Nebraska Special Education
The U.S. Department of Education gave Nebraska at its highest rating of “Meets Requirements” for its special education services. According to ED.gov, 15 percent of students in Nebraska have disabilities, two percentage points above the national average. Nebraska has 253 public school districts, administrating 1,142 public schools. The state also has 226 private schools. The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) oversees licensure, curriculum and instruction, as outlined on the Teach in Nebraska section of its website. The NDE’s Office of Special Education provides educational and support services to students with disabilities.
Types of Licenses
Special Ed Degree Programs in Nebraska
The Special Education & Communication Disorders department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offers a diverse range of special education degrees and certificates, for generalists as well as specialists. Famous for its sports teams, particularly football, the school is located in the state capital, the second most populated city in Nebraska. Choices for undergraduates include a dual major program in elementary education and mild to moderate disabilities (grades K-6), a major in mild to moderate disabilities (grades 7-12) and a deaf education pre-professional program. At the graduate level, UNL offers a Master of Education and Master of Arts, both of which allow students to earn an endorsement in special education. Educators who hold certificates in general education can pursue an endorsement in Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Severe Disabilities/Autism, Visually Impaired, Supervisor of Special Education, Mild/Moderate Disabilities (primary or secondary grades) or School Transition Specialist-Special Services. Students who wish to specialize can complete undergraduate or graduate coursework in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.The department also offers an Educational Specialist terminal degree for those who desire post-master’s study but not a doctorate, as well as a doctorate in educational studies with an emphasis in special education.
For profiles of all the schools in Nebraska that offer master’s in special education programs, click here.
Alternatives to Certification
The NDE’s Transition to Teaching program places qualified professionals and recent graduates who hold bachelor’s degrees in accelerated training programs so that they can begin teaching in high-need Nebraska public schools. Educators receive a Nebraska Transitional Teaching Certificate while in training and completing all requirements. Consult the Troops to Teachers Zone 4 webpage for information regarding how eligible military personnel can qualify to teach in Nebraska public schools. Participants must meet the minimum qualifications for a temporary or provisional license before they can work as special education teachers.
Special Education Teaching Jobs in Nebraska
- Consult the Nebraska section of the Knowledge Delivery Systems website for the current professional development offerings. Courses typically cover issues related to classroom management, behavior, assessment and diversifying curriculum and instruction to meet children’s educational needs.
- Central Nebraska Support Service Program (CNSSP) serves the region’s school districts with special education trainings and staff support.
Nebraska’s Professional Groups for Special Educators
- The state teacher’s union, the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) is a member-directed union representing 28,000 public school teachers and other educational professionals across Nebraska.
- Administrators and other leaders in special education comprise the membership of the Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors.
- Advocacy, collaboration and research are the primary goals of the Nebraska branch of the Council for Exceptional Children and Disability Rights Nebraska.
Nebraska Special Education Blog
Autism News: The Autism Society of Nebraska maintains an archive of its online newsletters concerning special events and news related to autism spectrum disorders.