Teacher Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What class should I take first if I think I want to be a teacher?

The first professional sequence course you should enroll in is TE 100 Teaching in a Democratic Society.   This course is an introduction to the teaching profession and to the program of study through which teachers progress at UNK.

When/how do I apply to Teacher Education? What are the Requirements?

During TE 100 a representative from the College of Education will visit your classroom and distribute the applications which will be completed at that time.  If you happen to miss that class or transfer in TE 100 an application can be obtained in the Educator Certification Office C-128, COE Building.

The requirements for admittance into Teacher Education are as follows: 

  1. Complete all of the following courses with a grade of “C” (2.0 GPA) or better: English 101GS, English 102GS, SPCH 100GS, Teacher Education 100, *Teacher Education 204 and *Teacher Education 206. 
  2. Establish and maintain a UNK accumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher.
  3. Successfully complete all three components (Math, Reading, Writing) of the PRAXIS I Skills Test. It takes 6 weeks to receive the results for all three scores.  You must register and pay for the test(s) prior to testing. You can register directly through the UNK Testing Center. If you wish to pay by personal check or money order you must register in person. The phone number for the Testing Center is (308) 865-8054 and the center is located in the College of Education C105.  The current cost for Combined Praxis test is $130 or $160 to be able to break them up and take them individually on different days. (The test fees are subject to change). 
  4. Satisfactory completion of the Service Learning Project. (SLP)
  5. Obtain approval by the department(s) offering the proposed endorsement(s). A minimum of one fieldendorsement or two subject endorsements are required.
  6. Declare a teaching program(s) at the Career Services.
  7. Establish the absence of any criminal conviction (misdemeanor or felony) that would prevent an individual from qualifying for a teaching certificate.  This criteria is met when you complete the Rule 20/21 form.
  8. Provide evidence of sufficient emotional or mental capacity. This criteria is met when you complete the Rule 20/21 form.

*Students may be admitted to Teacher Education with the completion of either TE 204 or TE 206 with a grade of “C” or better, but will not be allowed to Student Teach until BOTH TE 204 and TE 206 have been completed with a grade of “C” or better.

IMPORTANT: 

Full admission to the Teacher Education Program is a requirement for enrolling in most 300 LEVEL (third year) and 400 LEVEL (fourth year) education courses in the renewed teacher education program. It is essential that you complete the admission requirements in a timely fashion (by the middle of the 2nd year).

What is the Praxis I Test? When/Where do I take it?

The Praxis I Test is a Basic Skills test that is required of all Education majors in the State of Nebraska before they can be admitted to Teacher Education.  The test is made up of three separate tests: Reading, Math and Writing.  The passing scores required for Nebraska are:  Math 171, Reading 170 and Writing 172.  The test is offered in our testing center located in the COE Building Room C-106 Monday through Friday. Please visit http://www.ets.org/praxis/register to register for your Praxis test.

When you decide to take the test, is your decision.  But you must be aware that certain 300 level education courses and your content specific methods courses are blocked for registration until you are admitted into Teacher Education and this test is a large portion of that admittance process.

When do I need to do my Service Learning Project (SLP)? Whom do I see?

  • The SLP is a requirement for Admission to Teacher Education.  The SLP should be completed during TE 100. 
  • For ALL education majors, the key contact person for the SLP is Ms. Gerry Stirtz.  Her office is COE B185. Her phone number is 865-8957. Her email address is stirtzg@unk.edu.
  • Transfer students:  Dicuss TE 100 requirement with the Educator's Office during UNK Transfer Day.
  • For more information regarding Service-Learning visit our homepage, http://unkcms.unk.edu/offices/service-learning/index.php.

What is the Praxis II Test? When/Where do I take it?

The Praxis II test is also referred to as the EECIA 0011 test that is explained in the next question.

The Praxis II test is not a requirement for graduation or Nebraska certification.

What is a highly qualified Teacher?

The term Highly Qualified Teacher refers to the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) federal legislation that requires all teachers in all schools to be highly qualified to teach in core academic areas.

Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year “new to profession” teachers in Nebraska must meet state requirements in order to be considered as NCLB qualified teachers.   For “new to profession” teachers with endorsements in elementary education (regular and special education) this means that an additional content test (EECIA 0011) needs to be passed before those teachers will be considered by the state of Nebraska as NCLB qualified.  Specifically, for UNK this means that graduates with endorsements in Elementary Education K-6, Early Childhood Unified B-3rd, Special Education-Behaviorally Disordered P-12, Special Education-Learning Disabilities P-12, and Special Education-Mild and Moderate K-6 should take and pass the EECIA 0011 before the Nebraska Department of Education will consider them as NCLB qualified.  

