Wayne State College
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Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA)


Goal: Improve Student Learning 
The creation and operation of NENTA will result 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 on-going instruction in the absence of the regular teacher.

Impact on Student Learning and Staff Development 
The target audience of this program is the 15,100 K-12 students who attend school in one of the 16 Northeast Nebraska partner districts that have come together to create the Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA).

This project will positively impact their academic achievement by:

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

The 16 districts have entered into a partnership with ESU # 1 and Wayne State College to create NENTA. This academy will oversee the selection and training of 40-65 teacher education majors who will then be available to substitute teach in any of the 40 school buildings operated by the collaborating school districts. The teacher education students selected to participate in the project will possess qualifications that far exceed the current criteria for a local substitute certificate. For example, NENTA students will have accumulated over 60 credit hours, but at a 3.3 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 Mentor Teachers identified in each of the 40 school buildings and a regular one-hour per week NENTA Seminar facilitated by Wayne State College faculty and Mentor Teachers from participating districts. 

Impact on Retention
An additional outcome of the project 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 a 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 Teacher Academy has completed successfully 6,300 substitute teaching days assisting in providing improved classroom instruction for 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 the regular classroom teachers resulting in easier access to staff development and other opportunities for teachers.