Wayne State College

Nebraska Teacher Certification and Renewal

Initial Nebraska Teaching Certificate

I have a bachelor's degree in another field and am interested in a teaching career.

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, you may take courses to simply earn an endorsement for teacher certification. This will typically consist of 3-4 semesters of full-time coursework but will vary depending on the endorsement. All programs are on campus, with the exception of our master’s degree in special education for initial certification, which is fully online. View a list of all education programs.

If WSC offers the program you desire, you are able to take classes on campus as needed, and you want to proceed with determining what coursework is required, you will need to follow the steps below.

  1. Preparation: Visit with WSC’s certification officer to ensure that you understand and are fully aware of the various requirements for teacher certification. View the Benchmarks for Successful Advancement in Teacher Education.
  2. Application: Apply for admission at WSC. You will want to select that you hold a bachelor’s degree. You will then select that you are “seeking an endorsement.”  Finally, you will select “initial” teaching endorsement.
  3. Request transcripts: You must request official transcripts from all institutions from which previous degrees or coursework are earned. They must come directly from the institution to [email protected].
  4. Upon admission, you will need to request an official progress sheet to be completed by the registrar’s office on your behalf. Once completed, the progress sheet will be emailed to you along with the contact information of an academic advisor. You will work with your advisor in regards to course registration each semester.
  5. Completion: Upon successful completion of all required benchmarks, coursework, and state licensure exams, you will apply to the Nebraska Department of Education for certification.

I need to apply for my first (initial) Nebraska Teaching Certificate.

  1. Application for your Nebraska Teaching Certificate is done through the online Nebraska Teach system. You can apply up to 30 days prior to degree/program completion at https://teach.education.ne.gov. You must register for an account if you haven’t already. Be sure to use your personal email (not WSC email). When you go to apply for your certificate, answer all questions as though your program is complete. Payment can be made by credit or debit card, check, or money order.
  2. If you have not been a continuous Nebraska resident for the past five years, the Nebraska Department of Education requires the submission of fingerprint cards. Get directions on submitting fingerprint cards (PDF). 
  3. Request official transcripts through WildcatsOnline. See directions below.
  4. Once you submit your application in the portal, the certification officer will receive your institutional verification form directly from NDE to be submitted on your behalf. WSC will send your institutional verification to NDE once grades are posted and your degree is closed out by the WSC registrar. You will receive notice from NDE that they are missing this item once they first process your application. Please allow WSC a few weeks from graduation for processing. You are responsible for ordering a WSC transcript to be sent once grades/degreses post. See below for directions on how to order transcripts to be send to NDE.
  5. Reminder: Passing Praxis II content test scores must be submitted to NDE. If you take (or took) the Praxis II test at a Nebraska testing center, your scores will automatically be sent to NDE. However, if you take the test at home or at a center outside of Nebraska, you will have to request the scores to be sent to NDE. For more information on Praxis II tests, visit the ETS or NDE websites.
  6. Please allow 4-6 weeks for NDE to process your application. Once NDE process all of your application materials (including passing Praxis II content test scores), you will be contacted with instructions on printing your teaching certificate.


Renew a Current Nebraska Teaching Certificate

Note: All coursework for renewal of a certificate must be completed with five years of the date you renew your certificate.

My certificate has not expired or has expired less than five years ago, and I have not taught half time or more for one school year during the past five years. (6 Credit Hour Renewal)

  1. Choose 6 hours of graduate-level coursework (exceptions are sometimes made for computer courses or foreign language classes) from education courses OR your content area. If you have not previously taken a course in human relations or a similar course approved by the State Department, you will need to do so. It is required to renew your Nebraska certificate. Wayne State College offers EDU 557: Human Relations each semester for this purpose. The Human Relations course can be a part of your 6-hour program. It is NOT an additional requirement beyond the six hours. 
  2. Choose your 6 hours conscientiously. Ask yourself if the coursework addresses your needs as a teacher and/or the needs of your students or future students. For example, if you are teaching in a region that has Spanish-speaking students, a Spanish course would be an excellent choice. With the use of computer technology in schools, almost any computer course would be a good choice. In contrast, Principles and Practices of Real Estate may be a course that has personal appeal to you because you are interested in buying a home, but the course would not relate to an elementary classroom or the needs of students in a secondary English classroom. 
  3. When you have completed 6 credits, you must apply online at NDE and pay the associated fee. Once your grades have been posted, you must request an official transcript from WSC to be sent to NDE. See below for directions on how to order transcripts to be sent to the NDE. No additional paperwork is required from WSC.

To get started:

  1. You must complete an online application to WSC. When asked if seeking a teaching certificate, select yes. Then Certificate Renewal should be an option to select.
  2. If 6-hour renewal, review the current course schedules to select a graduate course that you have not previously taken.

My certificate expired more than five years ago. (15 Credit Hour Renewal)

  1. Complete the 15-Hour Certifcate Renewal Application and Personal and Professional Fitness Form and submit to Amy Lambrecht at [email protected]. Amy will work with you to determine what courses you will take and how you will fulfill the practicum requirement. The NDE requires that you complete:

    A) An Instructional Techniques course (3 credits)

    B) A Current Issues in Education course (3 credits), such as special education, gifted education, reading and writing in the content area, or school law. Typically this is fulfilled through our EDU 627 Current Issues and Trends Course if the student has not previously taken the course.

