Transitional Certification Program

The Transitional Certification Program (TCP) at UNK is an alternative teacher certification pathway for individuals with a baccalaureate degree or higher who wish to earn an Initial Teaching Certificate issued by the Nebraska Department of Education. Students who meet the qualifications to start the TCP are also eligible to be hired by a Nebraska public school to start teaching in their endorsement area.

NOTE: UNK’s Transitional Certification Program is available to participants who physically reside in Nebraska or within commuting distance to a Nebraska school district.

The credit hours earned in the TCP may be applied to the requirements for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

See below for the endorsements (endorsements are what you would like to teach) offered in the TCP. Click into each one for detailed program information. Courses that you have already taken may be eligible to be substituted into your education program.


Field Endorsement (F) - two or more subjects which, considered as a single area of study, represent a wider and broader scope than that of a subject

Subject Endorsement (S) - a specific course or narrow range of courses taught and offered in a school

You may enroll in the TCP in one of the endorsements below either with or without an employment offer from a school to teach in the endorsement area:

You may enroll in the TCP in one of the endorsements below ONLY when you are offered employment by a school to teach at least part time in one of these areas.

  • Agricultural Education 6-12 (F)*
  • Earth and Space Science 7-12 (S)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences 6-12 (F)**
  • History 7-12 (S)
  • Industrial Technology Education 6-12 (F)
  • Mathematics 7-12 (F)
  • Physical Education PK-12 (F)
  • Science 7-12 (F)
  • Social Science 7-12 (F)
  • Vocal Music PK-12 (S) 
  • World Language - 7-12, K-12 (S) (All languages)

*Transcripts will be reviewed by UNL Agriculture, Leadership, Education and Communication Faculty.
**Transcripts may be reviewed by UNL, Chadron, and/or Wayne State FCS Faculty

Transcript Review

Follow the steps below to determine if you qualify.

NOTE: Please be aware that some misdemeanor and felony convictions can prevent applicants from participating in a UNK Teacher Education program and obtaining a Nebraska teaching certificate. If you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, even if it occurred many years ago or has been set aside, please contact Jenny Jansky, Certification Officer, for more information.

Please read before requesting a transcript review: You may request a transcript review if you meet at least one of the following conditions: 1) an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, or 2) a Master's degree, or 3) passing scores on the Praxis Core tests.

If you do not meet one of the first two conditions above you may take the Praxis Core tests, which are required for all teachers in Nebraska. For more information, visit or Request your scores be sent to UNK, recipient code 6467.

All teacher education students must pass the Praxis Core before taking TE 832.

1. Submit Request for Transcript Review form. (The completion of this form does not admit you to the program, nor does it authorize your transcripts to be sent automatically.)

2. Have official transcripts, sent by each institution from which you have received college credit, to:

University of Nebraska Kearney
Kristy Buchmeier, Educator Certification Office
COE Building, C128
1615 W 24th Street
Kearney, NE 68849

3. After you receive your Program of Study via USPS mail, the TCP Director will notify you with the results of the transcript review. (See Program Admission Requirements below.)

4. If you have been notified that you qualify for the program, contact the TCP Director, Dr. Wendy McCarty, 308-865-8074, for enrollment instructions.

Admission to the program may be delayed if the admission instructions are not followed.


  1. Praxis Core – Passing scores on the Praxis Core tests (basic skills tests of Reading, Writing, and Math) need to be submitted to UNK for full acceptance into Teacher Education. You must provide proof of registration for the Praxis Core tests prior to enrolling in the first course in the Transitional Certification Program (TE 831P). It is strongly recommended that you take the tests prior to program entry.
  2. Subject Assessments (formerly Praxis II) – The Subject Assessments test is a content test taken toward the end of an endorsement program. You must provide proof of registration for the Subject Assessments test prior to enrolling in TE 833. It is strongly recommended that you take the test prior to enrolling in TE 833.
  3. Request your scores be sent to UNK using score recipient code 6467. You will not be eligible for certification without providing your passing scores. Official testing centers are located across the state. Information about the Praxis tests can be found at:

Field Experience

Please know that every education program contains a significant number of field experience hours (time spent observing and/or teaching in PK-12 school settings). Field experience includes:

  1. A minimum of 100 clock hours (approximately 25 -35 hours per semester) of pre-student teaching field experience. Some programs require significantly more clock hours. Almost without exception, individuals pursuing initial teacher certification must be available certain days during regular school hours (8 AM – 3 PM). Many of our students are able to achieve this by taking vacation days from their current jobs.
  2. A student teaching experience. Student teaching is an all-day (8 AM - 4 PM)/all-semester (16 weeks minimum) experience in a PK-12 school setting. The vast majority of student teaching placements happen between the months of August and May.

Program / Course Work

The program consists of:

  • Three 6-credit hour classes, taken in sequence one per semester, for a total of 18 graduate credit hours of online study (includes 100 minimum total clock hours of field experience to be completed across the three semesters)
  • One 6-credit hour semester of student teaching OR two 3-credit hour semesters of student teaching
  • A total of 24 graduate credit hours of professional education coursework.**To estimate your financial commitment, please see our Student Accounts website and follow the tuition link. You may also want to visit our Financial Aid website for loan and scholarship information.

Depending on previous academic work completed, there may be additional coursework required in the specific endorsement area of choice. Additional courses required will be indicated on a program of study that will be mailed to you after your transcripts have been reviewed.

**The online professional education coursework consists of the following:

  • TE 831: Professional Knowledge and Skills I - 6 credit hours
  • TE 832: Professional Knowledge and Skills II - 6 credit hours
  • TE 833: Context of Education - 6 credit hours
  • TE 836: Post-Baccalaureate Student Teaching - 6 credit hours
    TE 834 and TE 835: Transitional Student Teaching – 6 credit hours total

Arrangements will be made for participants to complete their field experience hours in their local or nearby school districts. Program participants who are already employed by a school district will complete their field experience and student teaching in the district in which they are employed. Service-learning hours, which include working with adolescents inside or outside of the classroom, are included in the total number of field experience hours required. Because field experience arrangements are made with participating school districts and communities across the state, UNK’s Transitional Certification Program is available to participants who physically reside in Nebraska or within commuting distance to a Nebraska school district.

Program Admission Requirements

Seventy-five percent (75%) of the content coursework required for the selected teaching endorsement area(s) must be completed prior to beginning the professional education coursework sequence, and have a 2.75 minimum GPA in your content coursework. Once you qualify, you would be eligible to enroll in the next available section of TE 831. Remember, we strongly suggest that you pass the Praxis Core tests before taking classes; request your scores be sent to UNK (score recipient code 6467).

Students pursuing initial certification must be formally admitted into our Teacher Education Program. Students in the Transitional Certification Program usually qualify while enrolled in TE 831 or TE 832. Visit the Educator Certification Office website for a list of program admission requirements

Additional Information & Helpful Links


Bethany Johnson
TCP Office Associate
Phone: 308-865-8512

Dr. Wendy McCarty, Ed.D

Phone: 308-865-8074

University of Nebraska at Kearney
College of Education Building
1615 W 24th St
Kearney, NE 68849
Fax 308-865-8097