Teacher Preparation & Educational Leadership

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TEACHEr Preparation and Educational Leadership

Five departments, one goal: Provide high quality preparation programs for teaching, related services and leadership careers in education so that our graduates will be well equipped to enhance the lives of individuals, families, schools and communities.

With an emphasis on collaboration among departments, the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) offers certification and endorsement programs in early childhood, elementary, secondary, special education, school administration and for educational professionals in school psychology and speech-language pathology.



Five CEHS departments are engaged in preparing our future educators.

  • Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education (TLTE) – preparing undergraduate students for teaching careers in elementary and secondary education. Graduate students can earn master’s, Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees. Additional teacher certification and endorsement programs are also available.

  • Special Education and Communication Disorders (SECD) – preparing undergraduate students for careers in special education teaching through certification and endorsement programs. Graduate students earn master’s and Ph.D. degrees in special education. SECD also prepares students to become speech-language pathologists and audiologists with master’s and Au.D programs.

  • Child, Youth and Family Studies (CYAF) – preparing undergraduate students to serve children birth to grade 3 with a bachelor’s degree in inclusive early childhood education. CYAF also offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences.

  • Educational Administration (EDAD) – offers master’s and doctoral degrees in P-20 school educational administration.

  • Educational Psychology (EDPS) – prepares graduate students to be national certified school psychologists through either an educational specialist degree or Ph.D. A master’s in counseling psychology is also available.

Every CEHS program that leads to certification is accredited by a national accrediting agency. Accreditation helps separate UNL from other teacher preparation programs. More than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide offer teacher preparation programs, but only 300 are accredited. It makes a difference.

Why?
  • It helps assure quality in educator preparation through external peer review

  • Sets standards for what new teachers need to know and for clinical training, which allows teachers to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively

  • Promotes ongoing self-assessment of programs

  • Connects with national and state accountability systems

  • Elevates the profession

 

Accrediting organizations

See our accreditation page for more information.


*Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
apaaccred@apa.org
www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

The following programs prepare qualified candidates to fill the needs of schools:


Educator Preparation Programs Leading to Initial Teacher Certification

  • Inclusive early childhood education – students earn a bachelor of science (B.S.) with a Nebraska teaching certificate endorsement (Birth to Grade 3).
  • Elementary education – students earn a B.S. in education with certification to teach in grades K-6.
  • Secondary education – students earn a B.S. in education with certification to teach in grades 7-12.
  • Special education – students have a choice of dual major in elementary education and special education (K-6) or a special education (7-12) degree. Both are B.S. degrees with certification.

Evidence of Effectiveness


Advanced Educator Preparation Programs

  • School administration – students can earn a master’s or doctor of education in P-12 school leadership. The M.Ed. provides Nebraska principal endorsement and the Ed.D. provides Nebraska superintendent endorsement.
  • School psychology – in a three-year program, students earn an educational specialist degree (Ed.S.) that meets the requirements to become a National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).
  • Speech language pathology – a B.S. degree prepares students to pursue their master’s or doctoral degree. The master’s degree meets requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence and a Nebraska teaching endorsement in speech language pathology.
  • Audiology – the Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) meets the requirements for the Nebraska special services standard audiologist certificate.

The experience of student teaching is an essential component in the development of educators. CEHS faculty and staff consider it to be the “capstone” in the preparation process for teacher education. For more information, visit Practicum and Student Teaching. This page includes contact information for Sara Skretta, director of professional experiences.

Preservice teachers with questions about initial teaching certification or teachers interested in renewing a certificate can find details at Teacher Certification and Renewal. Contact information for Sara Skretta, certification officer, can also be found here.

Teacher education applicants must complete the Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators examination. More information is available at the Praxis webpage.

To review a summary of how CEHS teacher candidates perform academically, visit the teacher education candidate performance data page.

Criminal history background checks are also required of all teacher candidates. Details are available at the criminal history background checks webpage.

Clinical placements are an integral part of the school psychology program and the speech language pathology program. Please see the following links for more information.

