Accomplished DoDEA Teachers–Join Our New MAT Cohort!

National University’s program is offered online with optional study group meetings. A portfolio of your work with the students you teach is developed during your courses and allows you to “show case” and apply your skills and knowledge.  This portfolio serves as your master’s thesis, and its inquiry-based nature customizes the program to your classroom.  Five of the 10 courses are devoted to developing each part of your portfolio, which means that 5 of your master’s courses will directly relate to and impact your teaching and your students.

Join this cohort that is being developed exclusively for DoDEA teachers who are teaching children of military families oversees.

You have a choice of submitting the portfolio for scoring by the National Board, as desired (we align the NBCT submission dates to match your coursework). If you choose to submit your portfolio for scoring, NBCT will distinguish you as a teacher leader in the field of education.

Additional online and face-to-face support is available for active NBCT candidates, including those who do not require a master’s degree.  As a member of the cohort, you are pre-approved to join My eCoach NBCT online support community for $35.

About the Master of Arts with an NBCT:

  • 10 one-month online courses
  • Groups of 15 DoDEA teachers are eligible for a 15 percent reduction on tuition
  • No GRE; Portfolio vs. Thesis; Financial Aid
  • Develop the National Board Portfolio (your thesis) during classes
  • Option available to submit your portfolio to NBPTS for scoring to earn National Board Certification

To join this cohort, follow these FOUR steps:

1. View the Program Information Video and additional information on the Master of Arts Program page (if you attended a face-to-face or online information meeting, you can skip this step).

2. Go to the Program Facts page.  View the Program Facts presentation and review the cohort schedule(s).

3. Download and review the information in the Graduate Application Packet.

4. If you are ready to apply to join the NBC  Master’s program cohort, go to the “Applicant Verification” page listed below for the month you wish to start.  Complete the verification form (be sure to choose one of the options listed on the Applicant Procedures document from the application packet indicating how you will complete and submit your application fee).


For more information, download the cohort flyer below
, or contact Program Ambassador Joanna or cohort organizer Amanda.

Military-Connected Students

The National University Professional Teaching Development Center is committed to supporting our military-connected students, including military personnel, dependents, and Department of Defense members.  Please join us for a special online presentation: “Unique Challenges Facing Military-Connected Students,” hosted by National Board Certified Teachers Amanda Trimillos and Sean McCarthy. This webinar is designed to provide a foundation and understanding of the unique challenges military-connected student face throughout their education career and offer insight on how to best support the students through these unique challenges.  To register, please visit our Online Information Meeting page.

National University joined partnerships in the White House initiative Educate the Educators to:  Prepare educators to serve military-connected students. This initiative is vital because over 1.3 million military-students can be found in every school district.  If you teach in a military connected school or have military-connected students in your classroom, this webinar is a CAN’T MISS opportunity.  If you or a colleague were unable to attend, below is the information presented, including the PowerPoint and video archive from the webinar.  You can also contact Program Ambassador Amanda for more information.

Resources and Links:

NU Military Program Brochure

NBC Master of Arts Program Information Page

NBC Master of Arts Join a Cohort Page

Military Cohort Flier

DoDEA Cohort Page

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Military-Connected Cohort Page

National University Veteran’s Affairs Department

Military Child Education Coalition Summer 2012 published study:
www.militarychild.org and
www.militarychild.org/blog/emc21

Ask Aunt Peggy

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Achieving the Common Core

Thomas Fordham Institute: Standards Central

Military K-12 Partners (DoDEA/School Liaison Officer)

National Military Family Association

Educator’s Guide to the Military Child During Deployment

AACTE American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (MIC3)

United Through Reading

USO Support

Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families

Sesame Street Military Toolkit

Military Family Books (offering a special 10% discounts for our members.  Use NBCT2013 as code)

Join Us for an Online Information Meeting!

