According to the National Center for Education Statistics, employment for U.S. teachers decreased 1.3% between 1999 and 2016; however, the number of teaching positions in North Dakota increased 19.5%. In 2018, the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) declared all content areas, except physical education, as critical shortage areas.
Online programs provide flexible pathways to earn licensure for teaching jobs in North Dakota.
Educators in North Dakota have plenty of employment options. Many North Dakota students pursue online associate, bachelor's, and doctoral degrees in education through in-state and out-of-state institutions. Online programs provide flexible pathways to earn licensure for teaching jobs in North Dakota. Many programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedules, and distance learners often save money by not having to pay campus fees.
Online programs allow practicing teachers to further their education while working. Teachers pursuing an online teaching degree in North Dakota can apply learned knowledge and skills to classroom teaching.
Graduates of out-of-state education programs can obtain an out-of-state reciprocal license or an other state educator license. Both licenses grant North Dakota teaching credentials to educators who fulfill coursework, testing, and background check requirements.
How Do I Become a Teacher in North Dakota?
Candidates for a North Dakota teaching certificate must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, complete a state-approved teacher preparation program, earn qualifying Praxis scores, pass a background check, and demonstrate satisfactory pedagogical knowledge.
Teaching certification requirements vary by state, and licenses do not automatically transfer between states. However, North Dakota participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which eases the process for teachers moving to a new state. The agreement outlines specific qualifications each state accepts.
Educators with a North Dakota teaching license can often gain provisional, temporary, or limited licensure in other states before fulfilling all requirements for full licensure. Although each state sets specific qualifications to earn licensure, North Dakota teaching requirements are similar to those of other states.
North Dakota educators must hold a bachelor's degree. Although a two-year degree does not qualify candidates for a North Dakota teaching license, earning an associate degree in education provides foundational knowledge to prepare aspiring teachers for bachelor's programs.
Students pursuing an online teaching degree in North Dakota must typically fulfill student-teaching requirements.
Although completing a bachelor's in education is the most direct path to obtaining teaching credentials in North Dakota, candidates with a non-education degree can pursue alternative certification through the transition-to-teaching program or the alternate access license program, both of which require the licensee to work in a teaching-shortage area.
Degree completion time depends on factors including graduation requirements, program structure, and enrollment status. However, students earning an online bachelor's in education typically complete 120 credits in four years. A master's degree requires about 30 credits, which most students complete in one to two additional years. Students pursuing an online teaching degree in North Dakota must typically fulfill student-teaching requirements.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in North Dakota
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Education||Students examine the philosophical, historical, psychological, and social foundations of formal education. The course explores professionalism in teaching and the community responsibilities of educators.|
|Developmental Psychology||This course provides an overview of human development from conception to death. Students examine the cognitive, physical, personal, and social changes that occur during the human life cycle.|
|The Family||Students evaluate the effects of cultural, historical, and economic factors on conceptions of family. Students critically examine concepts related to marriage, work, love, and sexuality from a sociological perspective.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Observation, Assessment, and Interpretation Techniques||This course introduces students to informal and formal evaluation strategies. Students learn tools and strategies for assessing the needs of diverse student populations and modifying instruction accordingly.|
|Educational Technology||Students learn to apply information technology in the classroom. Students use computer-based resources to design learning experiences and instructional strategies that maximize content learning in the digital age.|
|Educating Exceptional Students||Students learn to address the needs of exceptional learners within specialized and mainstream classrooms. Students examine the characteristics of exceptional students and discuss instruction delivery models, curricular adaptations, and teaching practices.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Educational Foundations||Students explore historical, legal, and intellectual factors that have affected the development of public education in the U.S. Students discuss the role of teachers as learning facilitators and examine basic principles of knowledge acquisition.|
|Designing and Interpreting Education Research||This course introduces students to quantitative and qualitative research methods. Learners evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various research methods and explore strategies for analyzing and applying education data.|
|Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds||Students are prepared to teach in culturally diverse classrooms. Students learn strategies for creating inclusive learning environments, facilitating positive relationships between students, and addressing the needs of diverse learners.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in North Dakota
To qualify for North Dakota teaching jobs, candidates must obtain state licensure from the ESPB.
First-time applicants who meet the basic requirements for licensure may receive a two-year, initial in-state license. After teaching for 18 months in North Dakota, initial license holders can apply for a first-five-year license. Teachers must complete continuing education requirements to be eligible for renewal.
The two-year renewal license is available to applicants who are eligible for a probationary license or an out-of-state reciprocal license, as well as to those with contracted teaching experience in North Dakota.
The one-year alternate access license is available to graduates of non-teaching programs. Alternate access license holders work in documented shortage areas and commit to completing required education coursework within three years of receiving licensure. Teachers can renew this license once a year for three years.
Teachers licensed outside of North Dakota can apply for a two- or five-year other state educator license. Out-of-state bachelor's degree holders without a teaching license can obtain a two-year, out-of-state reciprocal license, which may be renewed one time. Requirements include a transcript analysis and, sometimes, additional coursework or testing.
Candidates for a two-year, interim substitute license must have at least 48 undergraduate credits. Experienced educators whose North Dakota teaching license expired more than five years ago may apply for a two-year re-entry license. Five-year and re-entry license holders who fail to meet continuing education requirements can obtain a nonrenewable, two-year probationary license.
Teachers who maintain North Dakota licensure for 30 years can apply for the 30-year life license, which does not expire.
