Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Nebraska
You won’t have much trouble finding a Nebraska doctoral program in education to suit your career goals. Our school listings contain multi-purpose degrees from both public and private universities. UNL is probably the top dog—it comes with an excellent national ranking, it’s adept in distance learning, and it’s taking part in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).
But there are plenty of other Nebraska schools that offer online Ed.D. degrees, doctorates with no dissertation requirement, and programs that lead to superintendent endorsement. And almost all of them have tuition breaks and/or Ed.D. awards. Use our links to curricula and costs to decide which course of action is right for you.
Wondering if the doctorate is worth the trouble? Our career section contains hard data on PreK-20 administrative jobs & wages in Nebraska. You can view the salaries of current Nebraska educational leaders and examine local job boards to see where opportunities lie. We’ve also provided an annotated list of helpful educational leadership organizations (e.g. NCSA) and ideas for relevant conferences & training programs.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Nebraska
Online Ed.D. Providers in Nebraska
- Clarkson College
- College of Saint Mary
- Creighton University (CAEP-accredited)
- Nebraska Methodist College
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Nebraska Online Ed.D. Programs
Nebraska online doctoral programs in education fall into three broad categories: well-regarded public options from UNL, interdisciplinary “all-rounders” from Catholic universities, and dedicated online doctorates in healthcare education & leadership. We profile each one below.
UNL’s tuition is almost always going to be the most affordable option, but pay attention to the financial aid offerings from private universities. Some of them have specific deals for employees of partner organizations and schools.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a complete listing of distance Ed.D. degrees in every state.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Public Nebraska Universities
UNL’s online Ed.D. programs are backed by the College of Education’s solid U.S. News & World Report ranking and a highly active Department of Educational Administration (EDAD). Plus—as far as we can determine—there are highly affordable tuition rates for in-state students.
- If you want a degree that’s almost 100% online, UNL’s 96-credit Online Ed.D. in Educational Studies – Educational Leadership and Higher Education comes in three concentrations—you can customize those further with electives. PhD students in this subject have to complete residencies, but Ed.D. students do not. However, you will have to present your dissertation proposal and defend it in person.
- If you need an administrative certification program, UNL/UNO/UNK have also developed a joint 96-credit Online/Hybrid Ed.D. in Educational Administration – P-12 School Leadership, which contains an internship and requires one-week campus residencies during the first, second, and third semesters of enrollment. This program is designed to lead to the Superintendent Endorsement.
We also want to flag that the 96-credit number that you’re seeing includes all post-bachelor’s work (e.g. master’s)—that means you’ll only need to complete a minimum of 45-48 semester hours at UNL.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Private Nebraska Universities
The College of Saint Mary—a Catholic university—offers a cohort-based Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. The degree is 87 credits but you can transfer up to 36 credits from your master’s degree. This is a wide-ranging, 3-year, 100% online program that includes an educational leadership practicum. With the exception of credits involving dissertation research work, courses are 8 weeks in length.
CSM’s program tends to attract folks from all kinds of realms—admission is open to students with a master’s degree in a healthcare discipline, education, business, or leadership. Per credit tuition is a) reasonable for a private school; b) involves no extra fees; and c) includes discounts for Catholic educators.
You may want to match this against Creighton’s 60-credit Online Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership. It’s another cohort-based, 3-4 year program with courses that are 8 weeks in length. This online Ed.D. includes two short residencies—an orientation and the dissertation defense. If you don’t mind the commute, you also have the option to complete your dissertation research on campus.
Creighton is a Jesuit university, and the Ed.D. curriculum has been shaped by school values. For example, there are a variety of electives in Jesuit & Ignatian traditions, servant leadership, and the like. Per credit tuition is pricey, so we’d recommend you explore as many funding options as possible.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Nebraska Healthcare Colleges
And then there are the health science options. For instance, Clarkson College has developed a 44-credit Online Doctor of Education in Healthcare Education & Leadership for educators, administrators, researchers, and practitioners pursuing healthcare careers. You can choose to study on a full-time or part-time schedule and you’ll have the chance to complete a leadership service course (e.g. civic service activities).
We especially like the fact that Clarkson has an educational partnership with Nebraska Medicine, which means discounts are available for the Ed.D. Be sure to check out the tuition breaks and loan opportunities in our funding section.
