National Board Certification

National Board certification is the highest earned credential in the teaching profession. A teacher-driven, voluntary process established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete, and measures what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. National board certification does not replace the need for state certification.

As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

Learn more about National Board Certification and criteria for applicants

Financial Assistance
Financial scholarships for first-time candidates are available through the federal government and the state of Pennsylvania for the entire tuition of $2,500. Information about the scholarships is available on the NPBTS-Pennsylvania website.

The NEA offers loans to members pursuing National Board Certification, as part of benefits to PSEA-NEA members. Learn more at NEA Member Benefits.

National Board Certification Resources

  • A Candidate's Guide to National Board Certification 
    A guide for teachers to National Board Certification. The guide offers tips and hints for NBC candidates.
  • NEA Resources on National Board Certification 
    A growing body of research, which clearly demonstrates the impact of National Board Certification on teaching and learning, underscores the importance of NEA's support for National Board Certification.

Help with Certification

Four geographically targeted Centers for Teaching Excellence located throughout the Commonwealth will support candidates pursuing National Board Certification with preparation, technical assistance and administrative paperwork. Locations and information regarding how each Center can be of assistance (free of charge to all candidates) throughout the NBPTS process may be obtained by contacting the center directors below:

  • Western Pennsylvania: Duquesne University
  • Northern Pennsylvania: Gannon University
  • Central Pennsylvania: Temple University (Philadelphia and Harrisburg)
  • Eastern Pennsylvania: East Stroudsburg University



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