Certification Information

Certification In South Dakota

  • Augustana University’s Master of Education in Special Education (SPED) programs in K-12 SPED and Early Childhood SPED are designed for certified teachers and those interested in serving children and youth with disabilites in other capacities.
  • The required coursework reflects South Dakota’s required content for endorsements in either Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) or K-12 Special Education.
  • Endorsements in South Dakota are ONLY available to teachers in South Dakota.
  • An online degree from Augustana University does not lead to immediate teacher licensure or endorsement in any state, except South Dakota.
  • Post-degree requirements for South Dakota certified teachers to add a SPED endorsement include additional PRAXIS testing as follows:  SPED Content Test AND Pedagogy/PLT Test.  The PLT may be waived if verification of two or more years of state-certified teaching experience in the grade span of the endorsement is documented.

Certification In States Other Than South Dakota

To pursue an endorsement and/or alternative certification in Special Education in your state, contact your state's education authorities prior to enrolling at Augustana to determine what state-specific requirements you must complete before obtaining your endorsement/license. Augustana graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a state-by-state basis that may include one or more of the following:

  • student teaching or practicum experience,
  • additional coursework,
  • additional testing, or
  • if the state requires a specific type of degree to seek alternative certification, earning an additional degree.

Other factors, such as a student’s criminal history, may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure or employment in this field of study.  All prospective students are advised to visit the US Department of Education’s website (www.ed.gov/) and to contact the licensing body of the state where they are licensed or intend to obtain licensure to verify that these courses qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits in that state prior to enrolling.  Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s policies and procedures relating to licensure as those policies are subject to change.

Additional Links

  • Augustana University holds accreditation with a variety of professional organizations.
  • Access to State Departments of Education
  • National Association of Special Education Teachers: As the only national membership organization focused solely on SPED teachers, NASET provides professional development opportunities, continuing education, handouts, publications, events, national conferences, and career support.
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America: LDAA offers helpful resources to members, including a special section devoted exclusively to educators. Here, teachers and other learning professionals can find research, publications, and information on specific learning disabilities.
  • Council for Exceptional Children: In addition to providing opportunities for professional development, CEC offers local chapters with regular events, national conferences, a series of publications, and access to research for all its members.