Or you could consider Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health’s 44-credit Online Ed.D. in Education & Leadership in Healthcare. This is a super-short program (i.e. 24 months for full-time; 36 months for part-time) with no dissertation requirement. You’ll complete a capstone project instead. However, it’s not 100% online—there are two mandatory 3-day summer intensives.
NMC has a relatively open admissions policy—a master’s degree in a healthcare-related field is preferred, but not required. Tuition is comparable to Clarkson and MHS employees may be eligible for scholarships & benefits. See our funding section.
No Dissertation Ed.D. Programs in Nebraska
Doctoral Research Projects & Capstones
Part of the reason Nebraska Methodist College’s Online Ed.D. in Education & Leadership in Healthcare is so short is because you won’t have to spend your third year working on a dissertation. Instead, the capstone project is integrated into the coursework from year one.
If you go down this route, you’ll be expected to develop a clinical project that demonstrates an effective real-world application of Ed.D. theories and concepts. It’s important to note that the capstone process still includes a scholarly literature review, research, and translation and dissemination of your project findings.
Doctoral Education Funding in Nebraska
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted institutional aid (e.g. university Ed.D. scholarships, payment plans, tuition discounts, etc.). The Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School will be able to assist with federal aid applications and advice on loans. As you might expect, UNL and UNO have solid doctoral funding opportunities. But we’re pleased to report that Nebraska’s private colleges & universities have stepped up to the plate with Ed.D. tuition discounts.
Clarkson has a separate section devoted to Tuition & Financial Aid. Ed.D. in Health Care Education & Leadership students at Clarkson qualify for the:
- Nebraska Medicine Partnership Rate: This substantial tuition break is open to employees, spouses, and dependents of Clarkson partners & affiliates.
- Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). This loan is for registered nurses who are studying to become qualified nursing faculty. Recipients are required to teach for at least four consecutive years post-graduation.
There’s also a sub-section Scholarships. Academic Scholarships are only awarded to incoming undergraduates, but you may want to ask the program coordinator if currently enrolled Ed.D. students are eligible to apply for any Endowed Scholarships for graduate students. Clarkson offers Other Funding Options, including Payment Plans.
College of Saint Mary
CSM has a general section on Graduate Financial Aid, though it’s primarily about loans and federal resources. Having said, it looks like full-time educators working in K-12 Catholic schools are eligible for a great tuition break on the Online Doctor of Education—half of the program’s tuition rate.
The Graduate School has advice on Financial Aid and info on Tuition & Scholarships. Check out the list of Graduate Scholarships/Awards and stipulations for Doctoral Fellowships (you’ll need to ask if Ed.D. students can apply). Creighton also offers a monthly MET Payment Plan.
Nebraska Methodist College
NMC’s section on Financial Aid has a sub-section devoted to Scholarships. You can also ask the Ed.D. program coordinator if you’re eligible for any of the NMC Scholarships. In addition, Methodist Health System (MHS) employees are eligible for MHS Scholarships & Benefits.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
The Graduate School has a comprehensive section on Financing Your Degree, with sub-sections on Scholarships, Fellowships, Awards and Waivers and Graduate Assistantships. There are a number of UNO awards for doctoral students.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- If you’re interested in the doctorates in educational administration or leadership, see the the Department of Educational Administration (EDAD)’s section on Student Resources, which has links to the graduate handbook and info on financial assistance (primarily assistantships).
- If you’re interested in the Ed.D. – Scholars of Educational Practice, check out the Department of Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education (TLTE)’s section on Graduate Funding & Fellowships. There are some awards for doctoral students, but you’ll need to ask if the Ed.D. qualifies.
In addition, the Office of Graduate Studies has more info on Funding, including general Graduate Fellowships for master’s and doctoral students (be sure to check out the Othmer Fellowship) and Graduate Student Travel Awards. UNL does not participate in the MSEP.
Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.
School Administration Certification Requirements in Nebraska
Administrative Certificate & Endorsements
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) handles certification for Nebraska public school educators & administrators. The primary certification for school leaders is the Administrative Certificate. There are three major levels of Administrative Certificate:
- Provisional Permit
We’ve provided a brief outline of the Standard and Professional requirements below; the NDE has a lot of more info in the section on Educator Certification. The Provisional Administrative Permit can be issued while you are still completing all the requirements for the Standard certificate.
