Last Updated: January 09, 2022
What is ABCTE Certification?
ABCTE or the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is a non-profit organization that offers a certification program that allows bachelor’s degree and master’s degree holders to teach within the US. It is a popular certification program that is rated as one of the most affordable certification programs in the country. It is also known for having a flexible schedule and syllabus that caters to people from different fields of study.
The flexibility of the program allows students to complete the course while they are working or engrossed in other activities. Once they apply for the program, they will receive the study plan and the program checklist which they will be able to follow at their own discretion. The American Board has partnered with school districts to attract more students into the teaching profession. Students will be able to attend online information sessions as part of the course if they wish to get the details of the program they have enrolled for. The criterion for applying differs from state to state especially with respect to the GPA required which the student will be able to find from the official website.
Who Can Apply for ABCTE Certification?
This certification program is mostly chosen by candidates who have taken a break from their work or academic life and wish to enter the teaching profession. Candidates who wish to shift from one career field into another also take the course. Students who are completing their degree but do not wish to take a full teacher training program also opt for this certification course that lets them teach in 11 states within the US. Since the certification is also accepted by private schools anywhere in the US and international schools abroad, students mostly prefer to take this certification rather than complete a teacher’s training program.
The program has classes that are self-paced and fully online which allows candidates to complete the program while pursuing other professions. This increases the popularity of the certification since the career switch they wish to have will not have any year gap as they do the course and take the certification examination.
Eligibility Requirement for ABCTE Certification
The eligibility requirements include having a bachelor’s degree or above in the subject of the candidate. The degree should be from a university or college that is nationally or regionally accredited. Candidates will also have to complete a background verification before applying for the certification program. International candidates who wish to teach in the US will have to get a background check done that is in the form of a letter from the police or their government jurisdiction if they wish to apply for the certification program.
The eligibility requirements for applying to the ABCTE certification are-
- Completed Bachelor’s degree from nationally or regionally accredited institution/Complete the same in 6 months
- Educational Transcripts
- Clear Criminal Background Check
- Pass the PTK/Professional Teaching Knowledge
Program Options for ABCTE Certification
For 4 subjects of study, the American Board offers 2 program options that candidates can choose from. Candidates who have chosen either of these programs will be writing the same exams at the end of the program. They will also be receiving the same certification upon passing the examination. The two kinds of programs are-
- Standard- The standard program provides candidates with the information and study materials they require for all the subject areas that are offered for the ABCTE certification. Students will be provided with study materials, exam details, syllabus, and subject content from the area of their choosing. They will also receive details regarding the Professional Teaching Knowledge examination. The subjects only available in the Standard option are Chemistry, General Science, Elementary Education, History, and Physics.
- Premium- Candidates who have chosen the premium option will have the option to do so for 4 subjects. These subjects are Biology, English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Special Education. Students who have taken this option will receive additional study materials and practice tests. The option also contains a job counseling webinar that aims to guide the future prospects of students along with a workbook that can assist students in finding jobs.
Cost of ABCTE Certifications
The cost of the ABCTE certification differs according to the study plan the candidate chooses. The American Board provides two study plans which are the Standard and the Premium modes. The fee for both these programs are-
Students are encouraged to pay the fee as one full payment but at the same time the American Board allows students to pay the fee in instalments. Students who choose the Premium program will be able to take a 9-month instalment and students who choose the Standard program will be able to pay the fee in 3-month or 9-month instalments. In order to pay in instalments, students will have to email the American Board for assistance. They will not be able to receive any refunds once they have chosen the instalment form of fee payment.
| Program Fee ||$2850|
| Administrative Fee ||$160|
| Discounted Fee ||$2682|
| Fee per month ||$298|
| Program Fee ||$3050|
| Administrative Fee ||$160|
| Discounted Fee ||$2880|
| Fee per month ||$320|
Candidates who are paying the full amount in one go will be able to pay a promotional fee which can be as low as $1900. Students will be able to get an extension in completing the program if they pay a fee of $389.
the examination will cost an amount of $195 per exam.
Duration of ABCTE Certification
Since the ABCTE certification program is self-paced, students who have enrolled will be able to complete the course without any restriction for the duration. Most of the students take around 7 to 10 months to complete the program and pass the examination. But students who dedicate themselves to the program will be able to complete this program in as little as 2 months. Students will be able to take the final examination when they are ready.
Subject Areas Offered for ABCTE Certification
There are 10 subject areas offered in all by the American Board for the ABCTE certification. Candidates who are applying for a particular subject must ensure that the degree they have is in the same subject they have applied for. The state they are applying in will also determine the required grade in the subject that they will need for applying. The subjects offered are-
- Special Education
- Elementary Education
- Reading Endorsement
- English Language Arts
- General Science
Validity of ABCTE Certification
The ABCTE certification is accepted in 13 states across the US. The American Board has collaborated with different states which results in the different certification requirements. The subjects that are approved by the states differ from each other since some states have additional requirements in hiring teaching staff. These additional requirements include workshops and teaching training that the candidates have to complete before they can be employed in institutions. The states that accept the ABCTE certification include-
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Process to Obtain for ABCTE Certification
The procedure for applying for the program requires collecting the necessary educational transcripts and also completing the criminal background check by registering at the American Board. The steps include-
- Register- Candidates will be able to register for the program by visiting the American Board website and choosing either their state of choice or subject of choice. If the student opts for the subject-wise option, they will have to ensure that the state they want to work in accepts the subject of their choice.
- Coursework- Students will have to complete the coursework within a year. They will receive the necessary study materials and workbooks upon registering for the course.
- Take PTK Exam- Students will have to pass the Professional Teaching Knowledge examination which is also administered by the American Board if they want to attempt the ABCTE examination.
- Take the Content Mastery Exam- Upon completing the Professional Teaching Knowledge examination, students will be able to take the content mastery exam. They will be able to take multiple exams for different subjects as long as they have taken one PTK exam. Students will have to register separately if they want to take multiple exams.
- Receive Score- Upon completing the examination, students will be able to receive the results immediately except for the English Language Arts and Professional Teaching Knowledge since the exams are in MCQ format and since they are computerized. The results for ELA and PTK will be sent to the candidate in 4 to 6 weeks of completing the examination.
Retaking the Examination
Students who have failed the examination will be able to retake the examination 3 times by paying an additional fee of $195 per subject.