Since its inception in the Fall of 2005, the SAU Master of Education in Teaching degree has helped 18 teachers pass their National Board Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This is a pass rate of 82 percent for SAU MEdT students. The national pass rate is around 50 percent. Furthermore, only 3-4 percent of U.S. teachers achieve this recognition.
As the capstone project of SAU's MEdT degree, students are required to produce a portfolio to apply for National Board certification. In four separate entries they must describe, analyze, and reflect on their practice, detailing specific student work and submitting videotapes of their teaching as evidence that they have met the NB standards for their area.
Those who submit their portfolios to the National Board for evaluation must also take six assessment tests in their particular content and developmental areas at a Pearson testing center. In recognition of the benefits of this professional development, the State of Iowa has reinstated compensation for those teachers who go through this rigorous process and achieve certification. When asked to describe the SAU MEdT degree, one student used the following words: "eye-opening, challenging, inspiring, relevant and essential."
NBPTS was founded in 1987 with the mission to "advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers."