Credentials and Certificates

Credentialing educators in North Dakota is the responsibility of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI). All credentialed positions require a North Dakota Educators Professional Teaching License before a credential can be issued. Licensing and endorsements are issued by the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB).

NDDPI has an online application process for all administrative, school counselor, library media, Title I, and special education director credentials. The online credential applications can be accessed on NDTeach.

Library Media

The NDDPI issues three types of Library Media Credentials:

  • The LMO3 Librarian Credential requires 15 specific credits to be completed in a state-approved LMIS program
  • The LMO2 Library Media Specialist Credential requires an additional specific 9 credits in a state-approved LMIS program
  • The LMO1 Library Media Director Credential requires an additional specific 6 credits in a state-approved LMIS program; for a total of 30 credits.
     
  • The Plan of Study Option is available to applicants who are currently enrolled in and have completed at least 6 credits in a state-approved LMIS program. The Plan of Study is renewable every year, and allows applicants to serve in the school library while completing the required coursework.

*A library media credential does NOT require a Praxis test. Applicants seeking this credential need to follow the above requirements, as outlined in ND Administrative Rule 67-11-04.

For more information on Library Media Credentials, please contact the NDDPI at (701) 328-4571.

Principal - Elementary or Secondary

The NDDPI issues three types of Level I Professional Principal Credentials:

  • The Elementary Principal Credential (for individuals serving grade levels K-8).
  • The Secondary Principal Credential (for individuals serving grade levels 5-12).
  • The K-12 Principal Credential (currently in development).

 

In North Dakota, Level I Professional Principal Credential applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • At least three years of teaching or administrative experience at the grade levels applicable.
  • A Master's degree in Educational Administration or another field certifiable by the Education Standards and Practices Board with course preparation aligned to the following standards:
    • Mission, vision, and improvement.
    • Ethics and professional norms.
    • Equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsiveness.
    • Learning and instruction.
    • Operations and management
    • Building professional capacity.
    • Internship specific to the grade levels of the credential being applied for (Elementary, Secondary, K-12).

Applicants can apply for a provisional credential that will allow them to serve as a Principal while completing either or both the coursework and experience requirements.

If you have questions regarding Principal Credentials, please contact the NDDPI at (701) 328-4571.

School Counselor

In North Dakota we strive to provide a robust, comprehensive school counseling program. The first step to achieve this goal is in the training of the school counselor. North Dakota requires that a school counselor must have a School Counselor Credential or School Counselor Plan of Study issued by NDDPI.

A School Counselor Credential can be issued to individuals that have a master's degree in counseling, education, or a related human service field along with coursework in the following content areas: 

  • Elementary school counseling
  • Secondary school counseling
  • Supervised school counseling internship consisting of a minimum of 450 contact hours of which at least 150 contact hours are at both the elementary and secondary level
  • Counseling program management
  • Counseling theories
  • Assessment techniques
  • Group counseling
  • Career counseling and assessment
  • Social and multicultural counseling
  • Ethics and law
  • Counseling techniques

School counselors must also obtain a professional educators license before they may be issued a School Counseling Credential.

A School Counselor Plan of Study can be issued to individuals that are enrolled in a state-approved school counseling graduate program and be allowed to work as a counselor while completing their coursework. To qualify for the School Counselor Plan of Study, an individual must:

  • Have an ESPB Professional Educators License
  • Have a minimum of three graduate courses completed as part of the school counseling curriculum from the following content areas:
    • Counseling Program Management
    • Counseling Methods/Techniques
    • Counseling Theory
    • Ethics and Law
  • Submit transcripts showing a minimum of five credits completion of the school counseling graduate program each year until the program has been completed
  • Universities approved for the School Counselor Plan of Study are UND, NDSU, University of Mary, MSU-Moorhead, Capella, Walden, and University of the Southwest

To apply for a School Counselor Credential or the School Counselor Plan of Study, log onto NDTeach and follow these steps to the application:

  • Begin New Application
  • Add or Renew Credential
  • Click on the credential that you wish to apply for

School Counselor Credential FAQ

Contact the Office of School Approval & Opportunity at (701) 328-2244 for additional information.

Special Education Director

In North Dakota, Special Education Director Credential applicants must meet the following standards. The documentation on each standard must be verified within the department before any credential will be issued. An applicant must have:

  1. A valid North Dakota educator's professional license issued by the education standards and practices board in accordance with North Dakota Century Code sections 15.1-13-10 and 15.1-13-23 and North Dakota Administrative Code title 67.1, based on a bachelor's degree with a certifiable major or minor or an endorsement;
  2. A master's degree in special education or a related field from a state-approved program, but a master's degree in gifted and talented will not be accepted;
  3. Basic preparation in one area of special education, excluding gifted and talented, which will entitle the applicant to the special education credential for North Dakota in that area;
  4. An additional nine semester hours in more than one other area of special education, excluding gifted and talented;
  5. Eight semester hours in school administration or a four-semester-hour internship in administration of special education and two semester hours in school administration. The eight semester hours in school administration must be chosen from courses in school law, administration of the public school, school finance, teacher personnel administration, or a seminar in administration;
  6. At least two years of successful professional education employment experience in one area of special education, excluding gifted and talented; and
  7. Written recommendations from two persons who supervised the applicant during the applicant's teaching experience.

