Young children playing with toys in a classroom.

Teacher Shortage Response

University of South Dakota School of Education is addressing South Dakota's teacher shortage through strategic initiatives and programs. 

Addressing the Teacher Shortage

The USD School of Education is proud to uphold a long-standing commitment to attract and support South Dakotans into the education profession. 

Years before the current teacher shortage and national reduction in enrollment in university teacher preparation programs, the School of Education responded to research from the Learning Policy Institute by enacting recruitment and retention strategies to safeguard against predicted declines. USD's School of Education efforts to serve South Dakota extend well beyond teacher preparation, including sport officiating certification, school mental health resources and high caliber graduate degree programs.

Read more about the School of Education's strategic initiatives and programs and how USD is actively working to meet the need for educators and other essential school personnel in South Dakota. 


Leading the Way 

With a state-wide shortage in educators, the USD School of Education provides students with the skills and opportunities they need to make a difference in education systems across South Dakota and beyond. 

Retention & Recruitment Strategies 

Explore a few of the USD School of Education's initiatives aimed at addressing shortages in schools across the state. 

Established in 2017, Teacher Pathway is a unique partnership between the Sioux Falls School District (SFSD) and the USD School of Education that facilitates opportunities for students in the district who are interested in becoming teachers. While in high school, SFSD students in the program can take two USD education courses and transfer the credits directly into the USD teacher education program, giving students an early start on their educational journey toward becoming teachers.

Learn More

In collaboration with the national organization Prepared to Teach, the USD School of Education champions paid opportunities for teacher candidates. In the fall of 2023, the School of Education was approved for funding to initiate a Teacher Fellows Registered Apprenticeship through StartTodaySD and the Department of Labor & Regulation. USD students who are accepted into this program are eligible for paid teaching-related job opportunities, tuition assistance and funding for miscellaneous educational experiences.  
In response to South Dakota’s sports official shortage, USD has partnered with the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) to train more officials across the state. Through this partnership, students at the university can enroll in two courses for college credit – officiating volleyball and officiating football – and become certified sports officials in the state of South Dakota, offering them the opportunity to not only earn additional income but also develop lifelong career skills.

Serving South Dakota

Daniel Mourlam smiling.
As the demand for teachers continues to grow, our faculty are always looking for innovative ways to better serve and meet the needs of schools in the state and throughout the region.

Dan Mourlam, Ed.D.

Chair of the Division of Teacher Education