Amie Snow

Amie Snow, director of curriculum and instruction at the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork, greets two young students as they enter the school for Open House on Aug. 22. Snow is a two-time graduate of Appalachian and her NBCT credential includes a generalist/middle childhood certification.

BOONE — Appalachian State University has been recognized — for the fourth consecutive year — as a national leader for the number of Reich College of Education alumni who are National Board Certified Teachers.

The university topped the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ 2019 list of “Top 50 Alma Maters by Total Number of NBCTs,” with 2,057 alumni having earned the national credential to date.

Additionally, North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the number of teachers who have become NBCT — 22,653 educators have earned the certification since 1987. In 2019, 710 North Carolina teachers gained the endorsement.

“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,” said Melba Spooner, dean of Appalachian’s RCOE. “Our alumni place an intrinsic value on being leaders in their field.”

“We also help lay the foundation for a commitment to life-long learning through an initiative of pairing our nationally board-certified alumni with our preservice teachers during student teaching, which in turn creates a connection for our alumni to give back to the university and the profession,” she said.

The national certification is based on a rigorous performance-based assessment that typically takes from 1-3 years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.

Nationally, 3,831 teachers earned certification in the 2018–2019 academic year, raising the total among all states to nearly 126,000. In addition, 4,783 teachers nationally achieved recertification, including 1,421 board-certified teachers in North Carolina.

North Carolina accounts for nearly one-fifth 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 more than one of every five having earned the credential.

Appalachian was founded in 1899 as a teachers college and continues to have one of the largest teacher education programs in the state. School systems in all 100 counties of the state employ at least one graduate of Appalachian’s RCOE.

To learn more about the Reich College of Education at ASU, visit

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