Our online information meetings are an easy and convenient way to get more information about National Board Certification and our degree programs.  The presentations include information on:

  • The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • The National Board tools and processes, including Take One!
  • Our master’s degree programs that integrate the National Board Certification process
  • Graduate credit available for candidates who do not require a master’s degree
  • Additional support offered through the National University Professional Teaching Development Center

Get your questions answered from the comfort of your own home at a time that works for you!  Online Information Meetings are scheduled weekly.  Choose a time below that works for you–all you need to join is a computer with internet access. If you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting, a link to a meeting recording can be emailed to you to view at your convenience (video recordings are available a few hours after the end of the live session).

Upcoming Online Information Meetings:
Tuesday, March 13, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

Tuesday, March 27, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

Monday, April 2, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

Thursday, April 5, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

Tuesday, April 10, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

Tuesday, April 17, 6pm PDT (9pm EDT)

**More meetings will be scheduled soon!

To join one of these meetings, complete the registration form below.  You will receive an email with a link to this meeting and instructions on how to participate (it is recommended that you use a personal or hotmail email address below if your district firewall could block your confirmation email with instructions).  Please register at least 12 hours prior to the start time to ensure your request can be processed–if you do not receive a confirmation email, go to this Access the Meeting link at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the session to join.

If you have any questions about the sessions or problems submitting the registration form below, please email Sean.

Save the Dates: Join Us for the 2013 NBCT Reception and Symposium!

Join us for the 2013 NBCT Reception to recognize and celebrate our National Board Certified Teachers and Candidates.  This event  will take place on Saturday, June 8, from 5:00-8:00pm at the National University headquarters in San Diego.  Enjoy an evening of relaxation, presentations and appetizers in the company of accomplished educators and guests who share in their commitment to provide schools and students with highly effective teachers and principals who impact student achievement.

You may RSVP individually or as a district team (NBCTs, principal, school board member, union officer, future NBCT).  Forward a link to this page or the flyer, which can be downloaded below..

There will also be special  sessions on June 8, 9 and 10 for NBCTs, Candidate Support Providers, NU faculty members,future educators, and other stakeholders.  See the Distinguished Educators Symposium and Reception Agenda (coming soon) for more details.

Please RSVP for these by emailing Bonnie :

Access, download, and view these selections for event descriptions, times, and dates:

Reception and Special Events Combined Invitation

Map & Directions

Hotel Information

Upon receipt of your online RSVP you will receive an e-mail confirmation.  If you have additional inquiries, feel free to call the us at 858.642.8386.

We look forward to seeing you on June 8, 9, 10, or on all three days!!

Ronarae Adams,
NBCT Program Director and Lead Faculty

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.”–Wilfred Peterson

NU NB Leadership Center Mission

The National University National Board Leadership Center believes that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) represent accomplished educators who are role models of excellence in teaching, learning and leadership.

This excellence occurs through continuous learning and collaboration and alignment.  Performance assessment and evidence of excellence is driven by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), national professional learning standards (Learning Forward) and national content standards for students (Common Core).

Our work and service will promote and support this purposeful alignment in philosophy and efforts so that improved professional performance levels will significantly increase student achievement and well-being in any learning environment.

Military Personnel and Veterans–Join Our New MAT Cohort!

National University’s program is offered online with optional study group meetings. A portfolio of your work with the students you teach is developed during your courses and allows you to “show case” and apply your skills and knowledge.  This portfolio serves as your master’s thesis, and its inquiry-based nature customizes the program to your classroom.  Five of the 10 courses are devoted to developing each part of your portfolio, which means that 5 of your master’s courses will directly relate to and impact your teaching and your students.

Join this cohort that is being developed exclusively for military personnel and veterans!

You have a choice of submitting the portfolio for scoring by the National Board, as desired (we align the NBCT submission dates to match your coursework). If you choose to submit your portfolio for scoring, NBCT will distinguish you as a teacher leader in the field of education.

Additional online and face-to-face support is available for active NBCT candidates, including those who do not require a master’s degree.  As a member of the cohort, you are pre-approved to join My eCoach NBCT online support community for $35.

