The Nebraska Professional Upgrade Partnership (NE-PUP) is a state-funded teacher enhancement program. This project will support five certified practitioners (ECSE, SLP, Deaf Education) in Nebraska public schools who are recommended by employers/supervisors for advanced education to enhance their work with young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. NE-PUP is designed to:
Increase the quality of intervention personnel who can collaborate in identifying, planning and delivering supportive developmental services for these young children with special needs.
Provide financial support to ECSE and Deaf Education teachers and SLPsfor the cost of returning to graduate school from a distance and complete 10 credits ECSE or Deaf Education coursework.
Employed, SLPs, ECSE- and Deaf Education-endorsed teachers across Nebraska are encouraged to apply.
3. What are my financial benefits as an NE-PUP participant?
NE-PUP students receive all tuition and fees needed to complete 10 graduate credits at UNL. You will also receive a small stipend to cover education and/or travel costs.
4. To what do I have to agree?
You must agree to enroll and complete 10 graduate credits within a 12 month period of starting the program. You must maintain a B or better GPA and attend all required weekend and summer class sessions in Lincoln.
You will sign the Federal Notification of Work or Repay Form. You agree to maintain employment in Nebraska as an ECSE or Deaf Education teacher with young children for two years or repay all financial assistance.
5. How do I apply to NE-PUP?
Complete and return by mail the NE-PUP application and required materials. (Application process closed for 2008-09.)
Priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented populations, those with the most complete and compelling application materials (academic and professional potential as well as geographic need) and those who commit sooner rather than later. Awards will be made to best reflect the geographic needs within the state.
6. Can I apply if I don’t plan to pursue a masters degree?
Yes. You are only committing to taking 10 graduate credits of ECSE or Deaf Education coursework and it is not required that you pursue a masters degree. However, you do have the option of pursuing a masters degree and using these courses as a basis for the start of a degree program. See links below for UNL’s ECSE or Deaf Education websites.
7. Should I apply for the deaf education or ECSE specialization? What courses will I be taking?
If you are currently an ECSE teacher, you will apply to take the 10 graduate credits courses in Deaf Education. If you are currently working as a Deaf Educator, then you will apply for the ECSE courses. If you are a Speech-Language Pathologist, you can register for a combination of ECSE and Deaf Education courses to best compliment your training to date.
for ECSE Teachers
for DHH Teachers
SPED 872 (3)
Psychology & Sociology of Deafness
and SPED 896E*
in Early Childhood Deaf Education
(year long plus one week on campus)
SPED 862 (3)
Teaching Preschoolers with Disabilities and SPED 896E*
in Early Childhood Deaf Education
(year long plus one week on campus)
SLPA 850 (3)
Audiology for Educators
SLPA 884 (3)
Speech-Language Development in
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations and 896E Cont.
SPED 960 (3)
Family-Centered Services and 896E Cont.
SPED 896E Cont.
SPED 861 (3)
Infants with Disabilities and 896E Cont.
8. Will the coursework give me a credential?
No, you will not receive a degree or new teaching endorsement by completing this program. You can, however, use these graduate credits toward a degree or additional endorsement if you choose to continue your studies at UNL. Degrees require a minimum of 36 graduate credits; add-on endorsements require 27-30 credits.
9. Who would be my advisor and how will I communicate with them?
Your advisor will be assigned once you are admitted to the NE-PUP program. However, Drs. Eccarius (Deaf Education) and Marvin (ECSE) are available for advising informally prior to that admission as well. You can contact the advisors using any of the means of communication listed on their webpages. Once admitted, you will be provided a toll-free 800# you can use for phone contacts to the department.
10. I’ve never taken a distance/online course before; I wonder if I’m computer literate enough to take these classes?
To help you decide if distance education is for you, ask yourself: Am I strongly motivated to achieve my education goals? Am I comfortable without face-to-face interaction? Do I have good organizational and planning skills? Am I prepared to devote 8-10 hours of study time per week, per course? Am I comfortable using email, computers, and other technologies that may be required for some courses? Am I able to understand written instructions and written material on my own?
If this sounds like you, then you may be ready to tackle online distance education studies with NE-PUP. Look here for a short Self-Assessment about being an online distance education student.
Internet courses are new to many students and can be intimidating if you are unfamiliar with web-based communications. You will need a computer that is easily accessible to you for frequent, if not daily, access and one that can handle the technologies used in the courses. See below for our computer guidelines. UNL offers lots of friendly tech support daily from 7:30 AM-11:30 PM (CST).
11. How do I know if my computer at home is too old or “good enough” to use for classes? Should I plan to use my computer at work?
Technical requirements for using Blackboard, the web-based course organizer for all UNL courses:
PC-Windows 98, XP or better, Pentium processor, 600MHz minimum
MAC: Mac OS 10.0 or higher, Power PC processor 600 MHz minimum
Both platforms: At least 256 MB or FAM, 20GB of hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, 15" monitor or larger, Web browser: The latest version of Mozilla, Firefox, Safari (MAC only), Netscape 7.0 or higher. The latest version of Internet Explorer may be used with PCs but not MACs. AOL is not compatible with Bb and is not supported by the Help Desk.
UNL will provide students with a student email address free of charge. Contact Information Services at http://www.unl.edu/is/ or call toll-free (866) 472-3970 for your bigred.unl.edu account once you are accepted into the NE-PUP program.
External speakers and an inexpensive web-camera may be useful for accessing some audio/video course content online. Instructors will advise students as to which courses require this equipment.
Although at times students may want/need to use the computer at their place of work, we caution you from relying on that machine completely. Access can be an issue at particular times of day or days of the week, and some agencies have "firewalls" on their computers that prevent access/communication with outside websites and telecommunicators. Having access to a computer seven days a week and having one that you know can handle the communication with UNL systems will be to your advantage. Having the right computer for a distance education course is equivalent to having pens and spiral notebooks for an on-campus course.