Standard Administrative Certificate
To earn a Standard Administrative Certificate in Nebraska, you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Complete a master’s degree and an education administrative program at a state-approved college or university.
- Have completed a teacher education program at a state-approved college or university.
- Have two years of teaching experience.
- Complete a Human Relations training requirement.
- Complete a Special Education training requirement.
- Receive a passing score on the Praxis CORE Academic Skills (Basic Skills).
- Receive a passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessments (Content Test).
- Have completed six recent college credits in education or have worked as a teacher in a state-approved school within the past immediate 5 years.
Professional Administrative Certificate
You can advance to the Professional Administrative Certificate once you:
- Hold—or qualify to hold—a Nebraska Standard Administrative Certificate or a comparable out-of-state equivalent.
- Complete a six-year specialist’s certificate or a doctorate in educational administration from a standard institution of higher education.
- Have completed six graduate semester hours in educational administration within the immediate past 5 years or have 1 year of administrative experience within the immediate past 5 years (half-time or more) in a legally operated school system.
Administrative Certificate Endorsements
The NDE allows you to add specific endorsements to the Administrative Certificate, including:
- Principal (PK-12; PK-8; or 7-12)
- Superintendent (PK-12)
- Curriculum Supervisor (PK-12)
- Special Education Supervisor (Birth through Grade 12)
Specific requirements for all of these Administrative Endorsements are listed in the NDE’s Title 92, Chapter 24: Rule 24 Guidelines. Principals don’t need to earn a doctorate for their endorsement, but you’ll notice that one of the stipulations for a superintendent endorsement and the Professional Administrative Certificate is the completion of an Ed.S. or Ed.D. (or the equivalent).
There are at least two programs in our school listings that lead to the superintendent endorsement (e.g. UNL’s Ed.D. in Educational Administration – P-12 School Leadership and UNO’s Ed.D. in Educational Administration). When in doubt, ask the Ed.D. program coordinator.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Nebraska
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators. We particularly like the employment maps on these pages, which will allow you to compare Nebraska to neighboring states. You’ll also find administrative job data in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Nebraska.
As you might expect from a state with moderate population numbers, there aren’t a great deal of K-12 administrators in Nebraska; the state is often on par with Kansas. If you want to dig deeper, NDE’s Office of Data, Research, and Evaluation contains a wealth of information. For example, the annual report on Statistics & Facts About Nebraska Schools has school headcounts for teachers & staff. The NDE’s Nebraska Education Profile (i.e. report cards) is another critical resource.
It’s a similar employment story for Nebraska postsecondary education administrators—Nebraska just doesn’t have that many colleges & universities to generate leadership jobs. If you’re prepping for a job interview or interested in career prospects for this field:
- Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) has a list of Nebraska postsecondary institutions. But it also issues Reports, posts useful Fact Sheets, and maintains data-driven Dashboards.
- The University of Nebraska System posts administrative headcounts in its Factbook, along with budget data, enrollment numbers, and more. UNL is always the top employer for educational administrators, with UNMC in a distant second.
Educational Leadership Salaries
According to the BLS, mean wages for Nebraska K-12 administrators are remarkably healthy—the state often beats out Kansas and South Dakota, and the Northeast Nebraska area can be one of the top paying non-metropolitan areas in the nation. The NSEA posts annual Salary Schedules for Nebraska educators.
Wage data for Nebraska postsecondary education administrators are a bit less exciting. Like Kansas, Nebraska is frequently in the third wage bracket for this job category when compared to all states. Having said that, the cost of living in Nebraska is relatively affordable.
- You’ll find exact salary numbers for University of Nebraska System employees (listed by name and rank) in the section on Budget & Salary Information.
- The Nebraska Library Commission posts recommendations for Nebraska State College System Salaries (listed by name and rank) each year.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Standard job sites (e.g. Indeed, LinkedIn, SchoolSpring, HigherEdJobs, etc.) will contain postings for Nebraska educational leaders & administrators. Plus there are specific local job boards:
- NCSA lists Employment Postings for PreK-12 educational administrators in Nebraska.
- NDE maintains an NDE Teach in Nebraska job board. You can filter jobs by administrative categories.
