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What You Need to Know About the New National Board Certification Process

There are several important changes in place for teachers who are hoping to gain National Board Certification, existing NBCT and those who are still waiting to hear about their pending applications. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards revised both the modules and time frame for those applying. In addition, there are several changes to the funding available to pay for certification and the stipend teachers can receive.  This is the first revision to the process since 2001.

What you need to know:

Time Frame:  Achieving National Board Certification can now occur over a period of THREE years. Candidates can still choose to complete the certification in one year (see below for exception).  Registration Window: March 1, 2014–February 28, 2015 

View timeline of the changes here

Components: There are now only FOUR components that you need to complete, instead of six. Three are portfolio entries submitted online and the final is a computer-based assessment, which is administered to you at a testing center.

Computer-based assessment

  • Component 1: Content Knowledge Assessment

Portfolio entries

  • Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction
  • Component 3: Teaching Practice and Learning Environment
  • Component 4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner

This year two components will be released for completion. The following year, one more component will be released and the third year the final component will be available to complete. After the third year, when all four sections are released, you can complete the entire certification in one year, if you choose or you can take the full three years.

Cost: Each component will now cost $475 instead of $2,500 for the complete certification. That’s a savings of $600. Candidates will have the option to pay for and submit each component separately.

Stipend: NBCT will now receive approximately $3,000 per year stipend for the life of their certificate.  

Scholarship: In fiscal year 2014-15, the Maine Department of Education allocated $75,000 to a scholarship fund for those applying for NBCT. Money is available on a first come-first served basis and not to more than 30 teachers accepted into the program each year. Apply here:


Q: What if I applied for NBCT last year and didn’t pass each module? Do I have to wait for the new track to come out in order to reapply?
A: No. there is an overlap with the old and new schedule so people who previously applied and didn’t receive certification can redo the module and still gain certification without a delay. The certification process revisions take effect with new candidates beginning in 2014–15.

Q: I am already an NBCT, has the way I receive my stipend changed?
A: No. However, your Superintendent must notify the Department of Education by October 15, 2014 of your NBCT status by providing your name to the DOE so you can receive the stipend. The stipend comes from the State and is paid through the district. The Department of Education is required to provide the salary supplement to each district no later than February 15th of each year.  In addition, local districts may augment the stipend or have other incentives, such as paid release days to support National Board candidates.

Q: I would like to become an NBCT, but the process seems difficult to handle without support.  Can the MEA help?
A: Yes! The MEA offers, free to members, candidate support workshops designed to give you the information and encouragement that you need to complete the National Board Certification process. Connect with other Maine candidates as you engage in the National Board process, learn the difference between Teaching Standards and Content Standards and what “evidence” of accomplished teaching really means. Tips for establishing timelines, organizing the work, and accessing resources for candidate support will also be shared. Continue to check for upcoming dates.

More questions? can help. Click on Get Started to see if you are eligible to apply and to learn more about the new components.



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