Wayne State College
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Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA)

History of the Program

Origin of the Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy

The project is an experience offered to teacher candidates since 1999 to develop skills in working with diversity in teaching and learning.

The project was developed to respond to a challenge from local school districts to help alleviate a severe substitute teacher shortage. NENTA was created through a $300,000 grant to certify, train and support a select group of qualified education candidates to serve as paid substitute teachers in 10 area school districts in northeast Nebraska. Ten school districts in northeast Nebraska teamed with ESU # 1 and Wayne State College to create the Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA), an entity that inserts 40-65 qualified teachers into the northeast Nebraska substitute teacher market for a total of 300 substitute days per school year. This, in turn, enables the partner districts to take full advantage of staff development opportunities since capable, qualified substitutes are readily available. Additionally, the quality of substitute instruction in each of the participating districts is significantly improved by consistent use of lesson plan formats from one district to another, by staff development activities directed at substitute teaching performance, and by the substitute mentoring efforts that are built into the project. Further, the NENTA substitutes enhance their own professional progression toward full certification through the project's coordinated training and support activities.