The Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program is created. For purposes of the Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program:
(1) Department means the State Department of Education;
(2) Eligible institution means a not-for-profit college or university which (a) is located in Nebraska, (b) is accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education as determined to be acceptable by the State Board of Education, (c) has a teacher education program, and (d) if a privately funded college or university, has not opted out of the program pursuant to rules and regulations;
(3) Eligible student means an individual who (a) is a full-time student, (b) is enrolled in an eligible institution in an undergraduate or a graduate teacher education program working toward his or her initial certificate to teach in Nebraska, (c) if enrolled at a state-funded eligible institution, is a resident student as described in section 85-502 or, if enrolled in a privately funded eligible institution, would be deemed a resident student if enrolled in a state-funded eligible institution, (d) for applicants applying for the first time on or after April 23, 2009, is a student majoring in a shortage area, and (e) for applicants applying to receive a loan during fiscal year 2011-12 or 2012-13, is a student who previously received a loan pursuant to the Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program in the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the new loan would be received;
(4) Full-time student means, in the aggregate, the equivalent of a student who in a twelve-month period is enrolled in twenty-four semester credit hours for undergraduate students or eighteen semester credit hours for graduate students of classroom, laboratory, clinical, practicum, or independent study course work;
(5) Majoring in a shortage area means pursuing a degree which will allow an individual to be properly endorsed to teach in a shortage area;
(6) Shortage area means a secular field of teaching for which there is a shortage, as determined by the department, of properly endorsed teachers at the time the borrower first receives funds pursuant to the program; and
(7) Teacher education program means a program of study approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to subdivision (5)(g) of section 79-318.