Choosing a Degree Program in North Dakota
Aspects to consider when selecting an education program include program cost, location, length, and curriculum. Consider each program's tuition costs, along with financial aid options. Many online programs have per-credit tuition rates and minimal fees, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of a degree.
Most bachelor's programs take about four years to complete, and earning a master's in education typically takes one to two additional years.
Location also affects program selection. A degree from an in-state school creates the easiest pathway to a North Dakota teaching certificate. However, graduates of out-of-state programs can also qualify for teaching positions in North Dakota.
Most bachelor's programs take about four years to complete, and earning a master's in education typically takes one to two additional years. Many online programs are asynchronous, which allows students to complete coursework at their own pace.
Education programs offer different specializations. Students who plan to focus on a particular content area, such as mathematics or language arts, or a specific population, such as early childhood or special needs learners, should ensure any prospective program offers the appropriate specialization.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in North Dakota?
Graduates of online programs can qualify for a North Dakota teaching certificate. Accredited online education programs prepare students to obtain state licensure through coursework, field experiences, and exam preparation.
Students who complete an education program outside the state can still qualify for North Dakota teaching credentials. Reciprocity agreements can streamline the process for out-of-state students pursuing a North Dakota teaching license.
Students pursuing an online teaching degree in North Dakota or in another state should choose a regionally accredited program. Regional accreditation requires schools to pass a rigorous evaluation process and is the most widely respected type of accreditation. A degree from a regionally accredited institution qualifies graduates for licensure and makes them competitive candidates for teaching positions. The Higher Learning Commission awards regional accreditation to North Dakota institutions.
Prospective students should also look for a program with accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which evaluates undergraduate and graduate educator preparation programs based on their adherence to pedagogical, clinical, and selectivity standards.
Directory of Teaching Schools in North Dakota
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in North Dakota
Schools often provide scholarships based on academic merit or financial need, and some offer program-specific funding. Students should also look for awards from professional associations, regional programs, and private foundations. Military personnel and their dependants qualify for additional aid, and some scholarship programs support students from North Dakota and the surrounding states.
Learners should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible to determine their eligibility for federal financial assistance, which includes need-based grants and low-interest loans.
Because qualified faculty are an asset to schools, many districts have a budget for teachers' professional development. Practicing educators pursuing a graduate degree may receive tuition assistance or reimbursement from their employer. Additionally, educators teaching high-need subjects may qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs.
Loan Forgiveness for North Dakota Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs waive part or all of student debt for eligible teachers. These programs incentivise qualified educators to work in critical shortage areas. Many public school teachers qualify for loan forgiveness programs.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program waives up to $17,500 of teachers' federal student loan balance. Teachers must work full time in a low-income school or educational service agency for at least five years.
The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program provides partial loan forgiveness to full-time public sector employees who have made at least 120 qualifying payments toward their debt. Typically, teachers must work at least 10 years before qualifying for this program.
The Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program is a North Dakota initiative designed to recruit and retain qualified educators by reducing the student debt of teachers who work in specific grade levels, content areas, and geographic locations. The superintendent designates critical need and teacher shortage areas.
Scholarships for North Dakota Teaching Students
Many scholarships are made available to teaching students. Some scholarships are offered to state residents, while others are national or regional. Students pursuing an online teaching degree in North Dakota should consider the funding options below.
North Dakota State Student Incentive Grant $975 per semester
North Dakota Continuing Education Grant $1,200
Victor and Verna Johnson Scholarship $4,500
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant $4,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in North Dakota
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
The table above illustrates employment and mean salaries for preschool, kindergarten, primary, and secondary teachers in North Dakota and nationwide. Although the annual mean wage of North Dakota educators is lower than the national mean, individual salaries depend on factors including grade level, experience, and location.
For example, teachers in Bismarck, North Dakota's largest metropolitan area, earn an average annual salary of $51,290. Teachers in rural areas typically earn less, but many qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs.
Grade level also impacts salary. Middle school teachers earn an average of $55,880 per year, whereas preschool teachers average $33,160 annually. Other factors that impact earning potential include degree level, employer type, and classroom experience.
|Elementary School Teachers||$51,090|
|Middle School Teachers||$55,880|
|Secondary School Teachers||$51,400|
Resources for Teachers in North Dakota
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) The North Dakota DPI monitors the performance and legal compliance of public school districts statewide. The superintendent oversees standards development, educator credentialing, and assessment data collection. This department provides information about North Dakota teaching requirements.
- North Dakota Regional Education Association (NDREA) This association enforces professional development standards, implements regional and statewide education programs, and promotes research-based teaching practices. NDREA provides education professionals and students with information about North Dakota's public schools.
- North Dakota United This labor union is the result of a merger between the North Dakota Education Association and the North Dakota Public Employees Association. The organization provides administrative support, legislative representation, and professional development programs to education professionals. Members benefit from legal assistance, scholarship and grant application opportunities, and insurance programs.
- National Education Association (NEA) NEA promotes education reform as a solution to social injustice and economic inequality. Members attend annual conferences, participate in service events, and advocate for public school teachers and students. Member benefits include professional development resources, legal services, and access to education research.
- Association of American Educators (AAE) This association promotes a nonpartisan and student-centered approach to teacher representation and education improvement. AAE provides lesson plans, instructional tools, job listings, and professional development resources. The association offers scholarships for teachers seeking advanced education, as well as grants for purchasing classroom supplies.