Alternative Teaching Certification in North Carolina


North Carolina’s alternative route to teaching licensure is known as Lateral Entry. This program allows those who have a degree begin teaching right away while receiving training to become a fully licensed teacher. Your area of licensure must correspond to your field of study/academic major.

Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in North Carolina.

After meeting education, examination, and experience requirements as detailed below, you will be hired by a North Carolina school system and receive a Provisional Lateral Entry license. You will then begin teacher education studies either at a state-approved college/university, or through a Regional Alternative Licensing Center. You must complete at least six semester hours per year, and all coursework and Praxis II exams must be completed within three years. Once all requirements have been met, you will be recommended by your college/university or RALC for a Standard Professional 1 Educator’s License.

Alternative Certification Requirements

Education Requirements

You must have at least a bachelor’s degree in the area in which you wish to teach (at least 24 semester hours in your core area) from a regionally accredited institution in order to enter the Lateral Entry License program. Additionally, you must have a 2.5 GPA or requisite experience or examination scores that negate this requirement – see below.


If you do not have a 2.5 GPA or five years of experience, you must have a passing score on the Praxis I Basic Skills Exam (or a total score of 1100 on the SAT, or 24 on the ACT with a 3.0 GPA). If you do not have at least 24 semester hours of education in your core area, you must pass the corresponding Praxis II exam for that area. After you complete the program, you must pass the Praxis II exam for your content area before full teacher licensure will occur.


If you do not meet the 2.5 GPA requirement or Praxis I/SAT/ACT score, you must have at least five years of relevant experience in the field in which you plan to teach.

Criminal History Background Check

Before a North Carolina school can hire you to work under the Lateral Entry License program, you must undergo a statewide criminal history background check. The employing school will provide you with instruction on this process.

Contact Information

For more information on the Lateral Entry License program in North Carolina, contact the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Licensure Section at 919-807-3310 in state and 800-577-7994 out of state.