About the Master of Arts with an NBCT:

  • 10 one-month online courses
  • Groups of 15 military personnel and veterans are eligible for special tuition rates (see below)
  • No GRE; Portfolio vs. Thesis; Financial Aid
  • Develop the National Board Portfolio (your thesis) during classes
  • Option available to submit your portfolio to NBPTS for scoring to earn National Board Certification

Military Tuition

As of October 1, 2010, military tuition rates are:

Online Course – Graduate $981
Graduate (per quarter unit) $218

In addition to military tuition assistance, you may qualify to apply for veteran’s benefits under existing veteran’s programs. National University also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Department of Defense’s standardized Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of service members’ professional and personal self-development goals. The TA policy for the current fiscal year allows active duty service members to receive tuition assistance of $4,500 per year.

Note that some service branches have established specific guidelines or limits for their members that do not mirror the standard policy. Please check with your Education Services Officer to determine the benefits available to you. For more information on Tuition Assistance, visit the DANTES website at www.dantes.doded.mil.


To join this cohort, follow these FOUR steps:

1. View the Program Information Video and additional information on the Master of Arts Program page (if you attended a face-to-face or online information meeting, you can skip this step).

2. Go to the Program Facts page.  View the Program Facts presentation and review the cohort schedule(s).

3. Download and review the information in the Graduate Application Packet.

4. If you are ready to apply to join the NBC  Master’s program cohort, go to the “Applicant Verification” page listed below for the month you wish to start.  Complete the verification form (be sure to choose one of the options listed on the Applicant Procedures document from the application packet indicating how you will complete and submit your application fee).


For more information, download the cohort flyer below
, or contact cohort organizer Amanda.

Vista, California NBCT Christi Van Wyhe

Today we are profiling NBCT Christi Van Wyhe (AYA English Language Arts).  Christi, who just certified this past year, is finishing her 7th year of teaching.  After starting out with the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, she has been at Vista High School for the past 6 years.  Christi taught English classes exclusively for the first 6 years of her career, but this year decided to take on the challenge of English Language Development (ELD), teaching ELD 3 and a 9th grade support class for long term English Learners (LTELs).

Christi’s interest in becoming a National Board Certified Teacher goes all the way back to her student teaching days.

“My master teacher from my first student teaching experience happened to mention one day that she was getting her National Board,” she explained.   “When she mentioned the certification was portable to other states, my ears instantly perked. I was a single mom looking for options and needed to know that if California got too expensive, I could go elsewhere if needed.”

Though she kept that information in mind, it wasn’t until about 2 years ago when another colleague introduced the National Board to her district that Christi decided to actively seek certification.

“By this time, I had been teaching 6 years, and I was getting a little negative, particularly due to the political and economic climate in my district. When I decided to focus on my teaching, the one thing I had control over, I dove right into National University’s Masters program with a specialization in National Board Certification. It was by far the best professional decision I have ever made.”

Christi believes that the process has had a huge impact on her teaching, causing her to “address the areas I already knew I was weak in.”  She found that the process helped her fine-tune her teaching and led her to take more risks, make changes, and try new things.

“It literally transformed my teaching and my classroom,” Christi stated. “Best of all, my attitude changed, and I remembered why I became a teacher.”

Despite the challenge she was already facing in completing her portfolio and preparing for the assessment center exercises, Christi requested to go to ELD in the middle of her board certification process. “That’s the funny thing about getting certified—it causes you to think and do crazy things you’d never dream of. I had been teaching Honors students the past 5 years and decided to take my skills to those who needed it most.”

Christi remarked that teaching ELD was the 2nd best professional decision she ever made: “I love the students, and I love the professional challenge. I love it so much that I’m seriously considering getting another certification in English as a New Language. And that’s the 2nd crazy idea this program is responsible for. I need to improve my skills in ELD and what better way to do that then to use National Board as a road map. I could do it my way and eventually figure it out, but if I know National Board already has it figured out, why wouldn’t I just do that? I want to work smarter, not harder—and those kids deserve it.”

According to Christi, becoming certified has had a profound impact on her professionally. It has inspired her to continue to take on professional challenges, both in her classroom and beyond. She also values the support and experience of her NBCT colleagues who are guiding her through this process of impacting change at her school and teaching her how to lead.

