Nebraska Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Nebraska
If you want to work as a certified teacher in Nebraska, you need to understand the state’s licensing process and certification requirements. Because there is more than one way to obtain Nebraska teaching certification, it’s important to learn about your options in order to maximize your chances of success.
Requirements for certified teachers in Nebraska
According to the Nebraska Department of Education, you can qualify for a Nebraska teaching license if you have a bachelor’s degree, have completed an approved teacher education program, and have passed the relevant exams. These include the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills tests and a PRAXIS II content area test appropriate to the subject and grade you want to teach.
You must also submit to a background check, and you must have teaching experience or college credit hours completed in the five years immediately preceding your application. Finally, you must complete training in human relations and special education.
Though it’s possible to complete your teacher education program after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a different subject area, most people who apply for teacher certification have a bachelor’s degree in education. If you choose this route to certification, you will specialize in a certain grade level and/or subject area, which will determine the type of certification you apply for when the program is over.
After you complete your teacher education program, you will apply for your Initial Teaching Certificate from the state of Nebraska. Teaching licenses in Nebraska are typically valid for five years.
Nebraska jobs for licensed teachers
Obtaining a regular teaching certificate isn’t the only way to become a certified teacher in Nebraska. Depending on your circumstances, you may also qualify for other forms of licensure. Below are the various teaching certificates offered to educators by the state of Nebraska.
- Initial: You are a first-year teacher who meets all of the standard licensure requirements for the state of Nebraska, including successful completion of an approved teacher education program, passing scores on the PRAXIS I, recent teaching experience or college credit and a clean background check.
- Standard: You are a teacher who meets all of the standard licensure requirements and has at least two years of teaching experience.
- Professional: You are a teacher who meets all of the standard licensure requirements, has at least two years of teaching experience, and holds National Board Certification, a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. This license is valid for ten years.
- Temporary: You are a teacher who holds an out-of-state teaching license or a bachelor’s degree, but your teacher education program didn’t meet all of Nebraska’s curriculum requirements. This license allows you to teach for six months while you work toward a standard license.
- Provisional: You are a teacher who meets all of the requirements for standard licensure except the recency requirements, a passing score on the PRAXIS I and/or the state’s teacher education curriculum requirements. This license allows you to teach for one year while you work toward meeting standard licensing requirements.
- Provisional Commitment or Transitional: You have completed a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education and are halfway through your teacher education program. This license allows you to work in a Nebraska school system for one year while you complete your program.
- Local Substitute: You have 60 college credit hours and wish to work as a substitute in a specific school system. This license allows you to do so for up to 40 days each school year for three years.
- State Substitute: You have a valid teaching license issued by any state and wish to work as a substitute teacher in Nebraska. This license allows you to teach for an unlimited number of days for five years (but no more than ninety days for a single assignment).
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Nebraska for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Agriculture Education
- Business, Marketing, and Information Technology (BMIT)
- Early Childhood Education
- English as a Second Language/English Language Learners
- Family and Consumer Science
- Health and/or Physical Education
- Industrial Technology/Skilled and technical Science
- Language Arts
- School Counselor
- School Librarian
- School Psychologist
- Special Education
- Speech-Language Pathology
- World Language
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Nebraska
If you have a valid teaching license from another state, you may be able to obtain your Nebraska teaching certification through a limited-term regional exchange agreement, pending completion of all state requirements. For more information about license reciprocity between states, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.