option
- Educators who have completed an advanced degree (master's, specialist, doctorate) or National Board Certification may be eligible for a one-time 10-year certificate
- Ten years are based on the year the degree was completed
Additional Paper Documents May Be Required
- Official transcripts showing transcripted credits and/or new degree earned
- Copy of documents confirming continuing education contact hours
- Copy of newly obtained Praxis II test scores


Additional Authorization

Educators who want to add an authorization prior to renewal must complete the online authorization application.
This will NOT change the expiration date of your current certificate.
Additional authorizations are issued after an individual has completed a program or additional major such as administrator, school counselor or reading specialist through an accredited university.

(Paper application also available.)

Additional Paper Documents May Be Required
- Official transcripts to verify program completion or additional degree
- University sign-off form
- Copy of Praxis II test scores


Additional Endorsement

Educators who want to add an endorsement by completion of coursework or Praxis II test prior to the renewal must complete the online endorsement application.
This will NOT change the expiration date of your current certificate.

(Paper application also available.)

Additional Paper Documents May Be Required
- Official transcripts to verify coursework
- Copy of Praxis II test scores
- Verification of experience in an accredited K-12 school




Lakota Dakota Nakota

Individuals with proficiency and certification recommendation for Lakota, Dakota and Nakota must initially complete the paper Lakota Dakota Nakota application.

Educators renewing their Lakota Dakota Nakota certificate must complete the paper application.
Additional Paper Documents Required
- Official transcript to verify the Lakota language methods course




Name/Address Changes or Duplicate Request

Educators needing to make changes to demographic information must complete the online name/address changes request.

Educators requesting a duplicate certificate must complete the online duplicate request application.

(Paper application also available.)

Additional Paper Documents May Be Required
-Personal check or money order for duplicate fee.




Contact

Paper documents should be mailed to SD Department of Education, Certification Office, 800 Governors Dr., Pierre, SD 57501
Read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions can be directed to: certification@state.sd.us.

Documents
Tuition Reduction Form
University Sign Off Form
Verification of Experience
Useful links
Teacher411 Administrative Rule 24:15
Administrative Rule 24:53 Continuing Education
Teacher Loan Forgiveness