Pierre Indian Learning Center

For the student teaching experience, student teachers spend fifteen weeks teaching full-time in classrooms. Student teachers are expected to devote their full attention to the student teaching experience and are supported in this endeavor by an experienced mentor teacher and a full-time university supervisor.

Students in the Secondary Education (SECED) major, the World Languages Education (WL ED) major, and the PK-4 and 4-8 options within the Elementary & Early Childhood Education (CEAED) major may opt to complete the full student teaching experience at the Pierre Indian Learning Center in Pierre, South Dakota. The Pierre Indian Learning Center operates a therapeutic model that helps all students progress through past experiences so that they may be successful in the future. The model is designed to meet the emotional, intellectual, and cultural needs of our students.

  • Partnership with Penn State for at least 20 years
  • Off-reservation Educational Center and living area for approximately 250 first through eighth grade students annually
    • Students are members of Native American tribes in North and South Dakota and Nebraska and many have experienced abuse and substance abuse.
  • Located in the state capital on the banks of the Missouri River
  • Temperature extremes: 117 degrees to -30 degrees
  • Students' Activities:
    • Bus picks up at beginning of semester; students live there and only go home for Christmas and for vacations.
    • Students live in dorms.
    • Students have summer camp opportunities and have horses, bikes, skateboards, and playgrounds.
    • Lake for fishing and canoeing.
    • Technology - students make a movie of their class farewell, often set to a song they like.
    • Classrooms look much like the ones in Pennsylvania.
  • Student Teaching at PILC:
    • Our student teachers live in trailers on campus at no charge.
    • You will need a car -- no public transportation and long distances.
    • Student teachers may help with the younger children -- helping them get ready for school, helping with homework, etc.
    • Many develop close relationships with the students.
    • Opportunities to work with students in a variety of activities -- sports for students in grades 5-8 (football, volleyball, track, basketball, etc.).
    • A number of our student teachers have been hired as full-time teachers.

How to Apply:

  1. Select South Dakota as your first choice when you fill out the online student teaching application.
  2. After you have been contacted by the CIFE Office, you will sign up for a personal interview with the Secondary Education Coordinator of the Field Experience Office.