Earning a certificate to teach in the state of Nebraska is a streamlined process. Get your education degree while student teaching, pass your Praxis exams, and you'll be taking attendance before you realize you're even finished applying for your certificate!
Requirements for Teaching Certificates in Nebraska
|Average Salary for Teachers in Nebraska (2017)*||$57,640 (Kindergarten), $56,070 (Elementary), $59,370 (Middle), $55,870 (Secondary)|
|Degree Field||Education (Elementary, Middle, or Secondary endorsement)|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Core Academic Skills, Praxis content exams for grade/subject|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor's Degree
No matter what grade level you want to teach, you're going to need to earn a four-year degree to obtain a certificate for teaching in the state of Nebraska. If younger children is your forte, go for a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Depending on the school, you can earn a dual endorsement in elementary students (kindergarten through sixth grade) and early childhood education (pre-kindergarten through third grade). Courses in elementary education might include literature for children, public speaking, and foundations of education.
Moving up in grade level, a Bachelor of Science in Middle Education earns you an endorsement for teaching fifth through ninth grade. You'll need to specialize in math or science, and if you don't choose both, you can pick another area from English language arts or social sciences. Classes in this degree program can include discrete mathematics, critical approaches to literature, and human growth and learning. Finally, there is the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. A number of endorsements are available at this level, including art, chemistry, music, and world languages. As an example, if your secondary education major includes English, you can expect to take courses like American literature, women of color, and composition theory.
You will go through a student teaching experience as part of your degree, typically in the final semester of your program. Nebraska also includes a course in special education as part of the curriculum, which fulfills a training requirement of the teacher certification process.
Step 2: Pass Your Praxis Exams
As you move through your degree program, you'll have several standardized tests to pass. The Praxis Core Academic Skils (CAS) test, a three-part exam, is required for everyone seeking a teaching certificate in Nebraska. The CAS exam is divided into three parts: reading, writing, and mathematics. The writing section is the only subtest containing essay prompts; it and the rest of the tests all contain multiple-choice questions. The test can be split into multiple appointments or taken as one bulk exam.
Praxis subject assessments must be passed according to your major and endorsement. For example, high school history teachers will need to go through the World and U.S. History: Content Knowledge exam, while sixth grade English teachers take the Middle School English Language Arts test. Passing scores and formats vary for subject exams, so you should be sure to check out the ETS site to find out what you need to do to move through the exams.
Step 3: Apply for Your Certificate
After completing your degree and passing your exams, you will be ready to apply for a Teaching Initial Certificate. The application requires the submission of valid fingerprints as part of a background check. This can be performed free of charge at any Nebraska State Patrol office. Transcripts from all of your schools should be emailed directly from the educational institutions to the Nebraska Department of Education. College/university credits and work experience has to be earned within the previous five years from the application; otherwise, it will not count toward the requirements for a teaching certificate.