Skip to main content


Congratulations on starting your journey toward National Board Certification!

The National Board Resource Center (NBRC) is here to help you make the most of this unique opportunity for professional learning from start to finish. We offer information and resources to candidates through all stages of the National Board Certification process.

Candidate Resources

Beginning the Certification Process

You can get started by reviewing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ (NBPTS) overview on the National Board Certification process. The evidence is clear: Board-certified teachers positively impact student learning. Certification opens doors, is incentivized financially and otherwise by many Illinois districts, helps you improve your practice, and has the outcome of helping your students learn more. The NBPTS can help you determine your eligibility and select an area of certification, and if you have any questions, the NBRC is here to answer them! The NBRC has compiled informational brochures on each of the areas of certification to help you make an informed decision, and the NBPTS provides many resources related to certificate-specific standards, component overviews, and important policy and procedural documents.

Illinois State Subsidy

The NBRC is thrilled to facilitate a fee subsidy program for first-time Illinois candidates for National Board Certification! Eligible Illinois teachers and counselors will be awarded $1,900 each by the State of Illinois through the NBRC at Illinois State University to be disbursed against the completion and submission of the four (4) components that make up the certification process.

Join a Cohort for Support

Certification is an involved process that requires mastery of a wide range of topics and skills! To help you engage with the content of each of the components and assist you with the process of certification, the NBRC runs a candidate support program that places candidates in small groups for guided sessions led by a carefully selected National Board Certified Candidate Cohort Facilitator (CCF).

The NBRC will send a Candidate Support Registration message via e-mail to all approved candidates. Candidate cohorts will be strategically and geographically grouped for virtual or face-to-face meetings. This support starts in September of each year and ends in May the following year and is provided through twelve (12) two-hour sessions.

Preparing for Assessment

The NBPTS National Board Certification process offers you, an experienced teacher, the opportunity to demonstrate that your knowledge, skills, and accomplished teaching practices meet high and rigorous standards. You must demonstrate your knowledge through one (1) computer-based assessment component and three (3) portfolio-styled components:

  • Computer-based assessment:
    • Component 1: Content Knowledge
  • Portfolio-styled components:
    • Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction
    • Component 3: Teaching Practice and Learning Environment
    • Component 4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner

The NBPTS provides general portfolio instructions as well as assessment center guidelines for Component 1.

Retake Subsidy

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) continues to show their support for the work Illinois National Board Candidates are doing by providing a Retake subsidy for Retake Candidates who completed and submitted ALL components (1-4) and received final scores for ALL components.

Retake candidates have two options: Retake immediately after the score release with a May (portfolio-styled components) and June (testing component) deadline or wait until the following school year (if more time is needed). The NBRC provides free virtual support for Retake Candidates.

Still Have Questions? We’re Here to Help!

The NBRC regularly lists and answers FAQs on our home page, and we are also available by e-mail and phone at (309) 438-1835 to answer any questions about the certification process. Please don’t be shy! Your feedback helps us continuously improve our support of all candidates. We are excited to get to know you and to help you on your journey toward National Board Certification!