Wayne State College

Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA)


Improve Student Learning 
The creation and operation of NENTA results in thousands of Northeast Nebraska students receiving improved instruction from their regular teachers who can more readily avail themselves of staff development opportunities, and also from a new pool of highly-trained, qualified substitute teachers who can facilitate ongoing instruction in the absence of the regular teacher.

Impact on Student Learning and Staff Development 
The target audience of this program is the approximately 15,000 K-12 students who attend school in Northeast Nebraska.

This project positively impacts their academic achievement by:

  1. facilitating excellent staff development opportunities linked to district strategic school improvement plans, and
  2. significantly improving the quality of instruction provided on days when substitute teachers are used.

This academy oversees the selection and training of qualified teacher education majors who are then available to substitute teach in any of the collaborating school districts. The teacher education students selected to participate in the project possess qualifications that far exceed the current criteria for a local substitute certificate. For example, NENTA students will have accumulated more than 60 credit hours, but at a 3.2 grade point average or better. They will have completed sophomore field experiences as well as four professional education courses. The selected college students will benefit from working alongside experienced teachers and a regular biweekly NENTA seminar facilitated by Wayne State College faculty. 

Impact on Retention
An additional outcome of NENTA is to enhance the retention of entry-level teachers in the profession. Futuristically, retaining highly qualified teachers positively impacts the quality and degree of student learning through the increased competence of beginning teachers leading to greater classroom success for P-12 students. This outcome is achieved through several strategies such as from the opportunitiy to interpret and deliver lessons, making “real-time” instructional and managerial decisions, and developing and using a Reflective Teaching Model as one of the program’s evaluative pieces. Additionally, NENTA substitutes receive support and training during the weekly on-campus seminar conducted by Wayne State College faculty.

By the Numbers
The Northeast Nebraska Teachers Academy has successfully completed more than 6,500 substitute teaching days and assists in providing improved classroom instruction for more than 7,000 Northeast Nebraska P-12 students annually. These improvements are due to an increase in the numbers of highly trained local and area substitutes available to substitute for regular classroom teachers, resulting in easier access to staff development and other opportunities for teachers.