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Make Your Move Toward National Board Certification

Join a prestigious group of elite instructors with a proven track record of improved student learning outcomes. WilmU can help you get there.

Ready to take your teaching to the next level? A decade of research shows the benefits of National Board Certification for licensed teachers.

National Board Certification is an advanced, voluntary teaching credential earned by completing a content knowledge exam and submitting performance portfolios that include videos of your teaching, analyses of student work samples and written commentaries reflecting on your teaching practice. Assessors from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) look at your work and compare it to standards targeted for your subject area.

National Board Certified Teachers are considered experts in the field. The attainment of this distinction often opens doors to leadership positions and peer mentoring roles. In addition, per NBPTS, many states and school districts offer support, loans, and/or salary incentives to encourage teachers to gain National Board Certification.

Students reap the benefits as well. According to NBPTS, “students of Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers, and studies have also found that the positive impact of having a Board-certified teacher is even greater for BiPOC and low-income students.”

National Board certification is an elite honor. Currently only three percent of teachers nationwide and five percent of Delaware’s teachers have earned it.

Attaining National Board Certification is, indeed, an involved process, and candidates must complete all requirements within a five-year timeframe. Many educators find that support and preparation guidance from National Board Certified teachers make a critical difference.

“Interacting with a mentor, collaborating and studying with like-minded individuals, and receiving feedback on your self-evaluation efforts can certainly help you undertake the challenge,” says Dr. Jennifer Palmer, program coordinator for the Wilmington University College of Education’s National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) programs.

Under Palmer’s leadership, two new courses of study at Wilmington University can help teachers succeed on this path to excellence: the Master of Education in Instruction with a National Board Certified Teacher concentration and a National Board Certified Teacher graduate certificate. Both are available 100% online and are instructed entirely by National Board Certified Teachers, whose firsthand experience with the certification process provides invaluable guidance to applicants.

Not only is WilmU one of the only schools nationwide to offer National Board Certification programs, but the University offers its NBCT programs as stackable credentials. In other words, a student can earn the standalone 15-credit graduate certificate, and then choose to apply those credits toward the Master’s of Education degree. Both programs, created in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the National Academy Foundation (naf.org), offer support and guidance to eligible candidates as they prepare their formal applications.

“Beginning my journey towards National Board Certification with Wilmington University was an easy decision,” says current student Deb Miller. “Working towards Certification was always on my bucket list, and doing it while going through training with experienced Board-Certified instructors is like having a personal tutor to navigate you through the process. I feel that I have learned so much, not only about the National Board Certification process, but about myself and my own teaching skills as well.”

NBPTS reports that 91% of teachers engaging with the National Board standards claim that it had a direct impact on their instructional practices. Jennifer Palmer is one of them, stating “I am the teacher I am today because of what I learned while achieving National Board Certification!”

Her experiences helped her shape Wilmington University’s innovative NBCT programs. As Palmer explains, “WilmU’s programs are designed to help connect you with colleagues who will help you grow, will develop your ability to reflect meaningfully on your classroom and help you develop as a teacher leader.”

Interested in learning more? Find out if you are eligible to apply for National Board Certification at www.nbpts.org. To learn more about Wilmington’s programs that support National Board Certification, go to wilmu.edu/Education or email jennifer.l.palmer@wilmu.edu.

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