Campus: CSU, Fresno -- February 7, 2001

Fresno State Offers Mentoring Program For Teachers Who Seek National Certification

Teachers who want to gain National Board Certification, the highest standard for the teaching profession, now can turn to California State University, Fresno for help.

Fresno State is offering a new Mentoring Program for teachers interested in the certification, said Dr. Jeanie Behrend, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Technology.

In addition, teachers enrolled in Fresno State's Master's Degree program also can get mentoring assistance.

"We want to be a resource to help teachers in this region who'd like national certification," said Behrend. "Research shows that certified teachers have a higher degree of understanding of their students and are more adept in their teaching."

National Board Certification, a voluntary process established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes almost a year to complete.

Teachers must have a bachelor's degree, a valid teaching credential and three year's experience to seek certification.

Through the assessment process, teachers are required to document subject matter knowledge, provide evidence of effective teaching and demonstrate their ability to manage and measure student learning.

One of the newest teachers to receive certification is Charlynn Hughes, who teaches at Lincoln Elementary School in Lindsay. She's been with Lindsay Unified for seven years and currently is in a training year to become a Reading Recovery teacher.

"Achieving National Board Certification means a lot to me," said Hughes, who was among 4,719 primary and secondary teachers who completed the work during the 1999-2000 year. "It helps to validate the hard work I put into my profession. The process of achieving certification was difficult, but it was well worth it because it gave me an opportunity to examine what I do in the classroom and reflect upon why I do the things I do."

Hughes graduated from Fresno State in 1993 and the following year earned her teaching credential and Cross-Cultural Language Academic Certification.

Certification also carries a financial incentive. California teachers receive a one-time bonus of $10,000 and those who work in low-performing schools receive $20,000 over several years.

Teachers interested in Fresno State's mentoring program can contact Behrend at 278-0235 or

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