Appalachian State University has topped the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ list of “Top 50 Alma Maters by Total Number of NBCTs” for the fifth consecutive year with 2,178 alumni having earned the national credential.
Additionally, North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the number of teachers who have become National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) — since 1987, 23,090 educators have earned the certification. In 2020, 467 North Carolina teachers gained the endorsement.
“We are proud to continue to lead the nation’s public and private universities and colleges with the highest number of alumni with the National Board certification credential,” said Dr. Melba Spooner, dean of Appalachian’s Reich College of Education (RCOE).
“Our alumni place an intrinsic value on being leaders in their field and educators who continuously demonstrate the willingness and ability to engage in reflective practice,” continued Spooner. “Certainly, during this year that has presented extraordinary challenges, our alumni have demonstrated their commitment of teaching excellence with resilience and distinction.”
“Our alumni place an intrinsic value on being leaders in their field and educators who continuously demonstrate the willingness and ability to engage in reflective practice,” said Dean Melba Spooner.
In August 2020, the RCOE’s Public School Partnership began a program to help support the ongoing achievement of North Carolina teachers, and specifically App State alumni. The NBCTApps support program provides monthly professional development and mentoring for NBCT candidates.
“This program helps lay the foundation for a commitment to life-long learning through an initiative of pairing our nationally board-certified alumni with aspiring teachers in the field who are pursuing this advanced certification, which in turn creates a connection for our alumni to give back to the university and the profession,” noted Spooner.
“We are committed to continued support for those considering this next step in their professional careers,” said Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm, Director of the RCOE’s Public School Partnership.
The national certification is based on a rigorous performance-based assessment that typically takes from one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.
Nationally, 2,576 teachers earned certification in 2019-2020, raising the total among all states to over 128,000. In addition, 2,484 teachers nationally achieved recertification, including 643 board-certified teachers in North Carolina.
North Carolina accounts for nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of all teachers nationally who are certified by the teaching standards organization. Nationally certified teachers also account for a larger percentage of the total teaching force in North Carolina than any other state, with more than one of every five having earned the credential.
Nine North Carolina universities and colleges were named among the top 50 schools with the highest number of alumni with the national credential:
- No. 1 — Appalachian State University (2,178 alumni).
- No. 2 — East Carolina University (2,149 alumni).
- No. 4 — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1,490 alumni).
- No. 6 — University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1,416 alumni).
- No. 8 — University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1,284 alumni).
- No. 14 — North Carolina State University (1,012 alumni).
- No. 18 — Western Carolina University (929 alumni).
- No. 19 — University of North Carolina at Wilmington (924 alumni).
- No. 46 — Meredith College (477 alumni).
Appalachian was founded in 1899 as a teachers college and continues to have one of the largest teacher education programs in North Carolina. School systems in all 100 counties of the state employ at least one graduate of Appalachian’s Reich College of Education.
Additional information about the national certification is available here.