The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) recently made changes to their educator certification system designed to remove barriers to educator certification in an effort to support teacher retention and recruitment, while preserving a rigorous process. RMC Research is a subcontractor to Marzano Research on the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Central States (REL Central) and has been working closely with representatives from SD DOE in their efforts to develop plans to examine: (1) how educator preparation programs respond to rule changes; (2) how the rule changes are related to changes in patterns of certification; and (3) how the rule changes are related to outcomes for rural schools, educators, and their students. Over the course of two in-person meetings, REL Central has worked with SD DOE to develop a logic model, research questions, study designs, and identification of data elements to support the evaluation of the EPP, educator, and educator workforce outcomes associated with changes to educator certification rules in SD. Most recently, an in-person meeting held on September 25th, 2017, yielded rich discussion about research question priorities and data elements that may be used to address these research questions. Next steps will include REL Central support for SD DOE in identification of measures and the compilation of a sample evaluation plan. To learn more about the Regional Educational Laboratory program, visit here.