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Preparing quality teachers and other professional educators for the State of Nebraska is a vital component of the Nebraska Department of Education’s mission. The Teacher Education Program Approval section is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and approving teacher and administrator education programs that lead to certification to teach, administer and provide special services in schools. There are 15 institutions in the state with approved educator preparation programs.
Primary responsibilities of the Educator Preparation Section:
- Review and approve educator preparation programs in Nebraska. The standards and procedures are outlined in Rule 20, Regulations for the Approval of Teacher Education Programs; Rule 21, Issuance of Certificates and Permits to Teach, Counsel, Supervise and Administer in Nebraska Schools; Rule 23, Regulations for the Basic Skills Competency Testing of Teachers and Administrators; and Rule 24, Regulations for Certificate Endorsements and the accompanying Guidelines.
- Provide leadership to the Nebraska Council on Teacher Education (NCTE) where Nebraska education associations and local representatives work as partners to assure high standards for Nebraska educator preparation and certification, with the ultimate goal of providing PK-12 students the best educational opportunities possible.
- Oversight of Nebraska’s Excellence in Teaching Act, which provides forgivable loans to candidates seeking their initial certification (AETP) and to current teachers seeking an advanced degree (EETP) under Rule 25, Regulations Governing the Excellence in Teaching Act.
- Survey Nebraska school districts annually to determine teacher shortage areas. The data from the Teacher Shortage Survey is then summarized and communicated to the US Department of Education (USDE) and educational entities throughout the state.
- Manage the Teach in Nebraska web site; a free service of the Nebraska Department of Education for the state’s K-12 schools seeking to employ persons with teaching or administrative certificates in professional capacities, and for persons seeking employment in such positions.