Description of Admitted Candidates

2018-19

328 students were admitted to teacher education programs

ACT mean = 24.3
ACT median = 24
    35% have ACT greater than or equal to 26
    45% have ACT greater than or equal to 25
    56% have ACT greater than or equal to 24

GPA average is 3.62
Median High School rank is top 24%
79% female; 21 % male
84% white

2017-18

327 students were admitted to teacher education programs

ACT mean = 23.8
ACT median = 24
    32% have ACT greater than or equal to 26
    41% have ACT greater than or equal to 25
    51% have ACT greater than or equal to 24

GPA average is 3.405
Median High School rank is top 26%
75% female; 25 % male
86% white

2016-17

279 students were admitted to teacher education programs

ACT mean = 24.475
ACT median = 24
    35% have ACT greater than or equal to 26
    45% have ACT greater than or equal to 25
    48% have ACT greater than or equal to 24

GPA average is 3.326
Median High School rank is top 22%
75% female; 25 % male
89% white

96% of students admitted to a teacher education program completed the program and were eligible for Nebraska teacher certification

2015-2016

276 students were admitted to teacher education programs

ACT mean = 25.24
ACT median = 25
    41% have ACT greater than or equal to 26
    56% have ACT greater than or equal to 25
    66% have ACT greater than or equal to 24

Average GPA when admitted is 3.51
Their median high school rank is the top 20%
78% are female; 22% are male
89% are white

97% of students admitted to a teacher education program complete the program and are eligible for Nebraska teacher certification

2014-2015

323 students admitted to teacher education programs

ACT Mean = 24.20
ACT Median = 24
    31% have greater than or equal to 26 ACT
    41% have greater than or equal to 25 ACT
    52% have greater than or equal to 24 ACT

Average GPA when admitted is 3.48
Their median high school rank is the top 22%
76% are female; 24% are male
91% are white

98% of students admitted to a teacher education program completed the program and were eligible for Nebraska teacher certification

SLP Outcome Data

https://cehs.unl.edu/secd/slp-outcome-data/

Average ACT Composite score

Graduates of UNL teacher education programs had the following average ACT Composite Score at the time of their admission to the university:

Graduation Year ACT
2018-2019 24.04
2017-2018 25.05
2016-2017 24.6
2015-2016 23.5
2012-2013 24.2
2011-2012 24
2010-2011 24
 

High School Rank of Completers

2018-2019
18% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
38% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
58% were in the top 30% of their graduating class


2017-2018
22% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
39% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
42% were in the top 30% of their graduating class


2016-2017
27% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
45% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
62% were in the top 30% of their graduating class


2015-2016
21% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
42% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
60% were in the top 30% of their graduating class

Undergraduate Grade Point Average

The cumulative Grade Point Average for graduates of UNL teacher education programs was:

Graduation Year GPA
2018-2019 3.62
2017-2018 3.63
2016-2017 3.61
2015-2016 3.57
2014-2015 3.59
 

Average Years to the Bachelor’s Degree

The average number of years-to-completion that graduates of UNL teacher education programs required to complete their Bachelor’s Degree was:

Graduation Year Years
2018-2019 4.25
2017-2018 4.30
2016-2017 4.50
2015-2016 4.30
2014-2015 4.25
 

Performance on the CORE and Praxis II Tests

100% of UNL candidates earned a passing score on the CORE. A passing score is required by Nebraska statute for all teacher candidates for Nebraska certification. Teacher candidate completers are also required to take the Parxis II subject area tests.

Praxis Summary Pass Rates

Group Number taking tests Number Passing Pass rate (%)
All program completers, 2018-19 344 336 98
All program completers, 2017-18 327 318 97
All program completers, 2016-17 313 309 99
All program completers, 2015-16 326 320 98
All program completers, 2014-15 316 316 100

Employer and Completer Ratings

Principals of first year teachers who graduated from the UNL teacher education programs complete surveys to describe the quality of the teachers’ preparation. An overwhelming majority of the principals agreed or strongly agreed that the program graduates were well-prepared to teach in their content area:

Graduation Year % of Principals who agreed or strongly agreed
2018-2019 93%
2017-2018 90%
2016-2017 95%
2015-2016 96%
2014-2015 95%
Graduation Year % of Teachers who agreed or strongly agreed
2018-2019 92%
2017-2018 91%
2016-2017 96%
2015-2016 91%

EPP Impact on P-12 Learning

The EPP uses multiple measures to assess the instructional effectiveness of our program completers after the completion of their first year of employment as professional teachers. Two of these measures, the First Year Teacher and First Year Teacher Administrator Surveys, were constructed and are administered by the Nebraska Department of Education. Results from these two surveys (which provide EPP evidence to address CAEP standard 4.2), are reported back to each teacher preparation program accredited by the State of Nebraska.

