North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the number of teachers who have earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), with 616 additional teachers gaining the endorsement in 2017.
The NBPTS also ranked the top 50 public and private universities and colleges with the highest number of alumni with the national credential. Appalachian State University took the top spot for the second year in a row.
Nearly 21,500 teachers in North Carolina have attained national certification, which 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, 5,470 teachers earned certification in 2016-17, raising the total among all states to more than 118,000. In addition, almost 3,957 teachers across the nation achieved recertification, including 890 board-certified teachers in North Carolina.
North Carolina accounts for nearly one-fifth, or 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 21.6 percent having earned the credential.
Dr. Melba Spooner, dean of Appalachian’s Reich College of Education, commented on the achievement: “Since joining Appalachian’s Reich College of Education as dean, I have witnessed a commitment to excellence and collaboration among faculty and students and to rigorous and strong teacher preparation that supports and encourages lifelong learning and learners. Our ranking of first for NBCTs (National Board-certified teachers) two years in a row evidences these commitments.
“We are proud to lead the nation’s public and private universities and colleges with the highest number of alumni with the National Board certification credential. Our alumni embody the spirit of determination; they strive to make every classroom, not just better, but the best it can be for the students they teach and work with each day.”
Nine North Carolina universities and colleges were named among the top 50 schools with the highest number of alumni with the national credential:
- Appalachian State University ranked No. 1 (2,049 alumni)
- East Carolina University ranked second (2,027 alumni)
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked fourth (1,350 alumni)
- The University of North Carolina at Greensboro ranked fifth (1,335 alumni)
- The University of North Carolina at Charlotte ranked seventh (1,195 alumni)
- North Carolina State University ranked 18th (891 alumni)
- Western Carolina University ranked 20th (863 alumni)
- The University of North Carolina at Wilmington ranked 21st (826 alumni)
- Meredith College ranked 46th (442 alumni)
Appalachian State University was founded as a teachers college and continues to have one of the largest teacher education programs in North Carolina. School systems in all 100 North Carolina counties employ at least one Appalachian graduate.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.