Alternative Teaching Certification Programs in North Carolina

Sure you've heard of alternative certification, but are you familiar with lateral entry? That's North Carolina's term for entering the teaching profession through an alternate route. Lateral entry is authorized through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and the department website (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/licensure/lateral/) lays out a clear path to the classroom.

Individuals who wish to acquire a lateral entry license must have a bachelor's degree or above from a regionally accredited college or university. Additional requirements are detailed on the website.

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

Lateral entry candidates with expertise in the areas of math, science and special education likely will find high demand for their skills as the U.S. Department of Education reports that North Carolina currently has a shortage of teachers in those areas.

Regardless of their content area, lateral entry candidates who want a helping hand on their journey into the classroom should consider working with one of the state's Regional Alternative Licensing Centers. RALCs don't take the place of an approved college course of study, but, rather, act as a complement by prescribing an individualized course of study, evaluating applications, and providing training opportunities through local school systems. RALCs are located in Charlotte/Cabarrus, Fayetteville, Elm City, and Catawba. There is no fee, and individuals may complete coursework through the regionally accredited college or university of their choice.

If you're looking for an even faster path to full licensure and are willing to teach in one of North Carolina's high-need school districts or charter schools, NC Teach II (http://www.northcarolina.edu/ncteach/index.htm) was designed for you. Since its inception in 2000, 1300 teachers working in 85 counties throughout the state have received professional licensure through NC Teach, according to the College Foundation of North Carolina.

To be eligible, candidates must be accepted into the NC Teach program by a qualified host university. Candidates may then begin teaching full-time in an eligible public or charter school while continuing to attend NC Teach classes and seminars at host universities to earn full professional licensure, usually within one year. Be aware that NC Teach candidates also must sign a letter of intent to remain in the high-need school for three years.

Schools in North Carolina:

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