The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has revised the certification process to remove barriers for educators wishing to pursue National Board Certification while maintaining the same high standards for accomplished teaching. The revisions include:
- Lower cost to candidates
- More time to complete the certification process
- Less work to complete the process.
The changes to the certification process are being phased in over a three-year period beginning in 2014-2015. Due to the phase-in, candidates beginning pursuit of National Board Certification in 2014-2015 will not achieve certification until the fall of 2017. You can read more details about the changes to the certification process on our candidate wiki.
The cost to pursue certification has been reduced from $2,500 to $1,900 (plus a $75 annual application fee). North Carolina still provides a low-cost loan for most educators pursuing National Board Certification. Read about the qualifications for loan funding on the DPI wiki. The loan does not include the annual $75 application fee.
North Carolina currently provides a 12% pay differential to most NBCTs. Read more about the qualifications for the pay differential on the DPI website.
North Carolina also provides a full renewal cycle (7.5 CEUs) for your North Carolina teaching license for all initial candidates pursuing certification, regardless of whether or not certification is achieved. In addition, the state provides substitute funding for three release days for most candidates to work on the certification process.
Component 1 of the new process will be available for most candidates in 2014-2015. This component will replace the Assessment Center in the old certification process. Component 1 will require candidates to complete three open-ended response questions related to their content area. Candidates will have 30 minutes to complete each open-ended response. There will also be 45 selected-response questions related to the candidate’s certification area. Candidates will have 60 minutes to complete the selected-response questions. Component 1 will be available for all candidates in 2014-2015 except CTE, Music and World Languages.
You can “test drive” Component 1 by signing up now to participate in the field testing. The field tests provide a no-risk, no-cost opportunity to try out the selected-response questions for your content area. Field tests are open to NBCTs, candidates, or anyone interested in participating in the field testing process. Evening, daytime, and weekend appointments are available and you will receive a $25 gift card for your participation. The field tests end soon so don’t miss this opportunity if you are planning to pursue National Board Certification.
Component 2 of the revised process will be a written entry, focusing on the analysis of student work, student growth over time, and a reflection on instructional strategies implemented for the student(s). Component 2 will be available for all candidates in 2014-2015 except CTE candidates. CTE candidates may not begin the certification process this year due to the revision of the CTE National Board Standards. CTE candidates may pursue Components 1 and 2 in 2015-2016.
The National Board plans to release detailed information about Components 1 and 2 in October 2014. In the meantime, you may review Component 1 At-a-Glance and Component 2 At-a-Glance for your certification area. When the webpage loads, scroll down to locate these documents in the Candidate Info section.
You can read more about the certification process on the National Board website and on our wiki.
CMS offers a wide range of support to candidates pursuing National Board Certification. We offer study groups facilitated by NBCTs that meet once a month, October through May, on Saturday mornings at Spaugh PDC. Study groups are now available for registration in the Professional Learning section of My Talent. Search for course 631 to register for a study group. Our first study group meetings and Candidate Kickoff are on Saturday, October 11, 2014. We hope you will join us!
We also have a cadre of NBCTs who will read your work for Component 2 and offer thought-provoking feedback to encourage you to reflect deeply about your practice. We offer two candidate institutes at Spaugh PDC, focusing on Component 2 preparation and studying for the Assessment Center tests. More information about our support program is available on our candidate wiki.
If you would like more information before deciding whether or not National Board Certification is right for you, please consider attending an Information Session at Spaugh PDC or viewing the Power Point from the Information Sessions on our wiki. The dates for the upcoming Information Sessions are also available on our wiki.
NBCTs renewing their certification are not currently affected by the revisions to the certification process. We offer a study group for renewal candidates as well as reading support. The kickoff for renewal candidates is also on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at Spaugh PDC. Search for section 612 in the Professional Learning section of My Talent to register for the Kickoff and study group meetings for renewal candidates.
Candidates who began the certification process in 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 and need to retake portfolio entries or Assessment Center exercises are not affected by the revisions to the certification process. They will complete their certification requirements using the process under which they began pursuit of National Board Certification.
If you have questions about National Board Certification, please review the information on our candidate wiki or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Yarbrough is a Professional Development Specialist in the CMS Office of Organizational Development. She achieved National Board Certification in November 2001 as an Early Childhood Generalist and renewed her National Board Certification in 2010. Linda has worked with the CMS National Board Support Program since 2002 and currently coordinates candidate support for CMS. You can contact Linda at email@example.com.