Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2016–2017, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in North Dakota
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/28/2016
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of North Dakota, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit a North Dakota teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your North Dakota Teaching Credential
To earn your North Dakota teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.
Teacher education programs generally combine both curricula and fieldwork. The curricula typically include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork can include student teaching, internships, and field observations.
North Dakota issues a two-year Initial In-State License to first-time applicants and the Five Year Renewal License to applicants who have taught successfully for at least 18 months. Various other licenses exist for special situations.
If you already have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your North Dakota credential through interstate reciprocity. See the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board’s Routes to ND Licensure for Out-of-State Educators document for more information.
Learn more about earning your North Dakota teaching credential on the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board website or read more about getting your teaching credential on Teach.com.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in North Dakota
Certified teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to teach in any state. Additionally, some states require specific undergraduate credit hours for certification in the areas of specialty. North Dakota’s undergraduate prerequisites are as follows:
Required for all levels and subjects: A minimum of 22 semester hours of professional education coursework, including coursework in educational foundations, educational psychology, child development, teaching and learning theory, educational diagnosis and assessment, inclusive education, educational technology, classroom and behavioral management, and human relations specific to teaching. Also: 10 weeks of full-time supervised student teaching, and some classroom experience before student teaching.
The major (in elementary education, middle-level education, or content-specific education at all grade levels) requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of coursework specific to the major beyond the introductory level.
Elementary Education: 34 semester hours or 50 quarter hours of professional education coursework, including at least 12 semester hours in the teaching of elementary school mathematics, science, social studies, reading, and language arts.
Middle-Level Education: Must include study of middle-level foundations, adolescent development, reading in the content areas at the middle level, and special methods of teaching at the middle level. Must hold a minimum equivalent of 24 semester hours of content area preparation and methods in the subject area specializations in which they are teaching.
Secondary English/Language Arts: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework
Secondary Mathematics: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework
Secondary History/Social Science: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework
Secondary Science: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework
Step Two: North Dakota Teacher Certification Programs
Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of North Dakota colleges and universities with approved teacher preparation programs can be found on the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board website.
Step Three: Required Tests for North Dakota
To become a certified teacher in North Dakota, you must complete and pass a basic skills test as well as any subject area competence assessments for the desired subject matter of instruction.
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The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.
Alternative Certification in North Dakota
Aspiring teachers who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in an area other than education and have not earned a traditional teaching certificate can still become teachers by earning an alternative teaching certificate and satisfying specific requirements. In North Dakota, a one-year Alternate Access License is issued to individuals who have degrees in content areas where a teacher shortage exists. The teacher then meets coursework requirements while teaching in the classroom.
A one-year Interim Substitute License may be issued to individuals with a minimum of 48 semester hours of college coursework to fill in temporarily during a teacher shortage in a particular area.
In the Bismarck Public Schools, beginning teachers who started out with a master’s degree in the field of education earned $5,685 more annually than teachers who started out with a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bismarck Public Schools 2016–2017 Salary Schedule.
The North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office oversees the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement (TFFR), which all North Dakota public school teachers automatically become members of. North Dakota teachers receive benefits from TFFR based on a tier system. Tier 1 benefits are awarded to teachers whose years of service and age equal 85 (for example, 55 years old and 30 years of service). Tier 2 benefits are awarded to teachers whose ages and years of service equal 90. North Dakota teachers are eligible for early retirement at 55 years of age. Tier 1 and Tier 2 benefits are quite similar. For more benefits information, see the TFFR Member Handbook.
Professional Development for North Dakota Teachers
All schools in North Dakota are required by the Department of Public Instruction to engage in continuous professional development activities; however, the professional development activities or events are left up to the discretion of schools or schools districts, so these activities can vary. Many North Dakota schools participate in group discussion and data charts professional development, in accordance with the national No Child Left Behind Act. To renew an existing license, current teachers must complete a minimum of 4 semester hours of professional development, per the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board.
Job Service North Dakota is an extensive online portal containing teaching jobs in North Dakota. Maintained by the North Dakota state government, Job Service North Dakota also publishes news about North Dakota jobs and provides an interactive map that links to job resources that are specific to various North Dakota counties. Before searching the online database, users must register, which is free. After registration is complete, users can browse for teaching jobs by location, salary, school, and specialty.