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Teacher Certification

To graduate from BHSU and be licensed to teach in South Dakota, students must pass Praxis Content Knowledge Exams and the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT). The Praxis Content Knowledge Exams measure the student's knowledge of content (what disciplines he/she will teach) and must be successfully passed before a student is allowed to student teach. The PPAT assesses the student’s knowledge of methods (how to teach). It is taken during the student teaching semester.

Students must pass any content area exam for which they want to be licensed in South Dakota as per the guidelines for certification. Study guides are available on the ETS PRAXIS website. Over 90% of our students pass the exams on the first try because they study, take it seriously, and take advantage of study guides.

Assistance will be provided to candidates regarding the out-of-state requirements for licensure prior to enrollment in the Black Hills State University program. Please contact the Director of Field Experiences and University Certification Officer, Mrs. Jami Kesling [E: TeacherEducationCertification@bhsu.edu  P: 605-642-6077].

Certification Links

South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Education - Educator 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.

North Dakota

North Dakota - Education Standards and Practice Board)

Have you ever held a North Dakota teaching certificate or license?
No, but I have a certificate or license from another state.

North Dakota has limited reciprocity with other states. All out-of-state applicants submit transcripts for review by the same criteria as ND applicants. You will need to apply and provide official copies of transcripts from all the institutions of higher education you have attended. There is a $30 fee to receive the application packet and a $175 non-refundable fee for the transcript review process. Those meeting the full North Dakota requirements will be issued a 2-year initial license which has a fee of $70. See information on Initial Licensure. Those who meet the minimum reciprocity requirements and submit a satisfactory plan for completing the remaining ND requirements will be issued a 2-year interim reciprocal license which has a fee of $70. See information on Interim Reciprocal Licensure.


Wyoming - Professional Teaching Standards Board

You will need an Institution Recommendation

  • It comes to the Office of Field Experiences
  • The Director of Field Experiences fills it out and mail it back to you
  • You mail it to the PTSB office

Wyoming certifies elementary teachers K-6; K-12 SPED are SPED Generalist

PRAXIS tests approved in SD qualify for Wyoming

License effective date (validity dates): For applicants who may be concerned about the “effective” date of their license or permit, please be assured that the effective date of your license will be the date your ­­complete application was received by our office. Example: If your complete application was received 02/08/2012, but it takes five weeks for the license to be issued, the effective date of your license will be 02/08/2012, not the day it is issued. This is another reason that it is crucial for you to ensure you have carefully read the application instructions and have submitted a complete application packet that includes ­all required documentation.


Minnesota Department of Education

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam (MTLE)

Information About Other States

NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE TEACHER CANDIDATES: Each state is responsible for its own certification/licensure requirements, which may change without notice to NASDTEC or to BHSU's certification office. You must contact the office of certification in any state to which you may be relocating to get the most accurate information on certification requirements. NASDTEC has a map link that will help you determine the educator certification requirements for each state. One important note is that reciprocity is always easier if you complete the certification requirements and obtain your teaching credential in the state where you completed your program requirements.

NOTE: All information is provided by the jurisdiction. BHSU and NASDTEC do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. Questions should be submitted to the jurisdiction. Here is a link to the MAP that provides information for each jurisdiction.


Meets Program Curriculum Educational Requirements for State Licensure or Certification

Has Not Been Determined if Program Curriculum Meets Educational Requirements for State Licensure or Certification

Arizona Alabama
Arkansas* Alaska
Colorado* California
DC* Connecticut
Florida* Delaware
Georgia Guam
Hawaii Iowa
Idaho Northern Mariana Islands
Illinois* Oklahoma
Indiana* Puerto Rico
Kansas* Vermont
Kentucky* U.S. Virgin Islands
New Hampshire
New Jersey*
New Mexico*
New York*
North Carolina*
North Dakota*
Rhode Island*
South Carolina*
West Virginia*



*States will possibly need extra coursework or exams, not necessarily right away for an initial license.

Check the state agency (linked) website for additional information.

For more information, speak to your university certification officer. BHSU Phone: 605-642-6077

State requirements are subject to change without notice to the university.

After Initial Certification


Teacher Recertification and Endorsements

Black Hills State University offers a variety of options for teachers looking for recertification credits or adding additional endorsements to current teaching certificates. Coursework is designed for individuals who have completed a teaching content area from accredited colleges or universities.

Black Hills State University follows certification rules established by the South Dakota Department of Education. For more information about certification renewal requirements and adding an endorsement, see the South Dakota Department of Education Certification: Information for Teachers website.

Frequently requested endorsements include, but are not limited to:

  • Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement
  • K-12 Special Education Endorsement
  • Kindergarten Endorsement
  • Additional endorsements available upon analysis of transcripts request

Start Recertification Application

This application is to be completed by teachers seeking to take classes at BHSU for recertification purposes or for adding an endorsement to a current teaching certificate. This is classified as a non-degree-seeking application. Classes can be taken at the undergraduate or graduate level. There is no fee for non-degree-seeking applications. Candidates seeking an additional degree, please visit the School of Education page.

College transcripts and Teaching Certificates are required. Please email copies of transcripts and teaching certificates to TeacherEducationCertification@bhsu.edu

Contact Info

Jami Kesling
Director of Field Experience
Jonas 203A Map
Phone: 605-642-6077

Dr. Leon Biggs
Assessment and Placement Coordinator
Jonas 203A Map
Phone: 605-642-6550

Kellie Hatch
Program Assistant - Field Experience
Jonas 203A Map
Phone: 605-642-6642

Black Hills State University
1200 University St.
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799