CADRE Project accelerates graduate students in College of Education


Tiffany Bukacek

Students in the College of Education work together. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) provides an accelerated graduate program through the College of Education for newly certified elementary and secondary teachers.

CADRE stands for: (C)areer (A)dvancement and (D)evelopment for (R)ecruits and (E)xperienced Teachers.

The CADRE Project, known simply as CADRE, provides newly certified teachers with a community of support through UNO faculty, veteran teachers alongside other first year teachers sharing their experiences.

UNO and participating local school districts work together to place these new and fully licensed CADRE teachers in classrooms.

The goals of the CADRE project are to:

-Provide entry-year assistance to beginning teachers utilizing veteran teachers and university faculty.
-Attain greater linkage between existing teacher preparation programs and participating school districts.
-Provide incentives for professional growth and career options to veteran teachers.
-Provide networking opportunities for teachers, districts and the university.

Demi Huff, a 2017 CADRE project graduate and first-grade teacher at Belle Ryan Elementary School in OPS, said the biggest benefit of this program is the extra support she received.

“It gives you time to workshop things that are happening in the classroom and implement them the very next with your students,” Huff said.

Huff continued by iterating that attempting to build relationships on her own, within her building, was challenging. But CADRE gave her a strong and supportive community that she could workshop ideas with and also meet people who share in an identical experience to you, she said.

CADRE provides these first-year teachers with ‘associates,’ CADRE faculty who both assist and support these students through their journey as first year teachers through the three classes taken in the summer semester and the two classes taken per academic semester, in addition to meeting with the group monthly for one full calendar year.

Being a first-year teacher comes with its own set of challenges but so does being a part of an accelerated master’s program. Huff insisted that the benefits of the program far outweigh any potential negatives.

“The only downfall is budgeting financially with a monthly stipend, paid by UNO CADRE,” said Huff. “You don’t sign a contract with the school district you’ll be working in. You sign a contract with CADRE and they provide you with your school placement and your stipend.” Huff said.

According to Huff, the monthly stipend isn’t what you would receive in pay if you were to be hired on directly with a school district outside of CADRE. In fact, a lot of districts offer to pay for your continued education in an area of their choosing. Where CADRE allows you to choose a graduate degree of your own interest, a first-class education and the support received through this award-winning program is bar none.

According to a press release from College of Education’s news page, the CADRE program was honored at the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) 63rd Annual Fall Conference on Oct. 24 to both award and recognize the 25-year partnership between CADRE and Omaha Public Schools with the Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. The award honors outstanding educational partnership programs between colleges of education and urban schools.