Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in South Dakota
South Dakota doctoral programs in education in our school listings come from one major supplier: the University of South Dakota. But that can be a plus. USD is a CAEP-accredited school and an active participant in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. It has developed plenty of Ed.D. concentrations, including some that lead to administrator certificate endorsements. And it offers specific doctoral scholarships & awards.
If you’re thinking of changing careers or locations after graduation, have a look at our career section. We’ve dug into PK-20 administrative job & salary data and highlighted resources (e.g. district reports) that will set you up for the job interview. You can even start building your network by joining South Dakota educational leadership associations and/or attending their conferences & professional development programs.
Doctoral Education Funding in South Dakota
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted sources of institutional aid (e.g. university-funded awards and assistantships). The Office of Financial Aid will be able to assist with questions on federal & private loans and tuition reimbursement from your workplace.
University of South Dakota
The School of Education offers a hefty number of Educational Leadership Scholarships to graduate & doctoral students. Be sure to look at the ones for aspiring superintendents! Educational leadership covers most of the Ed.D. concentrations, including higher education, but there are separate Curriculum & Instruction Scholarships.
In addition, qualified students may be able to receive financial assistance and gain additional experience through Graduate Assistantships. The Graduate School’s section on Professional Development also includes info on USD research & creative scholarship grants and external scholarships.
School Administration Certification Requirements in South Dakota
Administrator Certificate & Endorsements
The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE/SDDE) and its Office of Educator Certification handles certification for public school educators. Educational leaders in South Dakota typically earn an endorsement. For the Administrator Certificate, there are two endorsements:
- K-12 Principal
These are covered in Chapter 24:28:07 of the Educator Certification Rules. However, there are also endorsements for Education Specialists (e.g. Curriculum Director) and other categories. See the Endorsement section for detailed info on all your options.
The SD DOE provides a list of Approved South Dakota University Preparation Programs. Happily, USD has organized their Ed.D. concentrations to correspond with the appropriate endorsement category. Internships are usually built into the degree plan. Talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator if you have any questions about the certification process.
Administrative Certificate: General Requirements
There are two levels of Administrator Certificate:
- Professional Administrator Certificate: This is issued to someone who is new to the administrative profession or does not meet the requirements of an advanced certificate.
- Advanced Administrator Certificate: This is issued to someone who meets all the professional requirements, meets all administrator certification renewal requirements, and obtains an education specialist degree or higher in an education-related program.
For the Professional Administrative Certificate, you must always:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.
- Complete a school superintendent or principal certification program from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and receive institutional recommendation.
- Complete a South Dakota Indian Studies course approved by SD DOE with a grade of C or higher.
Note: SD DOE’s section on Certification: Information for Administrators has instructions on applying for Administrator Alternative Certification and a list of renewal requirements.
In addition to the general requirements, aspiring K-12 principals in South Dakota will need to meet endorsement requirements laid out in Rule 24:53:08:01. You must:
- Hold a master’s degree in education.
- Demonstrate competence related to the age/grade span for which authorization is sought.
- Complete an internship to include all job responsibilities of the principalship at the age/grade span for which authorization is sought.
- Have three years of verified experience on a valid certificate in an accredited K-12 school, one year of which must include classroom teaching experience or direct services to students. This requirement may be waived if the candidate receives a passing score on the Praxis II: Educational Leadership test.
In addition to the general requirements, aspiring school superintendents in South Dakota will need to meet endorsement requirements laid out in Rule 24:53:08:02. You must:
- Hold an education specialist or doctoral degree.
- Have three years of verified experience on a valid certificate in an accredited K-12 school, one year of which must include classroom teaching experience or direct services to students.
- Complete an internship that allows participation in all job responsibilities of the cooperating superintendent.
Educational Leadership Jobs in South Dakota
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monitors employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. We favor the employment maps, which allow users to view South Dakota in context with the rest of the country. Hover over an area to examine the data points.
Like many rural states in the northwest, South Dakota doesn’t employ a great deal of K-12 administrators. The Sioux Falls metropolitan area makes up ~25% of the state’s job numbers; Rapid City is ~15%. You can learn more about individual K-12 schools & districts by inspecting SD DOE’s South Dakota Report Card, Student Enrollment Data, and Statistical Digest. SD DOE’s Data Dashboards also contain data about staff turnover and vacancies.
The job market for South Dakota postsecondary education administrators tends to be very tight, with one of the lowest employment levels we’ve seen in the country. The state is often on par with Alaska in this category.
If you’re interested in a job in a South Dakota public university or college, the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) maintains a number of detailed SDBOR Dashboards and publishes annual Fact Books.
- Using the dashboards, you can conduct peer analyses (i.e. compare one university’s metrics to another) and analyze a great deal of student data.
- The Fact Books contain budget info, faculty profiles, and much more. USD is, you guessed it, a major employer of higher education faculty & administrators.
Educational Leadership Salaries
The BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for South Dakota contains mean wages for four types of education administrator, including preschool.
Overall, annual mean wages for South Dakota K-12 administrators can be low, especially when you compare the state to all of its neighbors (even North Dakota and Wyoming pay more). The best wages, by far, can be found in Sioux City—not surprising, when you consider the size of the metropolitan area.
