Nebraska Department of Education Launches Innovative Teacher Apprenticeship Program

A male and a female speaking at a press release in a school
Chadron State College representatives Dr. Robin Brierly, Associate Professor of Education, left, and Dr. Grant Sasse, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences, speak to reporters Feb. 28, 2024, at the Lincoln Elementary School in North Platte, Neb. Chadron State College was recognized for its Teacher Apprentice Program. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)


LINCOLN – In a significant stride toward addressing the teacher shortage crisis in the state, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has announced the Nebraska Teacher Apprenticeship Program. The initiative seeks to bolster recruitment and training of educators across Nebraska through an apprenticeship model, following the enactment of LB705 in 2023.

According to a press release from the NDE, the program is a visionary move by the Nebraska legislature, earmarking $1 million towards developing a robust mechanism for preparing future educators. The State Board ratified a partnership in August with the National Center for Grow Your Own (NCGYO), utilizing federal Title II set-aside funds. NCGYO's involvement has been pivotal, offering expert consultation to the NDE and spearheading technical assistance and informational sessions for prospective educator preparation providers and district pairings.

Unlike other para-to-teacher programs, teacher apprenticeships capitalize on hands-on training, allowing apprentices to work alongside their supervising teachers directly within the classroom. Apprentices benefit from education and training provided by partnering higher education institutions while also being employed by the district.

According to the NDE, the selection process for partnerships focused on entities previously involved in the pandemic relief-funded Educator Shortage Initiative, particularly those with a track record of transitioning paraprofessionals into teachers.

Highlighted partnerships include:

  • Midland University and Omaha Westside's "Growing Our Own Educator Assistant (EA) to Teacher Ladder Program."
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools' initiative for "Building the Special Education Teacher Pipeline."
  • Chadron State College's "Panhandle Para to Teacher Academy including North Platte Public Schools."

These collaborative projects exemplify the program's commitment to innovative and sustainable solutions for the statewide education sector's challenges.

"The Nebraska Teacher Apprenticeship Program is a game-changer," said Nebraska Commissioner of Education Brian Maher. "By fostering strong partnerships between education providers and districts, we're not just addressing the immediate need for more teachers; we're investing in a future where every Nebraska child has access to highly qualified educators committed to their success."

The program represents a step forward in ensuring equitable, quality education for all students in Nebraska, solidifying the state's commitment to excellence and innovation in education.

Dr. Don King with Chadron State said he was pleased to be involved in efforts working to further meet teacher shortage needs.

“The NDE leadership too, has taken a lead role by providing key funding opportunities in support of ‘growing our own’ teacher programs. The NDE Teacher Education Apprenticeship Partnership Program initiative is a provocative example of how we are now thinking differently about teacher education program recruitment,金说.

-College Relations

类别: Campus 新闻, Education