Teaching Initial Certificate

The Initial Teaching Certificate is valid for teaching in all Nebraska schools unless someone applies for a nonpublic certificate only. Once issued, an Initial Teaching Certificate expires August 31 in the fifth year following the year of issuance.

The requirements for an Initial Teaching Certificate include the following:

  1. An application and fee in the TEACH system  (Please note that registration for TEACH is required first; then an application can be submitted.)
  2. Fingerprints (required only if someone has lived outside of Nebraska in the past five years)
  3. Official Transcript(s)
  4. Institutional Verification – This form is used to show that a program was completed. The form is sent electronically to Nebraska colleges and universities.
  5. Educator Certificate – A certificate is required only for those who have not been certified in Nebraska.
  6. Employment Verification – This form is required for those who have employment experience in a school district/system outside of Nebraska.
  7. Content Test – Nebraska accepts only the Praxis Content test and is required for each new endorsement added to a certificate after September 1, 2015.  For the most up-to-date list of tests accepted by Nebraska and for information on how to register for a test, visit the ETS website.
  8. Human Relations Training
  9. Special Education Training

More information on how to send supporting documents can be found in the FAQ section of this website.

Create an account in TEACH  

You will need to use your personal email address. This will be the address that your certificate gets emailed to as a PDF.

Start a new application

  1. What type of Certificate or Permit are you applying for today? = Select Teaching
  2. Ever held a Nebraska Teaching Certificate? = No
  3. Ever held an educator license in another state? = Yes/No
  4. Then select “First Time Applicant” and “Initial” from the dropdown box and complete the online application.

In the application

A checklist will appear on the left side of the application.  As you complete each section, the red X will change to a green check mark.  Each tab has instructions to complete each section.

Certificate Type Tab

Select “All School Certificate or Permit” or “Nonpublic School Certificate”.  Districts you add to the employment section will be able to monitor your application and status.

Personal Information Tab

Enter your information.  On this tab you can select the option “I hereby give my consent to the Nebraska Department of Education to use SMS messaging to send me notifications via text message and email.”

Academic Record Tab

Follow the instructions on this tab with information about any college or university you attended as a student.  Official transcripts must be sent directly from the college. Most colleges have a portal that will identify the service they use to send transcripts. A transcript from Parchment or National Student Clearinghouse can be sent directly to nde.tcertweb@nebraska.gov.

You can also mail a transcript to the following address: Nebraska Department of Education, Educator Certification, PO Box 94987, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509. Please note that if you mail a transcript yourself, it must be in a sealed envelope from the college.

Personal & Professional Fitness 

Answer the questions listed.  Any answer of “yes” will require explanation and documentation.


Basic skills (Praxis Core) and a content test are required.  If you did not send your scores to the Nebraska Department of Education, you may upload a PDF of your score report by selecting “Yes” to “Do you have any state testing which you have not previously submitted?”


Select the option that accurately describes your residency for the last 5 years.  Please note, that attending an out of state college would require you to select option “C”, as this means you were not continuously living in the state of Nebraska.

Declaration, Authorization and Signature

Your electronic signature will need to match the name on the application.  If you previously had started the application, be sure to update your signature to reflect today’s date.

Fee and Payment

To move to the fee and payment, all of the tabs must be saved and have a green check mark next to them.

If you hold a Nebraska Initial teaching certificate and have taught for two consecutive years, you are likely going to advance to the Standard teaching certificate or the Professional teaching certificate

To advance to a Professional teaching certificate applicants must have taught for two consecutive years  and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Submit an official transcript of a Master’s degree earned within ten years of the date of application from a standard institution of higher education in Curriculum and Instruction, SPED, Education Technology or in the applicant’s content area
  • Hold current National Board Certification from a credentialing organization approved by the Department in Rule 22
  • Have received a six-year specialist’s certificate or a doctorate degree from a standard institution of higher education in the area related to the applicant’s area of endorsement completed at the master’s degree level

To renew prior to expiration or within five years of expiration applicants need one year of teaching experience or six semester credit hours from a standard institution of higher education in education-related coursework.

To renew five or more years after expiration, applicants must have received fifteen semester hours.  The hours must be recommended for issuance of the teaching certificate by the certification officer of your approved teacher education institution. The courses shall include:

  • a course in instructional techniques;
  • a practicum consisting of one hundred or more clock hours of contact with students in the classroom setting, fifty percent of which shall consist of performing instructional duties under the supervision of a cooperating teacher,
  • a course or courses which address current issues in education, including but not limited to, special education, gifted education, reading and writing in the content area, and school law; AND
  • the remaining course work is directly related to the applicant’s area of endorsement on his or her expired certificate.
Updated May 16, 2023 4:48pm