The University of Nebraska at Kearney was first opened in 1903 by the State Legislature as a teacher’s college. Initially housed in Green Terrace Hall, the Nebraska State Normal School had an inaugural class exclusively of women. After three subsequent name changes, UNK was shaped into a comprehensive senior public, co-educational institution in 1991. With a $147 million budget, Nebraska at Kearney enrolls approximately 5,500 undergrad and 1,500 post-graduate Lopers. Along with its 514 rural acres in Buffalo County off Interstate 80, the University of Nebraska at Kearney maintains an eCampus for distance education. With an average retention rate of 79 percent, UNK has produced notable alumni like Judge Richard G. Kopf and actress Marg Helgenberger.
According to the U.S. News, Nebraska at Kearney is the Midwest’s 56th best college, 12th top public school, and 34th most veteran-friendly school. In particular, UNK is applauded for America’s 35th best online master’s in education programs. Graded B+ for diversity, the University of Nebraska at Kearney stands as the country’s 78th “Most Conservative College” and 266th “Best College for Education” on Niche. The Washington Monthly ranked UNK as the United States’ 115th best master’s-level institution for social mobility and research. It was also included in the publication’s “Standout Best Bang for the Buck Schools” list. College Factual placed UNK in the top 10 percent of teacher educators nationally too.
University of Nebraska at Kearney Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2014, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is institutionally accredited under the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This regional body certifies that UNK’s 68 bachelor’s, 16 master’s, and two specialist degrees are recognized for the U.S. Department of Education Title IV funding. The College of Education specifically maintains approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Standards from the Nebraska Department of Education are met for teacher licensure. Special education courses about communication disorders are also aligned with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
University of Nebraska at Kearney Application Requirements
Although the acceptance rate at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is presently 85 percent, graduate admission is especially selective. Prospective online master’s students must already hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. For unconditional admission, possessing a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better in the last 60 credits is necessary. Up to 12 credits of graduate-level courses could be transferred with a “C” or better. The M.A.Ed. programs won’t accept beginning teachers who lack state licensure. Preference is given to educators with at least two to three years of classroom experience, especially with diverse students with disabilities. Admitted teachers also have mean GRE scores of 150 (verbal) and 144 (quantitative).
Accessing the online application via the MyBLUE system is the first step towards the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s special education programs. Materials must be submitted before the firm deadlines of June 15th for Fall, October 15th for Spring, and March 15th for Summer. Don’t forget to attach the following:
- Payment for the $45 application fee
- Official transcripts from each college attended
- Graduate Record Exam scores (optional)
- Two to three letters of recommendation
- Copy of Nebraska or out-of-state teaching license
- Professional biography of goals and experiences
Tuition and Financial Aid
Online courses at UNK charge future “Difference Makers” from Nebraska $285 per credit. Non-resident students will pay $454 per credit for online master’s education. Please note that the College of Education offers a slight discount for out-of-state teachers at $415 per credit. Tuition is supplemented with a $25 distance education fee, $6.25 library fee, and $11 technology fee per hour. There’s a minimal $4 student records fee each semester too. On average, master’s students from Nebraska pay $5,286 for tuition while non-residents afford $11,598 annually. Tuition is due in full on February 9th and September 21st each semester.
Luckily, the NCES reports that 93 percent of incoming UNK Lopers are assisted. The average financial aid package is worth $5,739. Online master’s students studying at least half-time still qualify for borrowing Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans. Although the Pell and FSEOG Grants aren’t available, educators could obtain the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. There’s also the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program for waiving up to $17,500. Nebraska residents may earn the University Tuition Assistance Grants (UTAG) or Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. Graduate assistantships are available for 20 hours weekly teaching and tuition waivers. Institutional awards like the Continuing Student Scholarship, Davis-Chambers Scholarship, Bryan Sisters Scholarship, and Delta Kappa Gamma Grant-in-Aid are numerous too.
Online Degree(s) Available
The University of Nebraska at Kearney eCampus offers valuable, nationally ranked education that’s identical to on-campus courses. Full-time, doctoral-trained professors conduct small classes of 25 to 30 students online via Blackboard for personal attention. UNK learners pick from six bachelor’s degrees, 11 master’s programs, and 16 teaching endorsements online. Dedicated special education teachers can hone their knowledge with the:
M.A.Ed. in Special Education
With CAEP accreditation, the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) in Special Education is awarded for licensed teachers who seek advanced skills for working with children with disabilities. Within the 36-credit program, educators pick the Grade K-6 or 7-12 Emphasis along with a concentration in Inclusive Special Education or Gifted Education. Advanced practitioners can delve into online courses like behavioral intervention, curriculum design, instructional technology, and educational law 24/7. UNK’s coursework is applied with field practicum in teachers’ own district and chosen emphasis.
M.A.Ed. in Educational Administration – Supervisor of Special Education
Featuring 36 online credits, the M.A.Ed. in Educational Administration is another option for UNK graduates who seek leadership in overseeing school-based programs for disabled youth. The Supervisor of Special Education track builds upon individuals’ endorsements in teaching, school psychology, or speech pathology for administrative work. Online courses explore insightful topics like school relations, curriculum planning, educational research, educational psychology, human resources, and instruction supervision. The EDAD program advances beyond online multimedia with a 10-week internship in educators’ local school communities.
Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Small Colleges for a Master’s in Education 2016
Other online degrees housed in the University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Education include the M.S.Ed in Instructional Technology, M.A.Ed. in Art Education, M.A.Ed. in Reading PK-12, M.S.Ed. in Science/Math Education, M.A.Ed. in Spanish Education, and M.S.Ed. in Student Affairs.