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) . 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.
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 . You may contact the NBPTS via their online web form or by calling the NBPTS at 1-800-22TEACH.
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.
The NBPTS has issued a set of teaching standards 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 .
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 are listed below. Key contacts from across California can be found listed below:
Candidate Support in California
|Beverly Hills Unified School District
District-level Instructional Coach provides candidate support in partnership with Stanford National Board Resource Center leading bi-weekly meetings to asist teachers with National Board Certificaiton.
Provides two release days to assist teachers with collaboration and writing when pursuing National Board Certification.
Financial support to pay for the National Board Certification process.
Five year stipend for National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).
Dr. Michael Sherman
|California Teachers Association (CTA) National Board Support Network
|Folsom-Cordova National Board Network
|Candidate support program meets monthly. Teachers granted one release day.
| Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, NBCT
|Fresno Unified National Board Certification Program
|Candidate support program with monthly professional development and coaching support.
| Deborah Friesen
|Lodi Unified School District Network
|Network operates a candidate support program independent of Lodi USD.
Lori Celiz, NBCT
|Long Beach Unified School District National Board
|District-sponsored Candidate Preparation Program with monthly support meetings from the NBCT Candidate Support Team made up of established NBCTs. Additional support from NBCTs at school sites.
| Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
The Support Network, A Collaboration of UTLA & LAUSD
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
|San Francisco Unified National Board Support Program
|Contact for more information
| Nia Ross, NBCT and Maria Hunt, NBCT
|Stanford National Board Resource Center
Two-year online candidate support program with optional continuing education units.
Cost is $500 each year per candidate.
Serves teacher candidates state-wide, also offers private cohorts for individual districts.
Geetha Lakshminarayanan, NBCT
Alissa Fong, NBCT
|UC Los Angeles (UCLA) - Center X
|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
|West Contra Costa 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
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 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 where you can search by name, certificate, state, district, and year.
Teacher and Leader Policy Office | NBCT@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-7331