- The SD DOE publishes annual Baseline Teacher Salary reports for each district.
- Statewide administrative salaries can be found in the Statistical Digest, under Statewide Data: Staff Information – Administrative Positions.
- SASD and SDEA also publish a joint Comprehensive Compensation Survey.
Despite the relative lack of jobs, wages for South Dakota postsecondary education administrators are very respectable—the state is often right up there with Minnesota. Unsurprisingly, wages are usually better in the eastern part of South Dakota, where SDSU, DSU, and USD live.
- If you’d like to see individual salaries at public universities & colleges, Open SD has a State Employee Salary Lookup tool that allows you to search by name.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education also posts an annual summary of Faculty Salaries in South Dakota, a list which includes public and private institutions. SDSMT and USD frequently head this table.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Standard job sites (e.g. Indeed, HigherEdJobs, SchoolSpring, etc.) will contain openings for educational leaders and PK-20 administrators in South Dakota. But you may have luck with a few local job boards.
- SASD posts Job Vacancies for school administrators.
- ASBSD’s Teacher Placement Center can match potential applicants with K-12 school district positions.
- SDBOR maintains a centralized database where you can Search Postings in all of SDBOR’s six public institutions (e.g. USD, NSU, DSU, etc.) or two special schools.
- SDHEA provides links to Higher Ed Jobs in South Dakota, including employment opportunities at private institutions.
Educational Leadership Organizations in South Dakota
Educational Leadership Associations
- Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD): ASBSD is a private, non-profit organization representing more than 850 local school board members in South Dakota.
- School Administrators of South Dakota (SASD): SASD is an umbrella organization made up of seven administrative parent groups (see below). It exists to unify the professional efforts of those groups, improve education, and enhance student achievement within the state.
- South Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SDASFAA): SDASFAA represents financial aid administrators, counselors in post-secondary institutions, and other individuals concerned with or engaged in the support and/or administration of student financial aid. It’s a state affiliate of NASFAA.
- South Dakota Education Association (SDEA): SDEA is the state’s teachers’ union. It represents ~5,900 educational professionals, including higher education faculty. It’s a state affiliate of the NEA.
- South Dakota Higher Education Association (SDHEA): SDHEA exists to provide continued leadership in addressing issues and trends in higher education. Members include South Dakota higher education professionals and graduate students.
SASD Parent Groups
- South Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals (SDAESP): SDAESP acts as the voice of South Dakota elementary school principals and works for the continuous improvement of elementary education. It’s a state affiliate of NAESP.
- South Dakota Association of School Business Officials (SDASBO): SDASBO helps its members meet the high standards and expectations of school business management. It’s a state affiliate of ASBO International.
- South Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals (SDASSP): SDASSP represents middle and high school principals throughout South Dakota. It’s a state affiliate of NASSP.
- South Dakota Association of Supervision of Curriculum Development (SDASCD): SDASCD is composed of a diverse set of members, including teachers, curriculum leaders, and school administrators. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- South Dakota Council of Administrators of Special Education (SDCASE): SDCASE members advocate for students, collaborate with SDDOE, and raise awareness of special education/education related issues. It’s affiliated with CEC/CASE.
- South Dakota School Superintendents Association (SDSSA): SDSSA helps South Dakota superintendents develop their leadership skills, professional knowledge, and management abilities.
- The Beadle Club: The Beadle Club honors selected individuals in South Dakota who have given meritorious service in the cause of education over a period of years.
Note: State and national educator organizations often have funds & scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in South Dakota
Educational Leadership Conferences
- ASBSD/SASD Joint Convention: This two-day conference for school board members and administrators includes breakout sessions, keynote speakers, an awards banquet, and more. It typically occurs in August.
- SASD Events: SASD organizes various meetings, seminars (e.g. SASD Legal Seminar), and conferences (e.g. “Wild West” Leadership Conference) throughout the year.
- SDAESP/SDASSP The Principals’ Conference: This three-day conference in April allows South Dakota K-12 principals and administrators to meet in person and discuss issues at different schools across the state.
- SDASBO Spring Conference: This three-day conference for South Dakota school business officials & business managers usually happens in late April.
- SDASFAA Spring Conference: This three-day conference for South Dakota student financial aid administrators takes place in April.
- SDHEA Annual Conference: This three-day event in February centers on issues surrounding South Dakota higher education.
- SDSSA Summer Conference: SDSSA’s annual meeting for school superintendents and school district leaders is held over three days in July.
Educational Leadership Training
- SASD Administrators Professional Development Award (APDA): SASD issues this award after members have accumulated 60 professional development hours. See the award details for a list of eligible activities.
- SASD/SDSSA New Superintendents Workshop: This short, one-day workshop is often held in July.
- SDASFAA Fall Meeting/Decentralized Training: This two-day training program for student financial aid administrators covers important topics (e.g. federal updates).
- SD DOE/SASD Principal Leadership & Development Program: This two-year program provides professional development, resources, and a network of support for early-career principals.
- SD DOE Training & Courses: SD DOE allows you to filter its professional development opportunities by category (e.g. Administration) or area of interest (e.g. Special Education).