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Dakota Language Teaching FAQs

Ojibwemodaa Eta!

Will the Dakota Iapi Unspewicakiyapi program certify me as a fluent speaker?
No. The University of Minnesota and the Department of American Indian Studies do not have the authority to certify individuals as fluent Dakota language speakers. Students interested in such credentials should consult with elders in their affiliated tribal communities.

Will this program give me state teacher certification or licensure?
No. At present, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities does not offer state teacher licensure at the undergraduate level. The Department of American Indian Studies is now collaborating with the Eni-gikendaasoyang Center for Indigenous Knowledge & Language Revitalization at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to develop an undergraduate teacher licensure satellite degree program focused in Dakota language and culture. This program is currently in development and will become available in the near future.

So what does the certificate do?
The Dakota Iapi Unspewicakiyapi is a document that recognizes a student has successfully completed a specialized program of study in advanced Dakota language and teaching. The program itself provides an opportunity for students to take their language education to a deeper level in order to improve speaking ability and prepare teachers.

Is it the same as a degree?
No, Dakota Iapi Unspewicakiyapi is a credit certificate that may be added to a degree program or completed independently of an academic degree.

Can I include this certificate in a degree program?
Your credits earned through this certificate program may be transferable to a degree program. Check with the appropriate degree program advisor to determine if the credits will transfer.

Why is it important that I apply for admission into the program?
You may take one or two courses in this certificate program before applying for official admission. However, you should apply for admission in the program as soon as possible because, as an admitted certificate student, you receive many benefits that are unavailable to non-admitted students:

How long will it take for me to complete the program?
Students have four years to complete a certificate. If additional time is needed you may petition for an extension.

Do I have to take the courses in order?
Most courses required for certificate program's need not be taken in any fixed order, though some program's courses are sequenced. Also, some 4000- and 5000-level classes have prerequisite course work. Prior to taking such classes, you must complete the stated prerequisite course work or be given permission by the instructor to register.

Where can I learn more about employment opportunities with this certificate?
Informal interviews with professors, supervisors, or professionals working in your career of interest are very effective ways to find out more about the field and about necessary skills, experience, qualifications, and how the certificate can best work for you. 

Can previous credits I have earned elsewhere be used towards the certificate requirements?
With approval, transfer course work completed at an accredited institution can make up 40 percent of the certificate requirements.