April 13, 2012

One hundred scholarships available for teachers seeking National Board certification

Considered the “Gold Standard” for teaching, more than 97,000 teachers have obtained certification; 641 in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Education’s Office of Professional Services and Educator Licensing today announced the limited availability of a new round of scholarships to support teachers applying for National Board Certification with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Colorado teachers can apply for one of 100 federal scholarships worth $1,250 provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Colorado does not have funds for matching state scholarships, but will reassign all funds remaining from former candidates who have dropped out. These funds will provide a $250 state scholarship to the first 84 candidates to apply. Candidates who apply after the funds are exhausted will be placed on a waiting list for state funds. The scholarship window is open through Dec. 1, 2012, or until funds are no longer available.

Scholarships are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, but Colorado also reserves the right to fund teachers in low-performing schools first. Several school districts provide salary increases to teachers who obtain NBPTS certification, while other districts utilize certified teachers as teacher-mentors or teacher-leaders. Recent studies show that more than half (55 percent) of all board certified teachers work in high-need schools (according to the National Center for Education Statistics). A National Research Council report found that students who were taught by board certified teachers show higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by other teachers.

Interested teachers should begin by applying with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Candidates must check the box that allows their information to be released to funding agencies. After paying an application processing charge of $65 and initial fee of $500, teachers complete the Federal Scholarship Application Form, a one one-page essay and the Colorado Scholarship Application Form. Scholarship application forms, the essay and proof of payment of the $565 should be faxed to the Colorado Department of Education at 303-866-6866. Those receiving scholarships will then need to pay the remaining $500 by Dec. 1, 2012.

Certification cycles start now and candidates will work on their assessments until March 31, 2013. Candidates will find out if they achieved certification in November 2013. Currently, 288 Colorado candidates are working toward national board certification. The prior cycle resulted in the addition of 93 newly certified teachers and seven teachers who renewed their certification for another 10 years.

Application forms are available at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/NBCT.htm. For additional questions on the process of certification, visit http://www.nbpts.org/. To apply for scholarships, fax all required information to 303-866-6866 or contact Anne Marie Roberts in CDE’s Office of Professional Services at roberts_a@cde.state.co.us.