Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Robert Millward, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alison Rutter, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Douglas Lare, Ed.D.


This descriptive study identifies: 1) the factors which motivated Pennsylvania teachers to begin the National Board Certification process; 2) the factors of persistence which led teachers to successful achievement of National Board Certification and; 3) the personal transformation which took place in the process. Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in the study. The study population was 497 teachers in Pennsylvania who successfully attained National Board Certification. The group was asked to complete a survey in which they rated factors that motivated them to pursue National Board Certification. The study included responses from 88 teachers. A sample group of 15 of the survey participants was randomly selected to be interviewed by the researcher to gain an understanding of the factors which lead a candidate to persist to successful attainment of National Board Certification. The study found that teachers in Pennsylvania were motivated to begin National Board Certification by professional improvement, financial incentives and validation of their teaching practice, with the strongest motivating factor being professional improvement. Mentoring and peer relationships were strong factors of persistence to complete the certification, as was an increased desire to grow professionally, indicating a shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivating factors. Research of National Board Certification related to the impacts of leadership on recruitment, mentoring programs verses independent completion of the certification process, and the impact of National Board Certification on student achievement are topics recommended for future study.