Change of Certification Requirements

Nebraska State Certification
Application for certification is made through the Union College Certification Officer using the forms provided by the Nebraska Department of Education.  This form can be obtained in the division office or on the Nebraska Department of Education website at
To qualify for Nebraska State Certification each candidate will have:
a.  earned minimum of a baccalaureate degree (128 semester hours in addition to any Teacher Learning Center credit earned) and completed all requirements of the “approved program” for which recommendation is desired.
b.  attained a minimum of 18 years of age.
c.  shown evidence of physical fitness, emotional maturity and moral character.
d.  met a 2.75 GPA standard of scholarship.
e.   taken and passed the Core Academic Skills Test with minimum scores set by the State of
f.   a.taken and passed the PRAXIS II - Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and
     Assessment or secondary education content knowledge test for his/her major endorsement.
g.  successfully completed student teaching assignment.
h.  completion of portfolio with rating of 2.0 or above on each outcome.
i.   shown a background free of criminal convictions shown by background check
Seventh-day Adventist Denominational Certification
Application for SDA Certification is made in the division office using the form provided by the Mid-America Union Conference (MAUC). 
To qualify for Seventh-day Adventist certification in the North America Division, each candidate will:
a.  meet all state certification requirements
b.  have taken RELT 455 – Prophetic Guidance and RELH 310 – History of the SDA Church
c.   hold membership in good standing at a Seventh-day Adventist church
d.  affirm a willingness to subscribe to and teach within the frame work and philosophy of the church.
Upon graduating, the teacher candidate will receive a Union College diploma, which indicates that he/she has completed a Nebraska, NCATE and an NAD accredited Bachelor’s degree program in teacher education and will be recommended to the State and MAUC for certification.
Criminal History Check
1.  Nebraska law requires that every teacher candidate must affirm under oath that he or she has no felony nor misdemeanor convictions involving abuse, neglect or injury to any person, nor any other convictions.  A person with a felony conviction shall not be allowed to participate in pre-student teaching or student teaching experiences without approval by the State Board. 
2.  Every certification candidate who has not been a continuous resident of the state of Nebraska for the past five years must present an official fingerprint record on forms provided by the State, along with the application for certification.
3.  Every certification candidate who plans to student teach must apply for a full Background Check by filling out the form provided by the Division office.
Out-of-State Certification
Because the Union College Teacher Preparation Program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), obtaining certification in other states is easier.  Each state has its own requirements, but most require that initial certification be in the state where the degree was obtained.
Change of Certification Requirements
In case of changes in Nebraska state certification requirements, it may be necessary for a teacher candidate who wishes to be recommended for certification to meet certain requirements different from those published above or in the College Bulletin.  This is not to be construed to abridge teacher candidates’ right to graduate under any Bulletin enforced during the time they are in continuous residence as defined in the current Bulletin.  However, since certification and graduation are two different end goals, candidates for certification may encounter certification law changes that they will be required to meet.