The Bellevue University Teacher Education program reached an important milestone on its path to strengthen the program and attract more students.
BU received formal approval of its Secondary Teacher Education Program from the Nebraska State Board of Education via a letter on June 17.
The Bellevue University Secondary Teacher Education program prepares students to become certified as teachers for grade levels 6-12.
Previously, the secondary education program at BU operated under temporary approval during the multi-year state review period.
The Bellevue University program is the first new teacher education degree program to be created in Nebraska in nearly 20 years.
Rebecca Murdock, dean of the College of Business said this approval is an important step for students interested in pursuing secondary education at BU.
“Our goal is to prepare them to be certified to teach in the state of Nebraska and this confirms our status as a program,” Murdock said. “When they go to apply for their teaching certificate, they are graduating from a program that has the full approval of the Nebraska Department of Education.”
Murdock said that although students in the program during the temporary status period were allowed to attain certification this formal approval is a more permanent state.
“Our job as a program is to continue to maintain that status, whereas when we had temporary status, we weren’t fully approved, which really was a more tentative place from the perspective of the students,” Murdock said.
Murdock said BU initiated the approval process from the Nebraska Department of Education around five years ago.
“We’ve had to provide evidence for a period of three full years to demonstrate that we are a program that meets the NDE standards,” Murdock said.
Some aspects under review included the ability to recruit students and student testimonials.
“The other piece that they’re going to kind of take some time with is really specific pieces of evidence from the work of the students to see if the students can demonstrate that they can do the things that we’re supposed to be educating them around,” Murdock said.
Murdock said the secondary education program has been a popular one amongst its student athletes and career changers.
She said BU has been intentional about choosing areas of endorsement that would really prepare students for jobs that are open in Nebraska such any area under STEM.
Murdock is not the only BU employee excited about the approval of its program.