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Find an Education Path For Teaching in Nebraska, (NE)

The first step toward becoming a teacher in Nebraska depends on where you are now on the path leading to your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have attained and we will guide you through the steps that must be taken as you advance towards a teaching career in Nebraska.

The information below will help you determine what steps you should take to become a teacher in Nebraska.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

High school graduates who want to become teachers can apply as freshman to a four-year university where they will complete general core classes and begin preparing for a teaching career. Graduation from high school—documented by a diploma or a GED certificate--is required for acceptance into a Bachelor’s degree program. Another option for aspiring teachers is to enroll in a two-year or community college to take their core classes or to pursue certification to teach in some education venues.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Earning an Associate degree from a two-year or community college can be a major step toward achieving your goal of becoming a teacher in Nebraska. Two-year colleges offer a variety of options, such as completing an associate of arts or sciences degree in order to transfer to a four-year university; qualifying for a professional certificate by focusing on training for a specific job; earning an Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate designed to lead you directly to employment.

  1. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are often designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year university. If you complete required core classes at a two-year college, before transferring to a Bachelor’s degree program, you will be eligible to enroll as an upper division student. Majoring in education or teaching is an important step toward fulfilling requirements necessary to earn a Bachelor’s degree in education.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.           
  3. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

Prospective teachers who seek a teaching license in Nebraska must complete all state requirements, including earning a Bachelor’s degree. Nebraska also requires that you meet the qualifications to teach a particular subject or at a particular grade level. A degree in teaching or in education gives graduates a choice of options as they advance toward their goal of becoming a certified educator in Nebraska.
Graduates who want to be certified to teach in Nebraska, and who already have a Bachelor’s degree that is not education-based, must follow specific steps that are determined by their undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.      
  2. The Nebraska Department of Education requires teaching candidates to pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test as their Basic Skills assessment for teachers. This test is often required for admission into Teacher Preparation Programs. The Elementary Education Curriculum Instruction and Assessment (EECIA) test is required for teachers planning to teach grades K-8. Teachers planning to teach middle school or high school must take the Praxis II Content Area exam to assess their knowledge in their chosen field or subject area. Human Relations Training and a Special Education course are required for anyone seeking certification in Nebraska.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If you earned your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some teaching certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  5. The State of Nebraska requires students seeking a teaching license to have a Bachelor’s in Education degree or a teaching major in the content area(s) they want to teach. Any prospective teachers who have a Bachelor’s degree in a non-education field must complete Nebraska-required courses they did not take during their undergraduate studies. Prior to applying for a license, teaching candidates must successfully fulfill academic and experiential components of a Nebraska-accredited Teacher Preparation Program. You can either enroll in a post-baccalaureate professional educator preparation program or enter a Master’s degree in education program that is integrated with the state-required educator preparation curricula.
  6. Teaching candidates must fulfill all state requirements before applying for a Nebraska license to teach. These include: earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education or teaching, successfully completing a state-mandated Teacher Education Program, satisfying student teaching hours and other fieldwork, being given positive recommendations from supervisors and professors, and passing the Praxis I tests and grade-level or subject area content knowledge exams. Once you have accomplished these and other state-mandated requirements, you qualify to be issued an Initial Teaching Certificate.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

Nebraska offers many accredited on-site and online Master’s degree programs. These include Master of Arts in Education degrees, such as Mathematics, Sciences and History, which may lead to continuing your education at the doctoral level or to teaching at high schools and community colleges. Also offered are Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degrees in grade levels or subject areas, such as Language Arts, Elementary Education, Reading and Social Sciences. Graduates who complete a Master of Arts or Master of Education degree, plus all other Nebraska-mandated requirements, are eligible to be issued a Professional certificate to teach in Nebraska.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Nebraska Department of Education to request an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.