- NASB conducts Education Leadership Search Services (e.g. superintendent searches) and posts superintendent searches in other states.
- The University of Nebraska System provides advice for Prospective Employees and links to campus employment sites.
- The Nebraska State College System posts links to Employment Opportunities in Chardon State College, Peru State College, and Wayne State College.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Nebraska
Educational Leadership Associations
- Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB): NASB is a private, non-profit organization that serves the needs of Nebraska’s public schools and school board members. It often works with NASA and Nebraska superintendents on joint leadership issues.
- Nebraska Association of School Personnel Administrators (NASPA): NASPA represents 50+ school personnel leaders, district administrators, and HR professionals across Nebraska’s 27 school districts and ESUs.
- Nebraska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NeASFAA): NeASFAA members include university, college, and institutional financial aid administrators, and associated organizations involved in providing student financial aid. It’s a state affiliate of NASFAA.
- Nebraska Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NASCD): NASCD provides programs and services to support new images of teaching, learning, and leadership. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA): NCSA is an umbrella organization that represents six different affiliate associations (see below). It has 1,300+ members.
- Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA): The NSEA is the state’s teachers’ union. It represents 28,000 public school teachers, higher education faculty, and other educational professionals across Nebraska. It’s an affiliate of the NEA.
- Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP): NAESP is the voice of Nebraska’s elementary and middle level principals. It’s a state affiliate of NAESP (i.e. the National Association).
- Nebraska Association of Retired School Administrators (NARSA): NARSA is the largest of the NCSA affiliates, with ~730 members. It organizes a number of events for retired educational administrators.
- Nebraska Association of School Administrators (NASA): NASA promotes the welfare of Nebraska educational administrators, supervisors, and superintendents and provides professional activities to its membership. It’s a state affiliate of AASA.
- Nebraska Association of School Business Officials (NASBO): NASBO’s members are active in all areas pertaining to school business management. It’s a state affiliate of ASBO International.
- Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors (NASES): NASES serves the needs of Nebraska special education leaders and advocates for the lives of individuals with special needs & disabilities within the educational system and the community.
- Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals (NSASSP): NSASSP represents the concerns and welfare of Nebraska secondary school principals. It’s a state affiliate of NASSP.
Note: State & national educator organizations often have funds and scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Nebraska
Educational Leadership Conferences
- NASA/NASB Labor Relations Conference: This two-day event in September brings together Nebraska school administrators and board members to learn about negotiations, legal updates, and best practices for labor relations.
- NASBO State Convention: NASBO’s flagship two-day event for Nebraska school business officials tackles matters related to school finance, human relations, and more. It takes place in April.
- NASES Legislative Conference: This two-day event in February provides NASES members with legislative and NDE updates before they meet with senators to advocate for education in Nebraska.
- NCSA Events & Conferences: All of NCSA’s affiliate events are posted here; we’ve listed some of them separately so you can focus on your area of interest.
- NCSA Government Relations Information Teams (GRIT) Conference: The GRIT conference is a long-standing event that addresses topics of pending education-related issues before the Nebraska Legislature. It takes place over one day in March.
- NCSA Legislative Preview Conference: This one-day event in December provides an insight into issues of importance that may be coming up in the latest session of the Nebraska Legislature.
- NCSA State Principals Conference: This two-day event in December brings together Nebraska elementary, middle, and secondary principals for professional development and networking.
- NeASFAA Spring Conference: This annual event for higher education financial aid administrators is held over three days in March.
- State Education Conference: NASB’s three-day conference for Nebraska school leaders is presented each year in the week prior to Thanksgiving. It includes 50+ breakout sessions, keynotes, pre-conference workshops, and more.
Educational Leadership Training
- NASB Workshops: Some of NASB’s professional development programs have direct relevance to Nebraska superintendents, ESU administrators, and district/ESU administrative assistants, including the Budget & Finance Workshops.
- NCSA Training Programs: NCSA promotes and manages 40+ professional growth workshops, seminars, and conferences for Nebraska school administrators, including the Emerging Administrator Program, the New Superintendents’ Program, the Special Education Supervisor Mentorship, the School Law Workshop, and more.
- UNO Midlands Superintendents’ Academy: This cohort-based program lasts for nine months. It provides current and aspiring Nebraska school superintendents with skills and knowledge needed to lead and manage school districts.