Teacher Preparation & Educational Leadership

Background Image
Background Image
Background Image
Background Image
Background Image
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

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
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

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

High School Class Rank

Students enrolled in UNL teacher education programs had the following high school class rank:

Fall 2017
19% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
39% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
57% were in the top 30% of their graduating class
Fall 2016
21% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
39% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
57% were in the top 30% of their graduating class

 

Fall 2015
21% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
40% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
59% were in the top 30% of their graduating class
Fall 2013
22% were in the top 10% of their graduating class
43% were in the top 20% of their graduating class
59% were in the top 30% of their graduating class

 

Fall 2012
23% 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

Undergraduate Grade Point Average

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

Graduation Year GPA
2017-2018 3.63
2016-2017 3.61
2015-2016 3.57
2014-2015 3.59
2012-2013 3.57
2011-2012 3.57
2010-2011 3.57
2009-2010 3.55
2008-2009 3.51
 

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
2016-2017 4.50
2015-2016 4.30
2014-2015 4.25
2012-2013 4.22
2011-2012 4.28
2010-2011 4.38
2009-2010 4.38
2008-2009 4.56
 

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, 2016-17 313 309 99
All program completers, 2015-16 326 320 98
All program completers, 2014-15 316 316 100

Employer and Complete 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
2016-2017 95%
2015-2016 96%
2014-2015 95%
2013-2014 97%
2011-2012 90%
2010-2011 90%
2009-2010 95%
Graduation Year % of Teachers who agreed or strongly agreed
2016-2017 96%
2015-2016 91%

Phase In Plan: A Case Study of Education Program Completers Impact on P-12 Students (Standards 4.1, 4.2)

Relationship to Standards or Component: As an alternative to meeting Standard 4.1. Impact on P-12 Student Learning and Development and Standard 4.2. Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness, we developed a phase-in plan for a case study that will include a completer-conducted action research project during the first year of teaching (i.e., 2017-2018), consistent with two additional measures already in place (i.e., UNL First Year Teacher Survey, NDE Administrator of First Year Teacher Survey). We will select six to eight program completers (i.e., ideally two from each area: Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education) and ask them to gather and reflect on data on their impact on P-12 students in order for them to use data to inform their practice and for us to make plans for continuous improvements to our Education Preparation Program. This case study will be tied to Standard 1. Content and Pedagogical Knowledge.

Program completers one year past graduation 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.

Timeline and Resources: Program completers will be asked to select one of three themes (i.e. Teaching Subject Matter, Teaching Diverse Learners, Effective Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning) as the focus for their collection of relevant evidence from their own work in the classroom over time (i.e., in each quarter during their first year of teaching). Program completers will 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 teaching. Program completers will be asked to create an online portfolio that includes the following components

Overview: In Nebraska, it is not possible to receive teacher specific data from school districts that show the impact of our EPP completers on P-12 students’ performance on state standard assessments because state assessment data on students cannot be shared outside of the school district by state regulation. Therefore, we presented data from (1) UNL First Year Teacher Survey (EPP completers complete this; Table 4.7) and (2) UNL Administrator of First Year Teacher Survey or NDE Administrator of First Year Teacher Survey (administrators who hired our EPP completers complete this; Table 4.8 and Table 4.9a-4.9d); and (3) the trajectory of our EPP candidates’ performance over the course of their study at UNL as an attempt to at least show their anticipated performance trajectory (Figure 4.1 and description on p. 50). In addition, we provided a Phase in Plan to inform that we intend to follow small groups of our EPP completers.

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.

Themes Example Questions to Consider

Teaching Subject Matter

  • How do students learn within a particular subject matter?
  • How can different subject matter be integrated effectively?
  • How should subject matter be organized to enable students to learn it most effectively?
  • In what ways (or through what strategies) can a teacher represent content/subject matter for students?
  • How can student background knowledge be assessed and used in the teaching of subject matter?
Teaching Diverse Learners
  • What knowledge, skills, and strategies should a teacher use to reach all learners?
  • How does diversity provide a rich environment for learning?
  • Which students might a teacher be “missing” and why? How will a teacher know if he/she is “missing” learners?
  • How should research on multiple aspects of diversity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, ability, religion, language) influence teaching practices?
  • What does a teacher need to know about informal learning opportunities and learning outside of school?
Effective Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning
  • What role does technology play in your professional life as an educator?
  • How does technology support learning and teaching throughout the process of planning, implementation, assessment, and reflection?
  • How should research on effective use of technology influence teaching practices?

Part II: Program completers will be asked to describe the assessment processes implemented and discuss responses to and reflections on assessments focused primarily on the theme selected (i.e., Teaching Subject Matter, Teaching Diverse Learners, or Effective Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning). They will also be asked to include evidence of student learning over time with their reflection. Guiding questions are listed below.

  • How did their understanding of [the selected theme] change over time?
  • What assessments did you use in the classroom to assess students’ learning?
  • How did students respond to your assessments over time?
  • How did the assessment results change over time?
  • How did you use the assessment results in your teaching?

Data Quality: We will select two program completers from each area (i.e., Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, Special Education) by using the purposeful sampling method. We do not have an assessment tool to evaluate, but a sub-committee of our CAEP leadership group will develop rubrics prior to the first year implementation to evaluate the final product of completer-conducted action research projects. To ensure content validity of the measure, we will align the new assessment tool with Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines (P to K) and Academic Standards (K to 12) and have EPP faculty review the tool and provide feedback. Additionally, inter-rater reliability will be checked on a regular basis in coding and monitoring program completers’ impact on P-12 student learning.

When the final product (i.e., online portfolio) is presented, EPP faculty will evaluate the project using the new measure aligned with state academic standards, compare the results with data from other sources (i.e., UNL First Year Teacher Survey, NDE Administrator of First Year Teacher Survey, 14 Dimensions Rubric), and make improvements to our EPPs focusing on the three themes (i.e., Teaching Subject Matter, Teaching Diverse Learners, Effective Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning).

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.