New Teacher Apprenticeship Program Announced by the Nebraska Department of Education

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On Wednesday, Commissioner Brian Maher and the Nebraska Department of Education made a stop in North Platte to declare a cooperative initiative aimed at tackling the state’s teacher shortage.

“The establishment of the Nebraska Teacher Apprenticeship Program is something we are thrilled to announce. With the implementation of an apprenticeship model in the wake of our unicameral legislature’s approval of LB705 last year, this initiative will aid in the recruitment and training of educators throughout Nebraska. A $1 million grant from the Nebraska Legislature was used to construct this program, according to Commissioner Maher. “That is a collaboration between Nebraskan colleges and universities, the National Center for Grow Your Own, and the Department of Education.”

Through the Teacher Apprenticeship Program, educational institutions can develop their own talent by providing paraprofessionals with the opportunity to work alongside supervising teachers and get practical experience in the classroom. Paras will continue to work for the school district while continuing his study at a partner college. According to Maher, this school offers the best chance to pursue a career in teaching.
Four paraprofessionals work at Lincoln Elementary School in North Platte. Their tenure as paras varies, but they all aspire to become teachers.

“I’ve worked for the school district for 17 years as a paraprofessional. After COVID, I obtained my license and was allowed to substitute in the district, which I’ve found to be quite enjoyable. This program is ideal for me since it allows me to complete my degree and become a teacher now that my children are grown,” paraprofessional Chris Ochsner stated.
According to Maher, three apprenticeship programs are prepared to begin. “North Platte public schools will collaborate with Chadron State College, Lincoln Public Schools will work with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Midwesterner University in Fremont will collaborate with Westside in Omaha.”

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