FAQs

  • What Is National Board Certification?

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    All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement. National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate: 1) A strong command of content; 2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning; 3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and 4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community. Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness.

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  • Why should I get my certification?

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    National Board Certification is the highest teaching credential in the nation.  It is a rigorous but tremendously rewarding professional development experience. You also earn 6 MSDE credits upon achieving NBCT status.  There are additional opportunities to earn Graduate credits as well through university partnerships.

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  • Who is eligible?

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    Teachers who have held a “professional” or “advanced professional” certificate for 3 years in the state of Maryland are eligible to apply.  Check your eligibility status with HR.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure that they are eligible.  Teachers who apply and find out they are ineligible may be subject to a fee.

    • Prerequisite for World Languages candidates: In addition to the candidate eligibility requirements, World Languages candidates must 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. Refer to the Guide to National Board Certification for details.
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  • How much does it cost to pursue NBC?

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    The tuition is $1,900.00.  If you are accepted into the AACPS program, you will pay a $75 application fee.  However, the entire cost of the tuition would be covered by AACPS and MSDE.  Both AACPS and MSDE are totally invested in NBC as they realize how impactful it is on student growth and achievement.

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  • How long does it take?

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    Achieving National Board Certification is a 1-3 year process. You may select to complete in 1,2 or 3 years which ever works best with your schedule.

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  • How difficult is it?

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    Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous, challenging process.  However, it is feasible.  It is for the reflective teacher who is interested in achieving the highest level of excellence and wants to improve their teaching practice. NBCTs are accomplished teachers. If you are looking for a way to personally and professionally grow as an educator, and you have a strong work ethic, you can do this!

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  • Does AACPS support the candidates?

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    Because AACPS truly believes in the power of the National Board Certification program to impact student learning as well as grow teacher capacity, AACPS supports teachers pursuing NBC by funding the tuition, providing support meetings, and NBC Facilitators, and providing a NBCT stipend for those that achieve this highest teaching credential in the nation!

    AACPS has a robust support program.  Teachers meet monthly with a NBC Facilitator in small groups to receive and give feedback on their writing, student work samples, and videos. Candidates are member of a NBC Blackboard community and have access to discussions and support through the internet.

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  • Will I make more money if I am certified?

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    AACPS pays a $2000 stipend to Unit 1 employees who become certified.  This is matched by MSDE with an additional $1000 or $2000, depending on schools identified by MSDE as comprehensive needs schools at tier 4 or 5.

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  • When is the portfolio due?

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    Mid-May

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  • What happens if I don’t pass?

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    If your score does not meet the criteria, you may retake an entry that has a low score. It is not unusual for candidates to take more than one year to achieve. The cost is $475.00 per entry.  MSDE and AACPS has helped to pay for the cost of retake entry but it depends on availability of funds.  You have a total of 3 years to complete all 4 components with an additional 2 years after final submission of all components to retake.

    You have two years from your initial submission to retake any component. If your score does not meet the criteria, you may retake any component or assessment. It is not unusual for candidates to take more than one year to achieve. The cost is $475.00 per component or $125.00 per assessment.  MSDE and AACPS has helped to pay for the cost of one retake but it depends on availability of funds.

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  • How long does the certification last? Do I have to renew it?

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    Certification lasts 5 years.  After that, in order to maintain your certification, you must “renew”.  The cost of renewal is $1250.00 which is currently paid by MSDE and AACPS.

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