SD Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Ave
Suite 200
Pierre, SD 57501
605 773 3455

Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship


Established during the 2013Legislative Session under Senate Bill 233.The purpose of the program is to encourage South Dakota's high school graduates to obtain their postsecondary education in South Dakota for teaching, to remain in the state upon completion of their education, and to contribute to the state and its citizens by working in a critical need teaching area.  The South Dakota Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Program shall be administered by the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Board. The board consists of five members appointed by the Governor for a term of five years, except that the initial appointments shall be for periods of one, two, three, four, and five years.  A majority of the board must be present either personally or by teleconference to constitute a quorum. The secretary of education shall routinely collect data from school districts to determine the critical need teaching areas, and the board shall use this data when selecting eligible critical need teaching areas. The Board of Regents has been appointed to provide administrative support to the board and the scholarship program.



Board Members


 Robert Sittig, PresidentJuly 2015 - June 2025

Superintendent, Baltic School District


Dr. Steve Willard, Vice President

July 2016 - June 2025
​Superintendent, Belle Fourche School District
 Dr. Jill ThorngrenJuly 2016 - June 2021
​Dean of Education, SDSU
Dr. Kay SchallenkampJuly 2018 - June 2023
​Member of SD Board of Education Standards
​Dr. Ben Jones
January 2019 - June 2024
Secretary of Education

 ​​Initial Eligibility Criteria

  • Agree in writing to stay in South Dakota and work in a critical teaching need occupation for five years after graduating from a participating
    postsecondary institution;
  • Agree, through a promissory note, that failure to abide by the employment requirement above will result in the scholarship being converted into an interest-bearing loan;
  • Attend a participating South Dakota postsecondary institution as an undergraduate enrolled in your final two years of postsecondary education and be fully admitted in an elementary or secondary education program at the institution that is preparing you to work in a critical need teaching
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
  • Have a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA on 4.0 scale, and an average of 2.8 GPA for all major coursework. 
  • Scholarship term is one year. Junior recipients will need to re-apply for the scholarship to receive funding a second year. 

​ Documents / Forms



 Participating Institutions


All accredited South Dakota public and non-public postsecondary institutions which offer a baccalaureate degree in elementary or secondary education are eligible to participate in the scholarship program. Each institution may choose whether to participate in the program and may limit the number of scholarship recipients the institution will accept in each academic year.


Questions related to the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship program may be directed to:


Kerri Richards

Student Services Coordinator

South Dakota Board of Regents

306 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 200

Pierre, SD 57501

Office: 605-773-3455

Fax: 605-773-5320