Special Education Director's Credential Requirements (Administrative Rule 67-11-08)

Application for Special Education Credential - Director of Special Education (SFN 9447)

Special Education Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion

Paraprofessionals providing instructional support to individuals with disabilities must demonstrate completion of twenty contact hours of inservice training conducted within one calendar year of employment in which the paraeducator assumes assigned duties. 

Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion (Administrative Rule 67-11-14)

Resource Manual: The Implementation of Effective Paraeducator Practices in Educational Settings

Paraeducator Training Module 1: Student Support Concepts

Paraeducator Training Module 2: Human Growth and Development & the Impact of Disabilities

Paraeducator Training Module 3: Utilizing Effective Instructional Strategies to Serve Students with Disabilities in Integrated Settings

Paraeducator Training Module 4: Strengthening Behavior

*Note: Permission to post Module 4 online was not available. If you need a hard copy of Module 4, please contact our office at (701) 328-2277.

 

Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion

Individuals providing speech-language pathology paraprofessional services in school settings from early childhood through grade twelve must hold the North Dakota certificate of completion for speech-language pathology or hold a current restricted educator's professional license for speech-language pathology at the master's degree level issued by the North Dakota education standards and practices board or a current speech-language pathology license issued by the North Dakota state board of examiners on audiology and speech-language pathology.

Superintendent

In North Dakota, Superintendent Credential applicants first must fulfill all the requirements of the Elementary or Secondary Principal Credential, along with two years of administrative experience. Once the Principal Credential requirements have been met, applicants must complete a total of eight additional credits in an Educational Leadership program from the following content areas:

  • Field-Based Experience in Superintendency
  • Seminar in Superintendency
  • Advanced School Law
  • Advanced Revenue, Finance, and Business Management
  • Policy, Politics, and Community Relations
  • Personnel Administration 

Applicants can apply for a provisional credential that will allow them to serve as a school superintendent while completing either or both the coursework and experience requirements.

If you have questions regarding Superintendent Credentials, please contact the NDDPI at (701) 328-4571.

Title I Paraprofessional Certificate of Completion

An aide/paraprofessional is one who assists teachers and students under the direction of a professional teacher to provide instructional support by reinforcing a teacher’s instruction in the classroom.
 
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Title I paraprofessionals to have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and meet one of the following three requirements to be employed in a Title I program:

  1. Obtained a working knowledge in reading, mathematics, and writing by completing two years of study (48 semester hours) at an accredited institution of higher education; or
  2. Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree; or

  3. Met a rigorous and objective standard of quality, which includes a North Dakota approved assessment of skills in reading, mathematics, and writing.

Individuals holding a North Dakota educator’s professional license meet the requirements under ESSA and the teaching license number could be used in lieu of the paraprofessional certificate of completion number.

NDDPI Guidance and Application Information

Call (701) 328-2282 for additional information on paraprofessional certificates of completion.

Title I Reading, Math, and Coordinator Credentials

Senate Bill 2265 requires the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) to establish a process to reinstate and recertify Title I Credentials.

This legislative action does not require districts to hire a teacher with a Title I credential and Title I teachers are not required to have a credential to continue teaching in a Title I program. There will be no cost to apply for this credential.

A new section of 15.1-02 of the North Dakota Century Code was created this legislative session and relates to credentials for teachers and coordinators of Title I and requires the NDDPI to do the following:

“The superintendent of Public Instruction shall create a process to reinstate and recertify Title I credentials for individuals in the state who held a valid certification, issued by the Department of Public Instruction, as of July 1, 2018, and continue the process in perpetuity. A school district may advertise employment for a Title I certified teacher each year until the position is filled. The board of a school district may authorize the hiring of a teacher who is not certified as a Title I teacher for the school year if the school district fails to receive applications from qualified applicants to fill the advertised position by July 1.

Changes were made to the grade span piece to now match state licensure, and the expiration date to follow an individual’s teaching license. In the case of a lifetime teaching license, the credential would need to be renewed every five years.

The NDDPI created a work group, which met to create a process to revise and reinstate these credentials for individuals who previously held a Title I credential. A tentative timeline includes submitting a draft of proposed Administrative Rules to Legislative Council by August 1, 2019, a public comment period in September 2019, and final rules to the committee hearing in December 2019. We are on track to meet this timeline and if the final rules are approved in December, they would go into effect spring of 2020. When they go into effect, individuals will be able to apply for the credential on ND Teach, and the process will be similar to applying for a teaching license or other credentials. More information will be available when the Administrative Rules are approved.

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