Nebraska, NE Teacher Certification Requirements

There are approximately 300,000 students enrolled in Nebraska’s K-12 public schools. On average, Nebraska teachers have 15 years of classroom teaching experience, with half holding master’s degrees in addition to their teaching credentials. Nebraska has been making strides in improving student proficiency in core subjects. In 2000-01, less than 80 percent of Nebraska students were proficient readers; today, over 90 are proficient. In 2000-01 less than 80 percent of Nebraska students were proficient in math; today, more than 90 percent are proficient. Nearly three-fourths of Nebraska high school seniors take the ACT exam, with Nebraska’s scores being higher overall than scores in most other states. As of 2008-09, over 90 percent of Nebraska students earn a high school diploma.

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Nebraska’s Mandatory Requirements for All Applicants

  1. All applicants must meet certain requirements and submit certain documents in order to be issued a Regular Teaching Certificate in Nebraska:
  2. Record of Residence form.
  3. Official transcripts of all college credits.
  4. Institutional Verification Form of completing an approved Teacher Education program.
  5. Fingerprints and Criminal Background Check
  6. All applicants applying for first-time Nebraska teaching certificates, including substitute teacher certificates, are required to be fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check. Fingerprinting is never waived.

Human Relations Training

  • The Human Relations training requirement only needs to be satisfied once by any person seeking any type of Nebraska teaching certificate or the renewal of a Nebraska teaching certificate. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing a Nebraska-approved Human Relations course or writing a narrative verifying employment experiences during which the six mandatory Human Relations skills were obtained.

Special Education Training

  • Special Education Training is a statutory requirement that applies only to the first issuance of a teaching certificate.
  • Anyone — except special education majors – who is seeking a regular Nebraska teaching certificate for the first time must meet the Nebraska’s Special Education requirement, which consists of five major skills.

Basic Skills Competency Examination

  • Any person who applies for a first regular Nebraska teaching certificate must demonstrate competency in basic skills as determined by the Nebraska State Board of Education. The PRAXIS Basic Skills Competency Examination is a Nebraska’s required exam, which is necessary only for someone’s first teaching certificate. The exam requirement can be waived if the applicant submits a Verification of Experience form. The waiver requires three or more consecutive years of K-12 teaching experience in any state, if certificate is based on having completed an approved teacher education program.


  • Any person seeking any form of regular Nebraska teaching certification must meet the Recency requirement, which can be fulfilled by providing verification of teaching in the same school system within the immediate past five years from date of application while holding a valid regular certificate.

Types of Teaching Certificates in Nebraska

Regular Certificate

  • A certificate issued without any deficiencies in that state. Once all of the Nebraska’s requirements have been met, the applicant will be eligible for the Regular teaching certificate.

Provisional Certificate

Nebraska offers Provisional certificates to teachers who have been offered employment in the Nebraska school system, but who have not completed any of these specific mandatory requirements:

  • Basic Skills Competency.
  • Human Relations Training.
  • Special Education Coursework.
  • Recency.
  • Sufficient college credit hours.
  • Completion of an approved Teacher Education program, for which coursework can be completed either in class or online, as long as the institution is approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. Student teaching in a classroom is also required for completing the Teacher Education program.

Temporary Certificate

This is the certificate issued to the applicant when the human relations training requirement is a deficiency.

Conditional Permit
The fingerprinting process may take several weeks. A Conditional Permit may be issued, when an applicant for any Nebraska certificate has met ALL the requirements for that certificate, except for the receipt of the fingerprint record (criminal background check). Once passage of the Criminal History Background requirement is complete, the Regular certificate will be issued.

Nebraska Substitute Teaching Certificates

  • The Local Substitute Teaching Certificate is valid for three years and limited to 40 days of teaching in any school year.
  • The State Substitute Teaching Certificate is accepted in all Nebraska school systems. Substitute teachers may not teach more than 90 days in the same school. This certificate is valid for five years.

Teaching Certificate Levels

Initial Teaching Certificate

  • The first certificate issued on the basis of completion of an approved teacher education program when all Nebraska academic and state requirements have been met. The Initial teaching certificate is valid for five years and is renewable.

Professional Teaching Certificate

  • This advanced certificate requires a master’s degree completed in the applicant’s current endorsement area. The Professional teaching certificate is valid for 10 years and is renewable.

Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate

  • A certificate issued to an applicant who has completed a baccalaureate degree but has not completed an approved teacher preparation program. This certificate is valid for one year while the applicant works to complete the teacher education program.

Standard Teaching Certificate

  • The issuance of this certificate is based upon two consecutive years of teaching half time or more, in the same school system in the past five years while holding a valid regular teaching certificate. The Standard teaching certificate is valid for five years.

Transitional Teaching Certificate

  • A certificate issued to an applicant who has completed a baccalaureate degree but has not completed an approved teacher preparation program. This certificate requires documentation from the school superintendent stating that the school system has not found a fully qualified teacher for the position.