“It’s like I’ve been lit on fire,” she said. “My desire to share the experience with my colleagues and my site has compelled me to speak up and out.”

She recently submitted a proposal to her district for Take One! to be used for professional development next year and has also been collaborating with colleagues in writing a grant to help make this happen. Christi explained that she has also been having much needed conversations with her principal about the direction her school is going, trying to educate him about how National Board can help them meet their goals as a site.  The changes she was experiencing as a professional made these collaborations possible.

“It wasn’t my certification that caused others to take notice; it was how the certification transformed me that caught their attention,” Christi asserted. “I am not the same teacher I was before the program—and I’m glad. I was headed down a dark, cynical road.”

“Knowing the value and impact National Board has had on my teaching motivated me to speak out and share it with my administration and district. I was compelled to speak and be proactive,” she said.  “When I first said yes to National Board, I felt like I was caught in a wind tunnel that kept propelling me forward; I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. After I received certification, I had a similar experience with professional development. I deeply believe in this program and its potential to transform teachers and schools. I cannot let it rest. I am currently having discussions with administration and my district about the possibility of using Take One! as an option for professional development next year. And if it doesn’t happen next year, then I will try the following year.”

“That’s one more thing I never dreamt of: trailblazing a path for quality teaching and increased student learning at my site, let alone my district,” Christi remarked.  “All I wanted was to teach.

Christi encourages anyone who is in need of a “professional makeover” to take the National Board challenge: “It will be the most exciting journey of your professional life with no regrets!”

NUPTDC at This Week’s CTA Good Teaching Conference

NUPTDC will be at the CTA Good Teaching Conference-South in Garden Grove next weekend. Stop by our table in the exhibitors hall to hear about our new MAT-NBC cohort for California Teacher’s Association members. This cohort is specially designed for CTA members who will receive a 15% tuition reduction when joining a 15-member cohort.  Find out more at this link: CTA MA-NBC Cohort.

So Your District Doesn’t Support National Board Certification? Here’s How to Change That!

Erik Amerkiner (EAYA Career and Technical Education) wasn’t satisfied with his district’s reaction to his becoming National Board Certified this year.  Sure, his principal said, “Great!” and his superintendent honored him at a board meeting as his district’s first NBCT.  But he didn’t feel they truly appreciated or understood the nature of his accomplishment.  So he decided a little self-promotion might be in order.  He invited the local newspaper to cover the school board meeting where he was to be recognized and receive a certificate from the district.  They featured a photo and an article (which he had to write himself) in the next edition of the paper.  It may not seem like much, but this article changed the way his district viewed and valued National Board Certification.

First, teachers from the district started getting in touch with Erik to find out more about the certification process.  He now hopes that there will be a cohort of National Board candidates at his district and Ventura County who were inspired by the article.

Second, he contacted his teacher’s association to let them know about his experience and inform them about what National Board Certification.  They were highly interested, recognizing the value of the professional development built into the National Board process, and the need to promote the benefits to the district and its teachers and students of having more NBCTs.  As a result of these efforts, the association worked with the district on a new contract that recognizes and supports NBCTs with an annual stipend of $1000 paid each of the 10 years of certification, and retroactive to the previous school year.  This is a huge achievement and instrumental in inspiring more district teachers to pursue certification.

So if your district isn’t supporting National Board Certification sufficiently (or at all), follow Erik’s example and make it happen.  A little self promotion never hurts!

For more information, visit Erik’s webiste at http://erikamerikaner.com

21st Century NBCT Blog in eCoach

If you are an eCoach member, please check out the 21st Century NBCT blog.  Go to our Accomplished Teaching and Learning team and click on the “Blog” tab.  This blog is at the bottom of the page.  Some of the latest posts include using Skype and Google Voice in the classroom.

Using technology is increasingly important for engaging our students.  It is an essential component of the NBCT renewal process, and important for first-time certification in many certificate areas.

The blog also gives you an opportunity to share how you are using technology to engage students.