New to profession teachers with endorsements at the Secondary level, Middle Grades level, Physical Education, Health, Music Art, English as a Second Language, Reading Specialist, Communication Disorders or Foreign Language are not included in the EECIA 0011 testing requirement and do not have to take the test to be considered NCLB qualified.

Note that this test is not mandated by the State Department of Education nor the University of Nebraska Kearney.

What is TaskStream? What is required for TaskStream? What should be included in my TaskStream electronic portfolio?

Teaching candidates purchase and first use TaskStream in TE100. LiveText is also used in selected other education courses and is a part of the student teaching experience. All teaching candidates use TaskStream to create an electronic portfolio. Successful completion of the TaskStream portfolio is a graduation requirement.  Near the end of student teaching, all student teachers are responsible for presenting their final TaskStream portfolio to a UNK academic advisor; another UNK faculty member; or a public school teacher or administrator who is not serving as their cooperating teacher. The reviewer of the portfolio must submit a Final TaskStream Portfolio Review Form to the Director of Student Teaching.   The final TaskStream Portfolio should include the following Common Assessment Assignments:

  • TE 206--Introduction Section
  • *TE 100--Case Study of Schools (Includes Caption**)
  • *TE 204--Case Study of an Individual (Includes Caption)
  • TE 312, TE 319, or TE 472--Case Study of a Lesson (Includes Caption)
  • TE 400--Case Study of a Classroom (Includes Caption)
  • TE 400--Case Study of a Unit (Includes Caption)
  • TE 400--Morally Responsible Teaching Philosophy Statement (Includes Caption)

* Not required for transfer students who complete an equivalent course elsewhere.

** The format for Captions (one page maximum length) is as follows:

  • Date of initial completion or most recent revision
  • Entry Description (brief summary)
  • Relationship to the UNK Desired Outcomes for Graduates
  • Reflective Summary (What did you learn? How did the assignment impact your future teaching/learning?)

If you need more help, please contact a course instructor for TE 206, the Chairperson of the Teacher Education Department, Dennis Potthoff (potthoffd@unk.edu)  or the Director of Field Experiences, Ann Knipping(knippingam@unk.edu).

**  Revised 2011

When/How do I apply to Student Teach? Requirements? Where can I student teach and how long does student teaching last?

Applications for FALL are due into the Educator Certification Office by the first Tuesday in February.  For SPRING they are due by the first Tuesday in September.

First you are required to attend a Pre-student teaching workshop two semesters before you wish to student teach.  These workshops are scheduled each semester and will explain the placement procedure.  The dates will be posted around campus and you can inquire at the Educator Certification Office for dates.

Requirements to Student Teach:

 Admittance 

  • Admission to Teacher Education Program
  • Submission of Application to Student Teaching
  • Overall UNK GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • A grade of “C” (2.0 GPA) or higher in TE 204 and TE 206.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Case Study of a Lesson and a grade of C or above in TE 319, TE 472 or TE 312 (program specific)
  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 2 field experience hours from (TE 317, TE 320, TE 345, TE 354, TE 464, TE 473, Art 371, CDIS 312, Music 369 or PE 471).
  • Satisfy any additional program-specific requirements

There are many great opportunities for student teaching and our main concern is to find the best setting for your educational experience.  If you have individual concerns please visit with the Director of Field Experience.

If you have two subject endorsements or one field and one subject endorsement then you will student teach for 16 weeks.  If you have two field endorsements or one field and two subject endorsements then you will student teach for 20 weeks.

How do I apply for my Nebraska teaching credential?

Upon graduation or completion of your program of study, you will need to:

  1. Complete the Nebraska certification application at http://www.education.ne.gov/tcert/
  2. Request an institutional verification be sent by the Educator Certification Office to the State of Nebraska Department of Education. You may do this by completing the appropriate Request for Institutional Verification form on the Educator Certification Office page.
  3. Request your transcripts be sent to the State of Nebraska Department of Education you will find the transcript request form on the Educator Certification Office page. Be sure to note on your request form that your transcripts should be printed after your endorsement/degree has been posted (If applicable).

How do I apply for my Nebraska teaching credential? What is a Provisional Endorsement?

A Provisional Endorsement is an endorsement that can be placed on a teaching certificate at the point of completion of 50% of the program of study.  A provisional endorsement is good for three years.  During this time, 15 credit hours must be taken toward the endorsement -- taking at least 3 hours every year.  At this point, the endorsement can be renewed for another 3 years following the above criteria until its completion.  This type of endorsement fully clears you to teach in this area for the duration of the provisional endorsement.

What/Who do I see if I am an undergraduate transfer student?

Your first contact will be with the Admissions Office here at UNK. Their website can be found here:  Go to Undergraduate Admissions.

If you have any questions that aren’t listed here, contact the Educator Certification Office at 308-865-8264 or email:  eco@unk.edu.