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National Board Certification Incentives

National Board Certification Process

Thank you for your interest in pursuing National Board Certification while teaching or counseling in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. 

Established in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit organization working to advance accomplished teaching. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board Certification is the most prestigious certification that an educator can attain. 

The road to obtaining National Board certification is challenging — the process requires nearly 400 hours of time and effort to achieve. Educators must submit a detailed portfolio that includes examples of student work, an outline of what teachers have done outside of the classroom to improve student achievement and video recordings that show how they teach and interact with students. In addition, they must submit a reflective piece on student assessment and learning and then take a rigorous exam to demonstrate they have mastered the content of their chosen certification area.

National Board Certification is voluntary and open to all teachers who have at least three years of classroom experience and a teaching license. Certification is available in 25 certificate areas, from preschool through 12th grade, and also includes certificated school counselors and librarians.

What is required to achieve National Board Certification?

There are 4 different components you must submit. You can choose to submit all 4 in one school year (they are due April-mid-May) or you can spread them out over the course of 3 years. Each year you only sign up for the component(s) you want to submit that Spring. There is a passing score for each component but there is also a combined composite score necessary to achieve NBC. If you need to retake component(s), that is fine and often necessary. You will have up to 2 additional years to retake component(s).

Component 1 (40%) Content Knowledge Assessment (taken at a testing center in Spring)

Component 2 (15%) Portfolio Submission (Differentiation in Instruction)

Component 3 (30%) Portfolio Submission (Teaching Practice and Learning Environment)

Component 4 (15%) Portfolio Submission (Effective and Reflective Practitioner)

What is it like to complete NBC?

The work required to achieve NBC is unlike any other coursework you have completed. This is an independent project because only you know why you plan, teach, evaluate and reteach the way you do for these particular students at this particular time and place. It’s a performance- based, peer-review model. There are a variety of support courses offered for Components 2, 3 and 4 to guide you through the necessary steps, to keep you on track, to help you interpret your standards/portfolio directions, and to offer advice; but any NBCT who is helping you in any way is only guiding you to find your own answers from within. 

The assessors who score the NBC components are trained to find evidence of the National Board Standards, the 5 Core Propositions, and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. This is not a cookie-cutter approach. What worked for one teacher to achieve NBC may not work for another. The best part about this work is that you study yourself and your students. All candidates have 3 years to submit all 4 components the first time. You have up to an additional 2 years if retakes are needed. If you do not achieve NBC within this timeframe, you must begin the process again.

Who is eligible to work toward achieving NBC?

NBPTS requires that you hold a Bachelor’s degree (some Career/Tech teachers are exempt from this requirement) and a professional state teaching or school counseling license. Before a candidate registers and purchases their first component for National Board Certification, they must have successfully completed three years of teaching/counseling at one or more early childhood, elementary, middle, or secondary schools to achieve Board certification.

What support is available for candidates working on NBC?

There are many different types of support that can be utilized while working on National Board Certification. Here is a slide with different support links. 

How much does it cost to go through the NBC process?

Each component costs $475, totaling $1,900 to go through the process. You must register with NBPTS each year you work on NBC ($75 per year). Sometimes candidates need to retake component(s) which is an additional fee ($475 or $500 each). 

What fee support or reimbursement is available?

The California Department of Education (CDE) is currently offering a subsidy program that offers educators who certify $25,000 upon completion. This subsidy program also offers the participants a $2,500 grant which is paid directly from CDE to NBPTS in the educator’s name. The cost of the program is $1,900, so the extra funds will cover the cost of retaking one component.

SBCUSD currently has an MOU with SBTA regarding National Board Certification. The district will cover the entire cost of the certification (when the state funds run out); they will cover the cost of Maintenance of Certification (MOU) every 5 years, which is $495. The district will also pay the NBCT a stipend of $500 a school year. The link to the form is here

What should I do next if I want to get started?

Visit the link to the First Time Candidate page on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) website. 

What should I do to get more detailed information about National Board Certification?

Visit this NBCT Candidate FAQ’s page for a deeper dive.

Who do I reach out to if I have questions?

Contact Morgan Pellettera, NBCT Employee Development Department, HR, SBCUSD.