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National Board Certification

To ensure that every student is taught by an accomplished teacher, it is important to look at opportunities for quality professional growth. The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has designed National Board Certification to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers. There are more than 118,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) throughout the nation, with nearly 500 from Michigan. National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

What is National Board Certification?

National Board certification is a certificate of achievement issued to teachers who have met the high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do as established by NBPTS. Founded in Michigan in 1987 and now located in Washington, D.C., the NBPTS provides voluntary certification for teachers that is a nationally recognized, distinguishing hallmark of the profession.

Please note: This certificate is not a nationally accepted certificate to be used in lieu of a state-issued certificate or license to teach.

Benefits of National Board Certification

Michigan recognizes the rigor and commitment to advancing student learning and achievement that is involved in achieving the National Board Certificate. To that end, National Board certification may result in one of the following advantages for holders of a Michigan teaching certificate:

  • Teachers may earn up to a total of 150 SCECHs if they complete the program and receive National Board Certification. Once completed, the NBPTS indicator is added to a Michigan Teaching Certificate.  To obtain SCECHs for the process (whether achieved or not) search for Michigan Education Association (MEA) or Michigan Federation of Teachers in the SCECH Catalog and contact the SCECH coordinator affiliated with any of their offerings.
  • Extend the years of validity of the Michigan Professional Teaching Certificate to match the expiration date of the National Board Certificate (NOTE: The validity cannot be matched on the Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate). 
  • Meet the teacher leader requirement needed to obtain the optional Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate.

Additional benefits include:

  • Improves student learning according to a vast majority of research.
  • Drives equity and excellence for students, especially in high-need contexts.
  • Financial Incentives: A number of local school districts and professional organizations recognize National Board Certification with increased financial opportunities.
  • Educational Credits: Universities frequently provide graduate credit to teachers pursuing National Board Certification. Check with your local university to see if graduate credit is a possibility for you.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Board certification can enable teachers to take on leadership roles such as instructional coaches and department chairs, advancing careers while staying in the classroom.
  • To learn more about benefits, visit NBPTS’ "Why Certify?" webpage.

Getting Started

National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas representing 16 different disciplines and four developmental levels and is applicable to most teachers in U.S. public schools.

To begin your journey towards National Board Certification, visit the Get Started webpage.

Updating a Michigan Teaching Certificate

To add the National Board indicator to a Michigan teaching certificate or accomplish any of the advantages or goals listed above, qualified educators may send an electronic copy of their NBPTS-issued certificate to the Office of Educator Excellence via They should include the name that appears on their Michigan teaching certificate and either the last four digits of their Social Security Number or their Michigan PIC code.


To learn more about National Board Certification, please visit the following:

Funding for the National Board Process

State funds will be available to support Michigan educators. Teachers who hold National Board Certification, or those in pursuit of this certification, may be eligible to receive grant money.

This project is currently under development. Applications are tentatively scheduled to open in mid-January 2024. Please visit the National Board Certification Grants webpage for information.