​MADISON S.D. – Today, the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) authorized Northern State University (NSU) to offer Composite Science as an additional core content area for Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education students. The Board also approved a virtual delivery method for the BSEd Secondary Education degree to support incoming South Dakota Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway enrollees.

The new online and HyFlex BSEd in Secondary Education is part of the South Dakota Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway, launched in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Education (DOE) and BOR earlier this year. This collaborative effort aims to support and encourage paraprofessionals to become licensed teachers in the state of South Dakota.

“This is an innovative way to make a real impact as higher education works with Governor Noem to find creative ways to address workforce needs in our state,” said South Dakota Board of Regents President Tim Rave. “The Governor challenged state agencies and the board to develop opportunities to provide nontraditional methods to grow our workforce. This apprenticeship program allows us to educate aspiring teachers while keeping enrollees in their hometowns.”

NSU and Dakota State University (DSU) will offer the necessary coursework over two years, culminating in a student-teacher experience in the para-educator’s home district and a bachelor’s degree in education. All coursework is virtual, so the participant can continue to work while enrolled. In addition, students enrolled in the apprenticeship program will earn their education degree at a reduced cost due to grant support from the South Dakota DOE.

“Investing in South Dakota’s educator workforce is vital to our state and our students,” said System Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Janice Minder. “By offering opportunities to dedicated paraprofessionals, BOR and DOE hope to turn the current teacher shortage into a well-established educator pipeline. We encourage school districts to support participation in the apprenticeship program and provide authentic on-the-job training within their community.”

The BSEd in Secondary Education will provide students with a solid understanding of the discipline through theoretical and practical components of the curriculum. The approved program will include seven specializations, including social studies, history, science, chemistry, biology, math, and English. The program focuses on equipping students with expertise in their academic field and the skills to foster an effective learning environment.