National Board Certification Support Program

National Board Certification Support Program


Welcome to Gonzaga University, where we are committed to training quality preservice candidates and provide continuing professional development activities for experienced teachers. Because of this GU supports participating teachers who are seeking National Board Certification through all aspects of the certification process in order to ensure that National Board candidates successfully reach their professional goals. Gonzaga has successfully supported over 225 teacher candidates over the last three years. Feel free to contact Sharon Straub, Program Director, with any questions about National Certification: or 509-313-3662.


National Certification is a rigorous, year-long professional experience that is designed to recognize accomplished teachers. At the core of the National Board process are standards that describe the highest level of teaching in different disciplines and with students of different developmental levels. These standards represent a consensus among accomplished teachers and other educational experts about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. NBPTS standards for all 25 certificate areas can be found at

Teachers who have participated in National Board Certification have overwhelmingly stated it is the most powerful professional development experience of their careers. They say the experience changes them as professionals and that through the process they deepen their content knowledge and develop, master, and reflect on new approaches to working with their students.


The assessment process for National Board Certification requires candidates to complete two major components: a portfolio of classroom practice including samples of student work and videotapes of teacher instruction, and an assessment of content knowledge administered at a computer-based testing center. It is estimated that the certification process will take the better part of a school year and involve a total of 200-400 hours of work outside the classroom.


Gonzaga University is committed to offering small, discussion rich cohort groups that meet regularly with trained National Board facilitators. We attempt to arrange our groups with great care to candidate proximity and certificate choice, servicing Eastern Washington with an emphasis on Spokane and vicinity. Our program components offer:

  • a scope and sequence of cohort group activities that align with WEA's Jump Start
  • approximately 40 hours of meeting time with candidates in small cohort groups that meet every 2-4 weeks from August through April (clock hours available)
  • scheduled meetings set by cohort participants
  • an opportunity to experience a ratio of 5 to 6 candidates for 1 nationally certified teacher facilitator, depending on location and facilitator availability
  • an informal professional growth setting and connections with other candidate colleagues in both like and different certification areas
  • multiple portfolio readings of candidate written work for maximum input and feedback
  • an online support program available for candidates living outside our service area
  • retake support for candidates who do not certify at no extra cost


January - June Candidates apply for Washington’s Conditional Loan through OSPI and register for WEA’s Jump Start program.
July - August Candidates who have chosen GU as their support provider will be organized into cohort groups. Facilitators will contact candidates to arrange a cohort introduction/orientation to the process, set meeting times, provide an overview of expectations and begin the process of fulfilling National Board expectations.
September Begin regular cohort meetings.  Organize routines for creating and sharing portfolio work with cohort colleagues.  Continue to refine or begin Entry 4: Documented Accomplishments.
October - December Regular cohort meetings that clarify and emphasize National Board requirements.  Begin classroom based entries 1, 2, & 3, review videotaping procedures, share in-process work and study the NB standards with other cohort colleagues.
January - March Regular cohort meetings that focus on gathering and analyzing student evidence, writing classroom based entries and sharing rough draft work with cohort colleagues.  Portfolios submitted to National Board on March 31st.
April - June Candidates prepare for Assessment Center exercises that evaluate six areas of content knowledge related to their certificate area.
December Candidates notified of certification status

Becoming part of GU's support services will require a completed registration form (link on left-hand side of page) and payment of $650.00. Included in that fee is a $50.00 non-refundable registration fee.  Pay by personal check or money order, made out to "Gonzaga University-NBPTS," for $650.00.  Unfortunately, we are unable to take credit card payments at this time.

Cohort placement will not occur until you have submitted your completed registration form and payment of $650.00. Send your completed registration form and personal check payment to Sharon Straub at the address below:

Sharon Straub
Director Professional Certification/National Board Certification
Department of Teacher Education
502 E. Boone Ave.
Gonzaga University


A full refund of $650.00 will be returned if written notification of withdrawal is submitted by October 1st. A partial refund of $325.00 will be granted if a written request is made by December 30th. No refunds granted after December 31st. Submit withdrawal requests to Sharon Straub by email at Contact Sharon if you have any questions regarding withdrawal policies (509-313-3476).


For those candidates who do not certify their first year, Gonzaga will support retake effort at no extra cost. We will provide a Nationally Certified Facilitator to consult with and submit retake entries for feedback. Contact Sharon at 509-313-3476 or at

National Board Certification Support Program
Sharon Straub - Director Professional Certification/National Board Certification
(509) 313-3476