Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Nebraska measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).
Of about 400 rural one-room school houses left in the United States, 75 are in Nebraska, the second highest number in the country. These small schools serve the very limited number of students in rural areas of the state and are known for providing an education that rivals, and in some cases even exceeds that of Nebraska’s 1300 conventional multi-room schools. With a student-teacher ratio of 18 to one or better, students in these small schools enjoy a unique level of individual attention from teachers. These small schools also allow students to learn more independently, and at their own pace. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Nebraska.
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If you’re interested in becoming a certified teacher in the state of Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Education (402-471-2295) will expect that you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a state-approved teacher preparation program. In addition, you must complete approved courses in Human Relations Training and Special Education Training.
A certificate may be issued based on equivalency if you graduated from an out-of-state program that is deemed equivalent to a Nebraska-approved teacher education program. However, you must fulfill all additional educational requirements not included in that program as applicable.
If you completed your teacher preparation program in another country, your academic credentials must be evaluated to make sure that they are equivalent to Nebraska’s requirements. Call the Certification Department at the number listed above for more information on this process.
Certificate endorsements in the subject areas you are qualified to teach require that you complete a certain number of courses in the respective subject areas. A list of those requirements may be found here
. Areas of teaching certification endorsements in Nebraska include:
- Adapted Physical Education (Pre K-12)
- Agricultural Education (Grades 6-12)
- American Sign Language (K-8, 7-12 or K-12)
- Anthropology (Grades 7-12)
- Art (K-12)
- Basic Business (Grades 6-12)
- Biology (Grades 7-12)
- Business, Marketing and Information Technology (Grades 6-12)
- Career Education (Grades 9-12)
- Chemistry (Grades 7-12)
- Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 3)
- Early Childhood Education Unified (Birth-Grade 3)
- Earth Science (Grades 7-12)
- Economics (Grades 7-12)
- Elementary Education (K-6 or K-8 in self-contained classrooms)
- English (Grades 7-12)
- English as a Second Language (K-12)
- Family and Consumer Sciences (Grades 6-12)
- General Art (K-6)
- Geography (Grades 7-12)
- Health (Grades 7-12)
- Health & Physical Education (K-12)
- Health Occupations (Grades 7-12)
- High Ability Education (K-12)
- History (Grades 7-12)
- Horticulture Education (Grades 7-12)
- Industrial Technology Education (Grades 6-12)
- Information Technology (K-12)
- Instrumental Music (K-8, 7-12)
- Journalism and Mass Communications (Grades 7-12)
- Language Arts (Grades 7-12)
- Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
- Middle Grades Education (Grades 4-9)
- Music (K-12)
- Natural Science (Grades 7-12)
- Physical Education (K-6, 7-12)
- Physical Science (Grades 7-12)
- Physics (Grades 7-12)
- Political Science (Grades 7-12)
- Preschool Disabilities (Birth through K)
- Psychology (Grades 7-12)
- Reading and Writing (Grades 7-12)
- Reading Specialist (PK-12, K-8, 7-12)
- Religious Education (K-12)
- Skilled & Technical Science Education (Grades 9-12)
- Social Science (Grades 7-12)
- Sociology (Grades 7-12)
- Special Education – Behaviorally Disordered (PK-12, PK-6, 7-12, PK-9)
- Special Education – Early Childhood (Birth – Grade 3)
- Special Education –Deaf or Hard of Hearing Education (PK-3, K-9, 7-12, K-12 or PK-12)
- Special Education –Learning Disabilities (PK-12, PK-6, PK-9, 7-12)
- Special Education – Mild/Moderate Disabilities (K-12, K-6, K-9, 7-12)
- Special Education – Severe/Multiple Disabilities (PK-12)
- Special Education – Visual Impairment (PK-12)
- Speech (Grades 7-12)
- Speech & Theatre (Grades 7-12)
- Theatre (Grades 7-12)
- Vocal Music (K-8, 7-12)
- Vocational Special Needs (Grades 7-12)
- World Language (K-8, 7-12 or K-12)
As a conventional graduate of a teacher preparation program you will be issued Initial Teacher Certification. Other certification options are available through the Nebraska Department of Education based on different circumstances:
- Initial- Valid for five years and good for teaching in public and private Nebraska schools
- Standard- The next level up from the Initial certificate, valid for five years
- Professional-Valid for ten years and requires at least a master’s degree to attain
- Provisional Commitment- Issued upon request from school superintendent if you have a bachelor’s degree but have not yet completed all Nebraska requirements for a full teaching certificate. Valid for one year.
