USF Offers Alternative Certification in Special Education

April 28, 2022,

The University of Sioux Falls’ Fredrikson School of Education is proud to continue offering coursework that fulfills the South Dakota Department of Education’s Alternative Certification in Special Education.

Stacy Adamson moved to Sioux Falls with 11 years of experience as an elementary health and physical education teacher. As she searched for the right job she found herself loving every opportunity to substitute teach in the special education classroom. Adamson decided to pursue her SPED certificate.

“I was approached by our special ed director and was offered a job as a special ed resource teacher at the High School contingent on getting my certificate,” said Adamson, who is now a special education and resource teacher at Harrisburg High School. “I was so excited and ready for this opportunity. I started researching how I could get my SPED certificate in as little amount of time and cost effective as possible. The University of Sioux Falls made my decision clear and simple. They had the whole program laid out. They looked at my transcripts and figured out exactly what I still needed to get my certificate. Registration was really easy to work with.”

Under new rules authorized by the DOE in 2017, current teachers can apply for an alternative route to a special education endorsement to help fill the state’s great need. Typically a bachelor’s degree in special education is required, but the alternative route allows experienced educators with the support of their school and approval by the DOE to obtain the 15 credits of approved coursework needed to sit for the state certification exam. 

“I consider myself a lifelong learner,” said Adamson. “I love taking classes and learning new content. The fully online course mode worked perfectly for me so that I could take the job, work and go to school all at the same time.”

The USF courses were developed specifically for this alternative certification to ensure all objectives of the DOE’s alternative certification are met. All courses are delivered online through USF’s Fredrikson School of Education from practitioners in the field.

The first course, Assessment in Special Education, is scheduled for June 1-July 13. To find out more about the certification click HERE.

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