Individuals interested in applying for an initial Nebraska teacher license must satisfy several requirements. Certification applicants must have an accredited bachelor’s degree, successfully demonstrate competency in the subject they wish to teach, submit to fingerprinting, and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. A number of universities and colleges offer Nebraska teacher education programs that deliver bachelor’s degrees or alternative certification programs for individuals who already hold bachelor’s degrees.
Four of the larger universities that offer teacher education programs that meet the Nebraska teaching license requirements are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and Creighton University. Each of these teaching schools in Nebraska are approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. Continue reading to learn more about the programs at each school.
The Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education (TLTE) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is ranked 34th on U.S. News & World Report’s best education schools list. According to the website, TLTE offers more specializations than any other college or university in Nebraska. The school’s initial teacher preparation program delivers bachelor’s degrees in elementary and secondary education. TLTE no longer offers a non-degree post-baccalaureate program for initial teaching certification. However, students who hold a bachelor’s degree may attain initial teaching certification through a Master of Arts degree in one of five specialization areas.
The College of Education offers initial teacher preparation programs designed to prepare candidates to meet the Nebraska teacher certification requirements at the elementary grades, middle grades, and secondary levels. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 and complete a full-time, one-semester student teaching practicum prior to graduation. In addition, endorsement candidates must meet the state licensure standard of at least 100 hours of classroom experience before they can participate in student teaching.
Admission into the UNK teacher education program is rather selective. To be accepted into the program, students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, have completed introduction to teaching courses, have participated in a service learning project, and have established absence of any criminal conviction. Applicants to the teacher education program must also have successfully completed all three components (math, reading, and writing) of the PRAXIS I Test. The Praxis I Test is a basic skills test required of all education majors in the state of Nebraska. It is recommended that the College of Education application process begin by the middle of the student’s second year.
Creighton University is a small, private university that ranks number one on U.S. News & World Report’s best regional (Midwest) colleges list. The College of Arts and Sciences employs 210 faculty members and offers 50 undergraduate majors, including education. All of Creighton University’s teacher education degree programs in elementary and secondary education are accredited by state, regional, and national accrediting agencies, including the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.