In addition, the EPP will phase in a research plan to address CAEP standards 4.1 and 4.2. Research will be conducted by the EPP of 6-8 program completers representing a cross-section of our programs (e.g., 1-2 elementary, 1-2 secondary, 1-2 special, and 1-2 early childhood educators). Data sources planned are: (a) direct observation of completers’ classroom performance (measured by the Nebraska Clinical Practice Assessment); (b) interviews with 3-5 students identified by our completers from among their students; and (c) case study (self-assessment) action research conducted by completers. All EPP impact data sources will be reviewed by the EPP faculty (yearly – fall semester) and the CEHS Professional Education Committee (yearly - spring semester).

Case Study of Education Program Completers

Program completers one year past graduation (during their second year of professional practice) will generate a creative or scholarly product (i.e., a completer-conducted action research project) that demonstrates their impact on P-12 student learning. This project will require program completers to integrate the knowledge of content and pedagogy acquired throughout the program in their classroom, develop assessment plans, collect and analyze student data, and synthesize, interpret, and reflect on students’ learning to further make improvements on their teaching practices. Program completers will be asked to select one of three themes from the Nebraska Clinical Practice Evaluation Rubric (NCPER), specifically chosen because the rubric clearly delineates student learning as a direct outcome:

Assessment – Assesses for learning (NCPER Standard 6)1
Learner Development – Uses knowledge of students to meet needs (NCPER Standard 1)2
Learner Differences – Differentiates instruction to meet student needs (NCPER Standard 2)3

Program completers will collect relevant evidence from their own work in the classroom over time (e.g., mid-year and end of year during their 2nd year of teaching) and use the evidence to interpret and synthesize what their students are learning and how they are making progress as a result of the completer’s instruction. Program completers will be asked to create an online portfolio that includes the following components.

Part I: Program completers will be asked to provide an introductory statement regarding content and pedagogical knowledge that includes the theme selected. Guiding questions are listed below. The statement, “What knowledge, skills and strategies should a teacher use to reach all learners?” serves as an anchor question to permit comparison across program completers regardless of which theme they select for their action research project.

Themes Example Questions to Consider

Assessment

  • What knowledge, skills and strategies do you use to reach all learners?
  • How do formative assessments assist your instructional decisions?
  • How do summative assessments assist your instructional decisions?
  • How do you use assessments to guide implementation of differentiated instructional strategies?
  • How do you use multiple sources of data to make instructional decisions? (Differentiated and developmentally appropriate)
Learner Development
  • What knowledge, skills and strategies do you use to reach all learners?
  • How does data about students help you in designing current and future instruction?
  • How do you adjust your teaching to build on your student’s strengths?
  • How do students’ motivation and engagement play a role in making your instructional decisions?
Learner Differences
  • What knowledge, skills and strategies do you use to reach all learners?
  • How do you identify your individual student needs?
  • In what ways is your classroom culturally responsive. Please provide a specific example or two.
  • How do you know that you are reaching individualized student needs?

Part II: Program completers will be asked to provide at least three student work samples that represent student learning over time and write a reflective narrative that illustrates how their pedagogical knowledge, skills, and strategies influenced their teaching practices and enhanced student learning.

Part III: Program completers will be asked to provide a summary statement concerning their impact on student learning and what steps they might undertake to enhance student learning in the future.

A sub-committee of our CAEP leadership committee will serve as the lead in refining and enacting this plan. Analyses of data herein will be shared with members of the Professional Education Committee (PEC). The PEC is comprised by representative EPP faculty and relevant stakeholders (as defined in our Quality Assurance System).




1Target rating of “Proficient” states “Uses student performance data and knowledge of students to identify interventions that support and/or advance students to positively impact learning.

2Target rating of “Proficient” states “Uses data about students and their development to adjust teaching” (resulting in student learning.

3Target rating of “Proficient” states “Identifies students’ needs for differentiation and responds with individualized instruction, flexible grouping, and varied learning experiences.

Student loan default data for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln can be retrieved online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/default.