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National Certification for Teachers


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

The California Department of Education (CDE) actively supports teachers in their efforts to achieve advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) External link opens in new window or tab.. The NBPTS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and nongovernmental agency governed by a 29-member board of directors, the majority of whom are classroom teachers.

National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.

In California, Alissa Fong and Geetha Lakshminarayanan serve as Directors of the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University. Fong and Lakshminarayanan also provide candidate support to teachers pursuing National Board Certification, help build candidate support programs across the state, and help run the Stanford National Board Resource Center, which includes a list of the National Board Networks External link opens in new window or tab. across the state. Fong and Lakshminarayanan can be reached at alissafong@stanford.edu and slakshmi@stanford.edu, respectively.

National Board Certification

Following the development of certificate standards, the National Board collaborated with a skilled team of psychometricians to create the process by which a teacher could be fairly and reliably assessed as meeting those standards.

This new certification was the first of its kind in education. Built and overseen by the profession, the process of becoming National Board Certified was performance-based, multiple-measure, peer-reviewed, anonymously submitted and built on the highest standards of measurement to assure the results were valid and reliable. There was now a process for asserting when teachers had successfully moved through their novice years and had reached a level of accomplishment, similar to what had existed in other major professions.

In addition, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) issues a clear credential to the holder of a preliminary teaching or services credential who attains certification from the NBPTS. This credential authorizes the holder to teach or provide services in the area that the CTC determines is equivalent to the certificate field in which the teacher or services provider received certification from the NBPTS.

For more information on becoming a candidate for National Board Certification, visit the Candidate Center External link opens in new window or tab. . You may contact the NBPTS via their online web form External link opens in new window or tab. or by calling the NBPTS at 1-800-22TEACH.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for National Board certification, teachers must meet the following education, employment and licensure requirements prior to starting the certification process:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. (Candidates for the Career and Technical Education certificate are excluded from this requirement in California).
  • Have completed three years of successful teaching in one or more early childhood, elementary, middle, or secondary school.
  • Hold a valid state teaching license (or meet the Pupil Personnel Services Credential if applying for the ECYA/School Counseling certificate) for each of the three years of employment you verify.
  • Provide official American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) certified ratings of Advanced Low or higher from ACTFL speaking and writing proficiency assessments if registering as a World Languages candidate.

Assessment Process

The NBPTS has issued a set of teaching standards External link opens in new window or tab. that describe the accomplished level of teaching for different subject areas and grade-levels. The assessment process for each area is guided by these standards. An important first step in the process is to study the standards for the particular certificate you choose to pursue. These can be found in the NBPTS Candidate Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab..

To become a Board-certified teacher, eligible candidates must demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and practice in their individual certificate area. The certification process is designed to collect standards-based evidence of accomplished practice. In all 25 certificate areas, candidates are required to complete an assessment that includes four components. The content knowledge component is a computer-based assessment taken at a testing center; the other three are portfolio-based and submitted through an electronic portfolio system.

Support for National Board Candidacy in California

While there is no requirement that candidates attend a support program, most teachers find it helpful to work with others throughout the process. Up to date information about the major support programs in California is located on the Stanford National Board Resource Center website External link opens in new window or tab.. Key contacts from across California can be found listed below:

Candidate Support in California

Network Support Offered Contact Information
Beverly Hills Unified School District Candidate support to participate in Stanford National Board Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.

Dr. Michael Sherman
msherman@bhusd.org

Dustin Seemann
dseemann@bhusd.org

CSU - Northridge Support program for candidates. Master of Arts in Education: English introduces candidates to NBPTS certificate activities. Virginia Kennedy
virginia.kennedy@csun.edu
California Teachers Association (CTA) National Board Support Network External link opens in new window or tab. Works in collaboration with the Stanford National Board Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab. and San Diego County Office of Education to provide candidate support and opportunities for NBCTs. Stacey Begin
sbegin@cta.org
Corona-Norco Unified School District Contact for more information

Dr. Lara Gruebel
lgruebel@cnusd.k12.ca.us

Folsom-Cordova National Board Network External link opens in new window or tab. Candidate support program Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, NBCT
SKirby@fcusd.org
Fresno Unified National Board Certification Program External link opens in new window or tab. Candidate support program Deborah Friesen
Deborah.Friesen@fresnounified.org
Lodi Unified School District Network Network operates a candidate support program independent of Lodi USD.

Lori Celiz, NBCT
lceliz@lodiusd.net

Long Beach Unified School District National Board External link opens in new window or tab. District-sponsored Candidate Preparation Program.

Ryan Ung
ryanung@lbschools.net

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
The Support Network, A Collaboration of UTLA & LAUSD External link opens in new window or tab.

Candidate Support Provider (CSP) organization that provides a comprehensive program of professional practice support for National Board Certification, offering a full menu of services for first-time candidates, retake candidates, & renewal candidates

Michael de la Torre, NBCT
mdelatorre@thesupportnetwork.net

Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Candidate financial support to participate in Stanford National Board Resource Center

Christine Kieffer
ckieffer@mpusd.k12.ca.us

San Bernardino City Unified School District External link opens in new window or tab.

Candidate Fee Support: $1900 ($1000 up-front and $900 over three years after certification)

Other Support: Virtual Support (through CTA Jumpstart and Springboard)

NBCT Incentives: Renewal/Maintenance of Certification fees, $500 annual stipend

Morgan Pellettera, NBCT
morgan.pellettera@sbcusd.k12.ca.us

San Francisco Unified National Board Support Program External link opens in new window or tab. Contact for more information Nia Ross, NBCT and Maria Hunt, NBCT
nationalboard@sfusd.edu
Stanford National Board Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.

2-year online candidate support program with optional continuing education units.

Cost is $400 each year per candidate.

Serves teacher candidates state-wide, also offers private cohorts for individual districts.

Geetha Lakshminarayanan, NBCT
slakshmi@stanford.edu

Alissa Fong, NBCT
alissafong@stanford.edu

Twin Rivers Unified School District Contact for more information

Beverly Weber, NBCT
Beverly.weber@twinriversusd.org

UC Los Angeles (UCLA) - Center X External link opens in new window or tab. Yearly candidate support for individual components, an annual summer institute, and one-on-one support all available to new and continuing candidates. Erin Powers, NBCT
310-794-7968
empowersedu@gmail.com
West Contra Costa External link opens in new window or tab. Unified School District

Candidate support program with mentoring and Saturday sessions.

Serves teacher candidates who work in Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Hercules, Kensington, El Sobrante and Pinole.
Cinda Rapp, NBCT
crapp@wccusd.net

Sources of Financial Support

Commencing July 1, 2021, any teacher who initiates the process of pursuing a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards when teaching at a high priority school is eligible to receive a Candidate Subsidy Program (CSP) award of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) subsidy for teachers at high-priority schools who initiate and complete the process of pursuing National Board certification to cover the costs of the program. Candidates must apply for the subsidy upon registering with NBPTS. The subsidy application is due January 31, 2022.

For more information, visit the CA NBPTS Certification Incentive Program 2021-26 web page.

Finding National Board Certified Teachers in California

More than 7,000 California teachers have earned National Board Certification. To learn who these accomplished teachers are, please visit the NBCT Directory External link opens in new window or tab. where you can search by name, certificate, state, district, and year.

Resources

National Board Resource Center at Stanford University External link opens in new window or tab.

Candidate Support by School District

National Board Resources External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions:  

Teacher and Leader Policy Office | NBCT@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-7331

Last Reviewed: Friday, December 3, 2021
Recently Posted in Professional Standards