No Obligation of the State
This Request for Information (RFI) is an informational request and in no way creates any obligation on the part of the Nebraska Department of Education.
Request for Information: The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is requesting information regarding Educator Certification Systems (ECS). The State is seeking information from vendors regarding proposed solutions and estimated costs. The Nebraska Department of Education will use the information from this RFI to inform the development of a Request for Proposal to be released in Mid-2018 to seek a vendor to provide an Educator Certification System.
The Nebraska State Department of Education (NDE) is responsible for credentialing and licensing Nebraska’s educators as governed by statute and legislative rules. As with many departmental processes and procedures, the NDE has sought to reduce paper and timelines in processing requests for certification. To do so, NDE created an information system designed to assist Educator Certification Analysts in processing and managing credentials for the state. This system, as almost all do, has undergone several iterations in technology, process, and automation to lessen the administrative and financial burdens of managing licensure for the state.
Purpose and Objectives
The NDE is seeking a new, user friendly, secure and robust educator licensure system. The system will have the capacity to efficiently serve all customers (internal and external users), both existing and new. Existing educators will be able to access their record online, update, and renew their licenses, including processing of payment. New educators will be able to create an account online, submit their application and payment; the system will seamlessly transition the record from the new educator process to licensed educator process as appropriate.
The NDE would expect to release a competitive solicitation (RFP) approximately Mid-2018. Award and contract finalization would occur by Fall-2018 with project start date to occur by Fall-2018.
- Budget is to be determined.
- Type of system (COTS, custom developed, etc…) are to be determined.
The new system would replace the existing Nebraska Department of Education Educator Certification System.
Project Description Details
The following are pertinent data points for the proposed Educator Certification System.
Licenses processed in 2017:
|Total Licenses Processed||11,490|
|Renewals/Upgrades/Adding Endorsements/ Duplicates||4,379|
This would be the maximum number of concurrent users on line at one time:
Total Educator Licensure System Users 250-300
Approximate number of records in the database:
Total number of base Educator Records 115,881
The NDE issues but not limited to the following types/classes: Administration, Teaching, Special Services, Professional Standard, Initial, Provisional, State Substitute, Temporary, Conditional Permit Transitional, Local Substitute, Provisional Commitment, Provisional Re-Entry, Dual Credit, Career Education, Permit, Provisional Permit, Postsecondary Teaching Permit, Career Ed Teaching Permit, Alternate Program Teaching Permit, Trades
Educator Certification System High Level Process Flow
General System Usability and Navigation
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) will consider all types of solutions (COTS, custom-developed, Cloud, etc.) but prefers solutions that have already been developed, tested, and deployed, and that is also configurable to meet the NDE’s unique requirements.
The NDE will consider a system that is hosted or on premise or a hybrid.
The system must be fully accessible to all users, including international users, via the Internet using a well-designed graphical web interface, and be browser independent.
Summarize how your system
- Provides on-screen or in-system user help.
- Validates data.
- Provides web-based application with wizard for candidate to manage applications status and renewals end-to-end.
- Provides batch or API integration with state payment processing vendor.
- View status of applicant’s payment for credentialing and fingerprinting fees and gate application processing based on completed and accurate payment.
- Capture and store applicant’s personal and contact information, including social security number and former names.
- Possible integrations with state pension or NSSRS Advisor systems for one source of truth.
- Utilize a new Nebraska Unique Person ID system number that follows individuals from birth to retirement.
- Capture and store applicant’s Personal and Professional Fitness (PPF) self-reported survey responses.
- Receive assessment record data electronically in a standardized, machine-readable format for surfacing in the application in a consistent manner.
- API integration with state higher education systems linked by Unique Person ID.
- Receive data electronically in a standardized, machine-readable format (either PDF or PESC higher education data standard) for use in the application in a consistent manner.
- Queue and filter applications based on fee payment status, age of application, application status.
- Allow applicant to download a PDF of their current certification(s) – built in real-time from the end user application interface.
- Search and view Nebraska staff data, including years of experience.
- Email checklist to applicant of outstanding items required to complete processing.
- Capture email correspondence history with applicant.
- Allow external users to search for certificates on file with the Division of Educator Certification.
- Allow external users to search for application status.
- Provide ability to batch or bulk update record status to inactive using analyst administrative functions.
- Ability to batch process annual renewals.
- Provide checklist workflow for matching supporting documentation to certificate and permit requirements.
- Reporting supports compliance, quality, and research objectives using role-based access to meet a broad group of stakeholder requirements while protecting data privacy and access.
The aging technology is a limiting factor for NDE’s overall upgrade strategy and schedule, and portions of the code base are outdated. NDE is committed to continuing with a computer-based system for the long term Nebraska is seeking information from interested vendors that demonstrates an understanding of specific issues that can occur with computer-based assessment and offers multiple, evidence-based solutions that include strong support for district staff.
The NDE requires system security that incorporates stringent security and various user roles. Security must include the ability to define user roles and assign security levels by group and/or individual user. The NDE expects a licensure system to allow external users access to specified information, such as a public lookup.
Summarize how your system:
- Handles security administration.
- Allows public access to certain information about educators that must be available through the State website to all citizens.
Reporting and Analytics
Summarize your system’s query/search and reporting capabilities.
Summarize and provide examples of:
- Any available standard reports.
- The types of reports that are available and any filter criteria that exists for each report.
- Ad-hoc reports the system is able to create.
- Analytic functions for metric reporting.
- Export formats, including but not limited to Microsoft Excel, CSV, XML and others.
Summarize how your system:
- Archives records including all necessary identifying codes and supporting records.
- Recalls and uses archived data.
Training and support
Summarize the system training that is provided to new customers.
The NDE expects that all records within our existing Educator Certification System will be securely transitioned into the new system without loss or skewing of records or the information contained within.
Summarize the data conversion process from an older, different system to your system.
The Certification application guidelines change periodically as rules, regulations or guidelines are changed by the Federal Department of Education and Nebraska Board of Public Education
Summarize how your system provides flexible configuration and the creation/alternation of business rules to allow for change in rules, regulations or guidelines and note whether or not vendor involvement is needed.
This RFI does not constitute nor guarantee that the State will proceed with a formal solicitation for the requested services. The State is not responsible for any cost associated with the preparation of any response to this request.
Interested vendors are invited to submit a letter of interest that includes a response to the following priorities. Provide succinct summary response to each item and identify any constraints or efficiencies for NDE consideration.
Friday, April 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Central Standard Time
All questions related to this RFI should be directed to email@example.com.
Responses are to be sent as letters or electronic letters and must be received electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at
Attn: Dr. Dean Folkers
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
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