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North Carolina Alternative Certification Programs

If you’re looking to become a teacher in North Carolina but hold a bachelor’s degree in a different field, there are several options available in the state that will allow you to become a certified teacher in a short period of time. Here is a look at what the programs are all about and what you need to know to apply.

Program Name: North Carolina Lateral Entry Teachers

Program Overview

  • The North Carolina Lateral Entry Teachers program allows prospective teachers to teach in the classroom while taking the courses required to become a permanent certified teacher.
  • The hiring school or school district is responsible for enabling prospective teachers to become a certified teacher through this program.
  • Program participants attend one of the Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) to complete this program.
  • Prospective teachers complete the coursework at state and private universities and must take a minimum of six semester hours to remain active in the program.

Eligibility and How to Apply
Candidates interested in participating in the program must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in an education-related subject from an accredited institution. In lieu of a relevant bachelor’s degree, candidates may substitute 24 credit hours in a core subject.
  • Have at least a 2.5 GPA or five years of experience in a relevant field. PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, ACT and SAT scores may be substituted for some of these qualifications.
  • Obtain employment with a North Carolina school district.
  • Apply at an approved institution where they plan to complete the required coursework.

Financial Information
The cost of the program varies depending on the institution.

Program Name: North Carolina Teacher Corps (NCTC)

Program Mission and Overview
The North Carolina Teacher Corps program recruits, selects, trains and retains potential teachers for the North Carolina school system. The program allows prospective teachers to gain hands-on teaching experience in the classroom while completing coursework to obtain licensure.

Candidates will complete:

  • In-person or online pre-employment training in spring.
  • A three-week professional development program in the summer.
  • Targeted professional development sessions on four Saturdays through the year.
  • Required coursework.
  • Teaching in a high-needs school for at least two years.
  • PRAXIS II tests.

Eligibility and How to Apply
Candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or 24 semester hours in an education subject area from an accredited institution, or pass the PRAXIS II content test.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Not have a teaching license in any state.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to teaching.

Candidates who are interested in applying can find more information on the North Carolina Public Schools site.

Financial Information

  • Candidates in this program work as full-time teachers, earning a salary and qualifying for full benefits.
  • Costs of the program depend on the approved institution candidates choose to attend.
  • This program covers the costs of the PRAXIS testing and reimburses travel costs in certain situations.

Program Name: North Carolina Innovative Statewide Program to Improve the Recruitment of Educators (NC INSPIRE)

Program Mission and Overview
The NC INSPIRE program works with high-needs local education agencies to provide competent teachers in school districts that are suffering from teacher shortages. NC INSPIRE participants earn teaching licensure while completing coursework that will lead to a master’s degree. Candidates start with the five-day summer institute and continue with college-level coursework, professional development courses and hands-on teaching in the classroom.

Eligibility and How to Apply
Candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Certain areas have additional qualifications, such as:
  • Mathematics – Have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or 24 semester hours of mathematics coursework with grades of C or better, or pass the PRAXIS II in mathematics.
  • Science – Have a bachelor’s degree in science or 24 semester hours of science coursework with grades of C or better, or pass the PRAXIS II in science.
  • Special Education – Have a bachelor’s degree in any area and pass the required PRAXIS II tests.
  • Have at least a 2.8 GPA.
  • Commit to working in a high-needs school in math, science or special education for at least three years.
  • Complete the GRE or MAT graduate school tests.
  • Apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
  • Obtain employment at a high-needs North Carolina school.

Interested candidates can apply for this program on the University of North Carolina site.

Financial Information
Candidates are responsible for tuition and fees charged by the institution where they choose to complete their coursework. In-state candidates receive a discount on tuition.

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