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The NebraskaTeaching and Certification Resource

Nebraska is a great state for anyone looking into becoming a certified teacher. The Nebraska teacher certification process is fairly straightforward, but specific pathways can vary depending on experience and education. The state’s Department of Education oversees the teacher certification process, which is detailed below.

How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska

As is the case with other states, Nebraska educator certification has its own procedure for teaching candidates who wish to earn a Nebraska teacher certification. Candidates must complete educational and testing requirements to be considered for certification. All applicants pursuing a teaching certification in Nebraska must hold a bachelor’s degree and additionally, the state DOE requires that teachers meet the qualifications for at least one endorsement. This means that teachers must be fully trained through an approved teachers certificaition program to teach in one particular subject at a certain grade level. Each endorsement requires specific coursework along with the human relations requirement demanded of all Nebraska teachers.

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In addition to completing a Nebraska teachers certification program, individuals seeking an initial Nebraska certificate who have not been residents for the previous five years must submit fingerprints with their applications. Only after all requirements are met will the Nebraska Department of Education issue a teaching certificate.

Experienced teachers with an out-of-state certification may be eligible for the Initial teacher certificate provided they fulfill all of the additional requirements. More information on Nebraska reciprocity as well as Nebraska teacher certification renewal process can be found at the state’s Department of Education website.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Nebraska

Perhaps the most important step in obtaining a Nebraska teacher certification is attending a teacher preparation program at an accredited institution. For the school to be approved by Nebraska any teacher preparation school must be accredited by the one of the six regional accreditation organizations overseen by the US Department of Education.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) is responsible for accreditation in Nebraska. Additionally, schools that offer online teaching certification programs must be accredited as well. If the school is located out of state (University of Phoenix, for example), it must be accredited by its corresponding regional accreditation agency.

In addition to the mandatory regional accreditation needed for teacher programs to be approved by Nebraska, there is also a national accreditation agency most states look for in terms of teacher education quality. TheCouncil for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP) is a newly-formed accreditation agency that was set up as a result of the recent merger of NCATE and TEAC, two highly-respected accreditation organizations recognized by the US Department of Education. Under the new name, CAEP will still retain its accreditation responsibilities as well as continue with its distinguished reputation of rigorous standards when it comes to accrediting teacher education schools.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Nebraska.

Quick Guide

Nebraska Teacher Education Requirements

The first step toward Nebraska teacher certification is completing educational requirements. A four-year bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited school is necessary. There are no specific course hour requirements, but candidates must complete student teaching, observations and internships. In addition, Nebraska statute requires human relations training as part of teacher preparation. Special education training is also needed and may be in the form of coursework or work experience.

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Nebraska Teacher Outlook as of 2012
The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 1,666 annual job openings in education and library related fields in Nebraska through 2018. In 2008 and 2007 respectively, the National Center for Education Statistics reported 20,258 public school and 2,820 private school teachers employed throughout the state. The National Education Association estimates the average beginning teacher’s salary at $27,030 and the average overall teaching salary at $47,368, the 35th highest average among states. The NEA lists teaching shortages in middle and high school special education, math and science, especially in rural areas. For specific information regarding certification and specialization programs, please contact local teaching and education schools. The Nebraska State Education Association is another great source for current news and information for educators in Nebraska.

Nebraska Teacher Testing Requirements

Nebraska State SealBesides completing an educator preparation program, individuals seeking Nebraska teaching certification must also pass two assessments. The first is the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills test, which assesses basic skills of first-time teachers in Nebraska. Those who have taught for at least three years at an approved or accredited school in another state and hold a valid certificate in that state after completing a teacher preparation program are exempt from the Praxis I requirement.

The second testing requirement in Nebraska is the Praxis II content test. A teacher candidate must pass the Praxis II in his or her specialty area before being granted a Nebraska teaching license.

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Additional Nebraska Teacher Certification Requirements

All applicants pursuing Nebraska teacher certification must submit to a federal and state background check by providing fingerprints to the state. Once an applicant has been officially cleared, they are eligible to work in the Nebraska school system.

Nebraska Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all the steps to obtain a Nebraska teacher certification have been completed, applicants should send their application into the Department of Education. Processing times can vary, but on average, teacher certification applications can take up to three months to review so it’s recommended to sent in application packets with this time frame in mind.

  1. Official clearance of background check
  2. Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  3. Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  4. Passing score on the required examinations
  5. Completed application for teaching certification in Nebraska
  6. Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee

Nebraska Department of Education
Dr. Roger D. Breed, Commissioner of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509

Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in Nebraska.

Nebraska Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 1,070 $31,770
Kindergarten Teachers 1,220 $45,450
Elementary School Teachers 9,610 $47,700
Middle School Teachers 3,170 $49,540
Secondary School Teachers 6,860 $48,540

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Nebraska

Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in Nebraska?

Answer: The requirements for becoming a high school teacher in Nebraska include getting an initial certificate through the state department of education. To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed appropriate education coursework. You must also pass testing requirements, participate in student teaching in a secondary classroom, and pass a background check.

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References:
1. Nebraska State Department of Education: http://www.education.ne.gov/
2. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000

Page edited by Charles Sipe.

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