    C) Coursework directly related to the applicant’s area of endorsement (6 credits). For early childhood and elementary teachers this includes content areas taught in the elementary school (math, reading/language arts, science, or social studies). For middle grades or secondary teachers, this includes courses specific to the content area or specialty of endorsement (e.g. business, family and consumer science, health and physical education). Regardless of level, any courses in child development or classroom management would be appropriate. If you have not yet been approved in human relations training, EDU 557 Human Relations in a Pluralistic Society should be taken. Note that everyone applying for a Nebraska certificate must meet the requirement for human relations training if they have not already been approved.

    D) A practicum consisting of 100 clock hours of contact with students in the classroom setting at the level of previous certification (administrative certificate renewals do not require a practicum). EDU 628: Recertification Practicum fulfills this requirement. Appropriate paperwork must be filed with the Director of Education Services for placement to be made.

    A maximum of 6 credits of graduate transfer coursework may be used, but must be approved by the Director of Education Services. The practicum is typically completed at the end of completing the 12 credits of coursework.
  2. When you have completed the 15 credits program approved by the Director of Education Services, you must apply online at NDE and pay the associated fee. Once your grades have been posted, you must request an official transcript from WSC to be sent to NDE. See below for directions on how to order transcripts to be sent to the NDE.
  3. After you submit your application in the portal, please allow NDE 4-6 weeks for processing.

To get started:

  1. You must complete an online application to WSC. When asked if seeking a teaching certificate, select yes. Then Certificate Renewal should be an option to select.


Substitute Teaching

I want to become a substitute teacher.

The requirements for a local substitute permit are listed on the Nebraska Department of Education website. WSC offers EDU 457 Human Relations in a Pluralistic Society for the human relations training requirement. This course also meets the professional education course requirement. The course is offered in fall, spring, and summer. To view upcoming availability, visit Records and Registration. Once you meet the requirements, you will need to apply for your local substitute permit through the Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Teach Portal. The site access requires registration. All official transcripts will be required to verify the 60 college credits as well as the human relations/professional education course(s). If more than one institution is involved, be sure to request official transcripts from all that apply. Get directions on how to request transcripts from WSC. If you have questions, please contact Amy Lambrecht at 402-375-7391 or [email protected].


Teaching Certificates in Other States

I want to get certified in another state other than Nebraska.

In compliance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Act (SARA), it is important for our students and stakeholders to know that educator preparation programs at WSC are state-approved, nationally recognized programs that lead to certification by the Nebraska Department of Education. Even in those states having reciprocity with the state of Nebraska, students must apply for teacher certification to that respective state to be issued a teaching certificate by that respective state in accordance with that state’s laws. WSC does not assume responsibility for teacher certification by states other than Nebraska, but will provide institutional verification that our graduates have completed a state approved Educator Preparation Program. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the student to complete all program requirements before institutional verification of approved program completion will be provided by the WSC Certification Officer.  

*Please note that reciprocity is always easier if you seek to obtain licensure in the state where you completed your program requirements first.  

Other state teaching requirements can change without notice. It is important that candidates seeking licensure in another state obtain the most recent certification/licensure information directly from the state in which you seek employment. For contact information on each state licensure office, visit the NASDTEC Directory of Certification and Licensure Offices.


Additional Endorsements and Degrees

I am a certified teacher interested in adding an endorsement to my teaching certificate.

Wayne State College offers the following endorsements online at the graduate level:

  • Early Childhood Education (PK-3)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) (PK-12)
  • Information Technology (PK-12)
  • Reading Specialist (PK-12)
  • School Administration (PK-8), (7-12), or (PK-12)
  • School Counselling (PK-12)
  • Special Education (K-6), (7-12), or (K-12)
  • Education Specialist (Superintendent)

We also offer several other endorsements that are on-campus, undergraduate programs. View a list of all education programs.

I am a certified teacher interested in pursuing a graduate degree.

The School of Education and Behavioral Sciences offers several graduate programs, some of which offer additional endorsement options. We offer programs in the areas of curriculum and instruction (includes several different emphasis or endorsements), special education, school administration and education specialist, and school counseling. View all MSE options.


Ordering Transcripts

How to send transcripts to the Nebraska Department of Education

  1. Log in to WildcatsOnline.
  2. Choose the Academics tab.
  3. Select Order Official Transcript.
  4. Send to Nebraska Department of Education: Select NDE and input last four digits of your Social Security Number.
  5. Order details - IMPORTANT: Mark Hold for Degree box.

Note: You must use a laptop or desktop computer - no cell phones. Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers for ordering transcripts.

For questions regarding transcripts, contact the Records and Registration Office at [email protected] or at 402-375-7239.



For questions regarding initial or additional certification, contact Brook Jech, Director of Education Services.

For questions regarding certificate renewal, contact Amy Lambrecht, Project Coordinator.