In this section, you will find out more about the resources available for the National Board Certification. 

What is the National Board?

What is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification?

The NBPTS Certification was started in 1987 as a way to document and assess experienced teachers. The creators of the National Board first drafted a set of core principles detailing what experienced and successful teachers should know and be able to do. These core principles are the foundation for the National Board Standards that are in widespread use and were the foundation for similar standards drafted by other groups and states. The certification process was created purposefully as an alternative to more standardized approaches to teacher assessment that fail to take into account variations in content area, grade level, and local context. Currently, teachers who have at least three years of experience may elect to participate in this performance based assessment. As stated by the   NBPTS OrganizationOpens in new window , it is this performance piece that is key because “it assesses not only the knowledge teachers possess, but also the actual demonstration of their skills and professional judgment as applied daily in the classroom.”

The process of becoming a National Board certified teacher is a grueling one that demands much of teachers who are also juggling all the other demands of their profession. Teachers must complete a portfolio demonstrating their practice and highlighting the ways they put the National Board standards into practice. They must include written plans, videotapes of their teaching, and extensive written reflections on their teaching. In addition to the portfolio, teachers must complete a more standard, written assessment aimed at evaluating their content knowledge. The NBPTS encourages teachers to work together and support one another during this process. They also encourage teachers to seek out support programs and/or mentors who can provide them with feedback on all aspects of the process. Despite the difficulty, becoming National Board certified makes a difference for these teachers and their students. Teachers who have achieved National Board certification outperform their peers on 11 of 13 dimensions of teaching expertise (Bond, Smith, Baher & Hattie, 2000).

What are the Core Propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards?

NBPTS was created after the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession released   A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. Shortly after its release, NBPTS issued its first policy statement:   What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do.PDF File Opens in new window   This policy set forth their vision for accomplished teaching.   The Five Core PropositionsOpens in new window   form the foundation and frame the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs that characterize National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT’s). These propositions are as follows:

  • Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Learning
  • Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students.
  • Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning.
  • Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience.
  • Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities.

What are the Certificate Areas?

NBPTS offers 25 certificates that cover a variety of subject areas and student developmental levels, and are applicable to more than 95 percent of America’s teachers. You may review standards, portfolio instructions, assessment exercise descriptions and scoring guides for each certificate at .

What are the Benefits of National Board Certification?

National Board Certification is the highest symbol of professional teaching excellence. The rewards go far beyond the financial incentives now offered by many states and school districts. It attests to the fact that you have been judged by your peers as one who is accomplished in your field.

National Board Certification:

  • Recognizes achievement – both yours and your students
  • Strengthens and reaffirms teaching strategies
  • Adds credibility to the teaching profession
  • Represents the profession’s highest standards
  • Positively impacts student learning

Learn more about   Why America Needs National Board Certified TeachersPDF File Opens in new window .

How does the Secondary Education Graduate Program Support Candidates?

Currently the graduate program in Secondary Education provides support to candidates in the form of three courses: EDSC 591 (Professional Seminar in Secondary Teaching) EDSC 599 (Independent Graduate Research) and EDSC 594 (Project Seminar Support Class). EDSC 591 (taught in the fall) is intended to provide students with an introduction to the requirements of National Board certification as well as assist students in developing the habits of self-analysis required of Accomplished Teachers. EDSC 599 (taught in the fall) and EDSC 594 (taught in the spring) are intended to provide teachers with as-needed support while they finish their portfolios. The instructor for all three courses is an NBCT and a trained candidate support provider.

What Additional Links and Resources are Available?

Who is the Contact for Additional Information?

Tara Barnhart M.A., NBCT, Lecturer  
Secondary Education

NBCT Faculty in the College of Education

Mark Ellis, Associate Professor
Early Adolescent Mathematics,
Tara Barnhart, Lecturer
Adolescent / Young Adult Science, 2005
Jackie Counts, Lecturer
Early Adolescent English Language Arts, 2005
Kristine Quinn , Lecturer  
Middle Childhood- Generalist, 2000
Tor Ormseth, Lecturer
Early Adolescent Mathematics, 2009
Dr. Patrick Guggino, Lecturer
Adolescent/Young Adulthood
English Language Arts, 2001
Dr. Lori Rutherford, Lecturer
Adolescent / Young Adult Science, 2010
Dr. Susan Glassett Farrelly, LecturerEarly Adolescent Mathematics, 2010


  • Cheryl Des Palmes, Career and Technical Education, 2008
  • Jessica Stuart, Adolescent Young Adult Science 2008
  • Doreen Lucero, Career and Technical Education, 2008
  • Tuan Pham, EA Social Studies / History 2009
  • Carol Saldana, EA Math 2009
  • Cathy Whalen, EA Social Studies / History 2009
  • Allison Maynard, AYA English Language Arts 2009
  • Helen Barney, EA Mathematics 2010
  • William Ney, AYA English Language Arts 2011
  • Kim Hermans, EA Mathematics 2012