- Dual Credit- Valid for five years and issued to teachers who teach courses that are approved for both high school credit and college credit
- Provisional- Valid for one year, issued if you have received a bachelor’s degree and completed teacher preparation program but have not fulfilled all requirements for full certification
- Transitional- Issued upon request of school superintendent, if you have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed 75 percent of the requirements for full certification. Valid for one year.
For an overview of Nebraska examination requirements for prospective teaches, visit the Praxis website.
Basic skills testing:
All candidates for teacher certification in Nebraska must pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. This test is usually required prior to admission into a Nebraska teacher preparation program. You must attain scores of at least 170 in Reading, 172 in Writing and 171 in Mathematics.
Content area assessment testing:
Nebraska does not require content area tests for subject area certificate endorsements, with the exception of one area. Those who wish to be certified to teach Elementary Education and Special Education (K-8) must pass the Praxis II Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment examination. Additionally, those seeking endorsement(s) in World Languages may take the official American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) to waive some of their educational requirements.
Because Nebraska does not require mandatory examinations for teacher certification, experience becomes even more important to the prospective teacher. During your Nebraska teacher preparation program, you will be exposed to two different kinds of experiences: practicum and field/student teaching. The practicum, which may start during the second or third year of your program, involves watching teachers at work in the classroom, learning from them, and at times teaching a lesson or two yourself.
The student teaching part of your college program is much more intensive, and will usually last 12 weeks or more. You will be placed in a classroom equivalent to the grade level and subject area in which you intend to teach. You will have the opportunity to lead the class for extended lengths of time. A mentor teacher (usually the regular classroom teacher) as well as a representative from your college program will observe and grade your progress.
Document and Application Requirements
Are you ready to apply for Nebraska teacher certification? Consult this checklist first:
- Have you completed your bachelor’s degree?
- Have you completed a teacher education program at a state-approved institution?
- Have you completed the Human Relations course requirement?
- Have you completed the Special Education course requirement?
- Were your college credits earned within the past five years?
- Have you passed the Praxis I Basic Skills Test?
If you can answer yes to all six questions above, you may apply for an Initial Teaching Certificate. The application must be completed online
. Make sure you also send the following documents to the Nebraska Department of Education:
- Official college transcripts, listing all credits obtained
- Institutional verification form signed by the certification officer at your college
- Official score report from your Praxis I exam
Mail the above documents, plus the applicable application fee (or pay online via credit card), to: Teacher Certification
Nebraska Department of Education
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Criminal History Background Check
If you have never held a Nebraska teaching certificate, you must submit a record of your residences during the past five years via the Record of Residence form. If you have been a continuous resident of Nebraska for five or more years from your date of application, you are exempt from the criminal record history check. You will qualify as a resident by having an established home in Nebraska, so if you attended college outside of Nebraska during the past five years but maintained a home in the state, you are still considered a resident.
If you do not meet these requirements, you must submit two complete, sets of fingerprints on two fingerprint cards provided to you by the Nebraska Department of Education. A national and state criminal history background check will be run using these fingerprints. You will not receive a teaching certificate until the checks come back cleared.
Contact the certification officers at approved Nebraska teacher preparation programs for more information on teacher education in Nebraska.
For further information on the teacher certification process, contact the Teacher Certification department of the Nebraska Department of Education at 402-471-2295.
State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.