How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska


How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska

Candidates seeking a Nebraska teaching certificate must meet the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) TEACH guidelines. Requirements include education, teaching programs, coursework, and exam completion. Candidates seeking traditional, alternative, or specialty certifications will need to meet specific requirements for each.

Traditional Nebraska teacher certification requires candidates to have a minimum bachelor's degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, satisfy student teaching requirements, complete coursework requirements, and pass Nebraska certification exams. Traditional initial certification must be renewed after five years for re-certification.

Alternative certification to become a teacher in Nebraska is obtained through various non-traditional methods. Each method requires a bachelor's degree and teaching endorsements; additional criteria must also be met. Specialty certifications can be obtained for specific grade levels and subject areas. Specialty certification includes candidates seeking a Nebraska substitute teaching certificate. Substitute teaching candidates can apply for three or five-year teaching certificates.

Nebraska Teaching Certificate Programs

The Nebraska Department of Education maintains teacher certification standards and Nebraska teaching certificate renewal, while the Teacher Education Program Approval (TEPA) section maintains teacher preparation program standards. Nebraska requires that teaching preparation programs must meet the qualifications of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Candidates seeking NDE teacher certification need to complete a teacher preparation program. If a teaching program is not TEPA approved, eligibility for a Nebraska teaching certificate may not be met through Nebraska teaching certificate requirements. Candidates interested in getting a Nebraska teaching certificate should review the NDE teaching program requirements for certification. The most common way to complete a teacher preparation program is to complete a bachelor's in education degree. Candidates should always verify their coursework meets their grade level requirements and subject area certification.

The University of Nebraska Kearney is a CAEP education preparation provider. NSU's Teacher Education Department offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs for all grade levels and subject areas, including specialty programs, such as Special Education. The university's College of Education also offers individual subject and grade-specific grade level certification programs. Candidates attending the University of Nebraska Omaha CAEP certified program must enroll in a Professional Education Sequence (PES) to complete a teaching program. The program consists of non-subject coursework such as planning, development, and educational foundations.

Nebraska Teacher Education Requirements

Nebraska teaching certificate candidates must meet Nebraska educator requirements for certification. A bachelor's degree in at least one certification area and completion of a preparation program are minimum requirements for certification. Additionally, coursework in Human Relations and Special Education is required and routinely offered through approved Nebraska teacher preparation programs.

Additional Nebraska teaching certificate requirements include fieldwork studies. Fieldwork consists of 100 hours of student-focused contact, including classroom analysis, instruction, or research. Nebraska teacher education requirements also have a student internship requirement. Fieldwork hours are determined by the number of field and subject endorsements sought and range from 14 full-day weeks to 18 full-day weeks, with additional weeks for subsequent endorsements. Nebraska educator requirements are included in many state-approved university preparation programs.

Nebraska Teacher Testing Requirements

All teaching candidates must meet the Nebraska teacher testing requirements as set by the Nebraska Department of Education. Nebraska teacher tests include the Praxis Core and the Praxis II Subject Assessment. Passing scores are required on all certification subject tests and comprehensive assessments.

The Nebraska Praxis Core Academic Skills test measures knowledge and skills for candidates entering a teaching program. The Praxis Subject Assessment measures knowledge, skills, and teaching competency in beginning teachers for their specific subject area. Candidates should consult their education preparation program or the Nebraska Department of Education to determine the best time to take the Praxis exams. Online registration is available through your Praxis account.

Praxis Core Academic Skills Test

Nebraska Praxis Core Academic Skills Tests is a certification test that assesses basic qualifications in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. The Nebraska Praxis basic skills test guarantees teaching candidates are ready to pursue a state-approved teaching preparation program. The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam can be taken individually or all at once. Passing scores are required on all Nebraska Praxis tests before obtaining teacher certification.

Testing is administered by computer at Nebraska testing centers or proctor testing at home. Nebraska Praxis exams take approximately two hours per test or 5 total hours for three tests. Test takers may retake Praxis test 28 days from initial testing if any or all sections are not passed. A non-refundable fee is required for both individual tests and the entire test. Additional testing information includes:

Test Name Test Code Passing Score
Reading 5713 156
Writing 5723 162
Mathematics 5733 150

Source: ETS Praxis

Nebraska Praxis Subject Assessments

Nebraska Praxis Subject assessments measures teaching qualifications in beginner teachers. Qualifications are assessed for competencies in all subject areas in grades K-12. Unlike the Praxis Core Test, which focuses on basic skills, the subject exam focuses on subject areas relevant to individual teaching certification. Teaching candidates must pass at least one subject exam in their certified teaching subject area to meet the Nebraska Praxis certification endorsement requirement.

Nebraska Praxis subject tests can be taken at a Praxis testing center or at home by a computer proctor. Subject test lengths vary by subject area and content. Subject tests can be re-taken 28 days from initial testing with no restriction on re-takes. Praxis exam registration is available online through your Praxis account, and a non-refundable fee is required at registration. The Praxis website can contain additional information on individual assessments, testing codes, and passing scores.

Additional Nebraska Teaching Certificate Requirements

Background checks start when employment is approved upon completion of Nebraska teaching requirements. Nebraska teaching certification requirements specify that applicants residing under five years in Nebraska must submit fingerprints. The Nebraska State Police provides no-fee Livescan fingerprinting, and the NDE provides no-fee fingerprint cards.

