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Nebraska Teacher Shortage ‘Summit 2.0’ Lifts Strategies, Ideas to State Steering Committee

The Nebraska Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NACTE) is proud to be a leader in the state’s efforts to address the educator workforce challenges it faces. It was thanks to an AACTE chapter grant, that NACTE was able to host the first Nebraska State Educator Shortage Summit in October of 2021.   

The original summit’s 100 participants, representing PK-12 education, the State Board of Education, the Nebraska Department of Education, supporting education associations, Educational Service Unit, and educator preparation programs (EPPs) participated in fully interactive discussions designed to identify state priority areas. The day-long summit concluded by identifying four priority areas and establishing a state task force for each area.  In 2022, the four task forces, composed of those who attended the first summit, focused on the areas of certification, recruitment, and retention, elevating the profession and the Praxis Core required exam.  While many things were accomplished it also was apparent that there was more work to be done as a collective education community in Nebraska. 

That is how the Nebraska State Educator Shortage Summit, or Summit 2.0, came to be.  Funded in large part by a Nebraska Department of Education Shortage Pipeline Grant, this event convened a few months ago in October.  Summit 2.0 was a two-day event with an expanded program that included interactive discussions, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and a 100% increase in registrants. That meant we had to move to a legitimate conference facility, which was fairly daunting to our planning committee as it got very real, very quickly.

NACTE Partners with Nebraska Department of Education on Guidance for Future Teachers During Pandemic

Red Thumbtack Over Nebraska State USA MapAndrew Carnegie once described teamwork as, “… the ability to work together toward a common vision and the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives … It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Carnegie was describing the challenges and opportunities that often arose in the business world of the early twentieth century, but the quote has a particular resonance today as the people of the world come together to defeat a global pandemic.   

Teamwork is also how Nebraskans have chosen to face the many challenges related to the Coronavirus in our state—challenges that have expanded beyond healthcare to the economy and to education. And teamwork is at the heart of our efforts to ensure that teacher preparation continues on schedule. To that end, Nebraska education officials and state educational institutions are working together to put in place the program, licensure, and other modifications necessary to keep our student teachers on track.