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 25-member board of directors, the majority of whom are classroom teachers.
The NBPTS seeks to raise public awareness with respect to the cognitive complexity, collaborative, and expertise-driven nature of teachers' work; set higher standards for entry, advancement, and leadership in the profession; and recognize accomplished teaching through a rigorous professional certification process comparable to those found in other professions such as medicine, engineering, and law.
In California, Linda Bauld is the Director of the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University. Ms. Bauld also provides candidate support to teachers pursuing National Board Certification, helps build candidate support programs across the state, and helps run the California National Board Collaborative (Collaborative), a collection of the National Board Networks across the state. She keeps an up-to-date list of regional contacts at the Collaborative’s website. Ms. Bauld can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650 724-7349.
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.
The prerequisites for National Board Certification are highlighted below and are detailed in the Guide to National Board Certification (PDF) [Link no longer available]. To be eligible for National Board Certification you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree
- Have completed three full years of teaching/school counseling
- Possess a valid state teaching/school counseling license, or, if teaching where a license is not required, have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state
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.
The assessment center portion of the certification process requires candidates to demonstrate content knowledge in response to test items developed by practicing professionals in each certificate area. Candidates are expected to demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate content necessary to teach across the full age range and ability level of the certificate area in which they applied. Assessments are administered at testing centers across the United States.
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 website for the Collaborative. Key contacts from the collaborative as of early 2020 can be found listed below:
California Teachers Association
Fresno Unified National Board Certification Program
Fresno Unified School District
Folsom-Cordova Unified School District
Lodi Unified School District Network
Lori Celiz, NBCT
Long Beach Unified School District
Cara Hale-Hanes, NBCT
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
Orange County Department of Education
Susan Carle, NBCT
San Diego County
San Francisco Unified National Board Program
Nia Ross, NBCT and Maria Hunt, NBCT
West Contra Costa Unified School District
Cinda Rapp, NBCT
Higher Education Support
|Institution of Higher Education (IHE)||Description of Support Offered||IHE Contact|
California State University (CSU) - Bakersfield
Provides support for NB candidates on an individual basis.
CSU - Fullerton
Offers support for candidates not enrolled in the university as well as offers National Board options for students in Master's programs in Secondary Education, Elementary Education, and Special Education.
Leslee Milch, NBCT
CSU - Northridge
Support program for candidates. Master of Arts in Education: English introduces candidates to NBPTS certificate activities.
Candidate support program with optional continuing education units.
Yearly candidate support for individual components, an annual summer institute, and one-on-one support all available to new and continuing candidates.
Sources of Financial Support
Financial support to achieve advanced certification can be found through some Llocal Service Organizations, for example, Rotary or Lion's Club. Alternately an individual small business may be willing to sponsor your candidacy. A letter or a short presentation to explain the program and why you are pursuing National Board Certification may lead to financial help. NBPTS scholarships may also be used to supplement or offset cost. Contact your district or charter organization because many offer financial support for educators who pursue National Board Certification. For help putting a presentation together, contact one of the support programs or persons listed at the Collaborative’s website.
Finding National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) 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 | TLPO@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-7331