Nebraska Teacher Licensing Application Process

Certified teaching candidates must first finalize the Nebraska teacher license process. Applicants must then submit a Nebraska teacher application and pay related non-refundable fees. Applications are submitted online at the NBE website through the applicant's account.

As part of the teaching certification application, Nebraska applicants need to verify; background checks, official university transcripts, program completion including required training, passing test scores, and a completed application. Licenses are available four to eight weeks after submission and document verification. An analyst will notify applicants if their application has been accepted, satisfying Nebraska teaching licensing processes, or denied.

Alternate Paths to Certification for Nebraska Teachers

Nebraska teacher certification offers non-traditional pathways for individuals who may not qualify for traditional teaching certification. To qualify for an alternate teacher certificate, Nebraska alternate path teacher candidates must meet specific requirements.

1. Transitional Teaching Permit candidates must complete; a bachelor's degree, three-fourths of course program requirements in their teaching subject area, NDE Human Relations Training (HRT), show proof of Courses Required for Completion Form (CRC) and provide transcripts from the program certification officer.

2. Provisional Teaching Certificate candidates must complete; a bachelor's degree, an NDE teacher education program, and HRT requirements. With a provisional teaching certificate Nebraska educators can begin teaching sooner or more easily transition from another career into teaching.

3. Postsecondary Teaching Permit candidate must complete; an approved career educational study or apprenticeship in the career education subject, or show expertise in the career education subject from 5 years of practical use, or show career subject expertise through testing, show proof of a valid Nebraska certificate, and complete HRT requirements.

4. Career Education Teaching Permit applicants may qualify for endorsements if they complete; an approved university career educational study program or apprenticeship in career subject area, or show expertise in career education area from 5 years of practical use, or show career subject expertise through testing, and complete HRT requirements.

Certification in Nebraska for Out-of-State Educators

Certification in Nebraska for out-of-state educators allows for one-year teaching degrees or provisional teaching degrees while certification requirements are met. Out-of-state educators in Nebraska must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, complete a teacher preparation program, and show five years of prior teaching experience.

Passing scores in both Praxis Core and Praxis Subject Assessments are required and completion of Human Relations and Special Education coursework. Provisional or temporary licensures may apply to applicants who show relevant work experience in place of required coursework. Applicable fees will apply to any programs or coursework required. The time it takes to gain Nebraska out-of-state teacher requirements depends on what processes need to be fulfilled by the applicant.

Nebraska Substitute Teacher Certification

Applicants applying for Nebraska substitute teaching can choose a local or state substitute permit. Nebraska substitute teaching local permits allow 45 full-time teaching assignments and are valid for the school district applied for. Substitute teacher certification Nebraska state permits allow for 90 full-time teaching days per assignment year-round and are valid state-wide. Local permits require 60 credit course hours, including one in professional education and Human Relations Training. State permits require a bachelor's degree, completion of a teacher education program, and Human Relations Training or proof of relevant experience. State permit teaching assignments are valid state-wide.

Nebraska Educator Professional Development & Advancement

Nebraska Department of Education has an online registry for professional development and advancement opportunities. District-wide and state-wide sessions are available, generally in the form of conferences, but also workshops and conventions. Educators seeking leadership, education, or career opportunities, should consider Nebraska educator professional development a step toward Nebraska teacher advancement.

Information on all field events is found through NDE's Nebraska Career & Technical Education (CTE) webpage. Conference category events and dates are sorted by areas of teaching expertise. Registration and contact information for all events are available through CTE.

Teachers seeking Nebraska educator professional advancement from standard to professional certification need an official transcript showing a master's degree in required coursework or applicant's subject area obtained less than ten years from the application date. A six-year specialist or doctorate in the applicant's content area completed at the master's level qualifies as well.

Nebraska Teacher Employment Outlook & Salary

A Nebraska Teacher Vacancy survey shows state-wide shortages. Nebraska teacher employment outlook reflects growing opportunities for educators in all subject areas and grade levels. There is currently a 14:1 student to teacher ratio for the 34,027 certified teachers educating 473,861 K-12 students in Nebraska public schools. Additionally, there are 35 district conversion charter schools, 25 open-enrollment charter schools, and 154 state-wide private schools.

Nebraska kindergarten educator salary averages $48,600 while high school teachers average $52,540. Nebraska teacher salary is based on multiple factors. Teaching grade level, experience, certification level, and school district pay scales determine Nebraska teacher salary range. Nebraska offers employee health plan choices and voluntary life insurance benefits, as well as comprehensive retirement benefits packages, including disability benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much do teachers in Nebraska make?

    On average, teachers in Nebraska make $55,552 per year. This amount does change depending on if the teacher is in the public or private school sector, level of education, and administrative work.

  • How do I get my teaching certificate in Nebraska?

    It depends on your situation. All teachers must apply through TEACH (The Educator Application and Certification Hub) and have a bachelor's degree. Please check the 'Teaching Certificates and Permits' section on the Nebraska Department of Education Website.

  • How long does a Nebraska teaching certificate last?

    Initial teaching and standard certificates are good for five years, while professional certificates are good for ten years. All certificates expire on August 31st of their last year of certification.

  • Is there a teacher shortage in Nebraska?

    Yes, based on a Teacher Vacancy Survey, the Nebraska Department of Education reports a teacher shortage for the 2022-2023 school year for all subjects and grade levels.