Nebraska Alternative Teacher Certification

Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. There are multiple schools with pathways to Nebraska alternative teacher certification if you already have your bachelor’s degree. These alternative pathways to teacher licensure in Nebraska aim to attract career professionals to the classroom in high-need areas. You can read more about these alternatives below. If you don’t yet have your bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional certification in Nebraska.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

All candidates for alternative teacher certification in Nebraska must have at least a bachelor’s degree. These candidates will typically need to pass the same exams as traditional-path educators and will need to fulfill the state’s teacher education requirements, but may receive additional time to do so while teaching in a classroom. Alternative teacher certification programs can be completed in as little as one year as a post-graduate certificate or may lead to a master’s degree in education, or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Nebraska

The different pathways to alternative teaching licenses in Nebraska provide options for those with different education and work experience backgrounds. These programs are typically designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education.

Transitional Teaching Permit

The Transitional Teaching Permit supports the online transitional teacher certification program offered at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. To qualify for the permit, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with 75% of an endorsement requirement completed; have completed three professional education modules online through the University of Nebraska at Kearney program; and develop a transitional plan that leads to a regular teaching certificate within the next six years. Candidates must complete at least six credit hours of the teacher certification program each year to renew the certificate, which allows certificate holders to teach full-time while completing regular certification requirements.

Provisional Teaching Certificate

Another alternate route to teaching in Nebraska is the Provisional Teaching Certificate. This option is available to those who have completed a bachelor’s degree, teacher preparation program, and human relations training but have not yet completed one or more of the following requirements: the Praxis Core assessment, special education training, and/or recency of coursework. This license can be renewed if progress is made by completing at least one of the deficiencies.

Postsecondary Teaching Permit

The Postsecondary Teaching Permit is an option for those who are employed by a postsecondary (college or career preparatory) school in Nebraska and are approved by a school board to teach high school courses that result in both high school and college credit. Candidates for this pathway must also meet the human relations training requirement and pass a fingerprint background check.

Career Education Teaching Permit

The Career Education Teaching Permit allows holders to teach career and technical education (CTE) subjects in cases where a regularly qualified teacher for specific courses cannot be hired or there is not a formal teaching education program for the subject. The permit is limited to career education subjects in grades 9 to 12. To qualify, candidates must have completed acceptable training and work experience for the career area to be taught, which may be demonstrated by five years of practice, an apprenticeship, or passing an approved competency test. Candidates must also complete the human relations training required of all teacher candidates, as well as a background check. Once issued, this type of permit is valid for three years.

Testing Requirements for Nebraska Alternative Certification

In most cases, candidates for Nebraska alternative teacher certification must pass a content-area exam to prove competency in their endorsement area(s). Some pathways may also require candidates to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam. Refer to the Nebraska Department of Education for the current exam process for your intended route to licensure.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Educators who hold valid credentials from other states may be able to transfer their certification to Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Education evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis. Note that testing-only or alternative preparation programs in other states are generally not recognized by Nebraska for reciprocity. You can learn more about these requirements through our interstate reciprocity guide.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Nebraska

In order to earn teacher licensure in Nebraska, you must graduate from an approved educator preparation program. The following school-based preparation programs that typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree have been approved by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE):

  • Chadron State College (Second Bachelor’s)
  • Creighton University (Master’s)
  • Hastings College (Master’s)
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University (Certificate)
  • University of Nebraska-Kearney* (Alternative, Certificate), Lincoln (Certificate, Master’s), Omaha* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Nebraska State Department of Education: https://www.education.ne.gov/