Lateral Entry Support

The Licensure Section of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is pleased to assist candidates for lateral entry with information on how to enter the teaching profession. Lateral entry is an "alternate" route to teaching for qualified individuals outside of the public education system. Lateral entry allows qualified individuals to obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away, while obtaining a professional educator's license as they teach. The NC Dept. of Public Instruction authorizes lateral entry professional educator's licenses on a provisional basis in licensure areas that correspond to the individual's academic study.

State Board Policy regarding non teacher education graduates

Qualifications for a Lateral Entry License

Testing requirements:

New testing requirements for all Elementary and Special Education: General Curriculum applicants went into effect October 1, 2014. Specific testing requirements for your licensure area can be found by clicking on one of the links below:

Elementary Education:
Special Education: General Curriculum: and
All other Licensure Areas:

Resources for those seeking Lateral Entry Teaching Positions:

NC INSPIRE program:

This is an alternative teacher preparation program designed to recruit, prepare, support, and license recent non-education major college graduates and mid-career professionals to teach high-need subjects in high-need schools in North Carolina.

Regional Alternative Licensure CENTER (RALC):

The Regional Alternative Licensing Centers were created by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) specifically to help lateral entry teachers in North Carolina achieve full professional educator's licensure. The centers assist teaching candidates by evaluating their applications, prescribing a course of study, recommending requirements they need in order to receive full professional educator's licensure, and clearing the license so that they become fully licensed. Candidates can take the necessary coursework at any of the state's colleges or universities.


The North Carolina STEM Teacher Education Program (NC STEP) is a cost-free, alternative teacher program for individuals who have an interest in becoming a teacher of STEM courses in a NC secondary school. To be eligible, applicants must have at least a four-year college degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics related field.


North Carolina Teachers of Excellence for All Children (NC TEACH) is designed to recruit, train, support, and retain mid-career professionals as they become licensed teachers in North Carolina.

Professional Development:
Below is a list of professional development modules located in Home Base, under the Professional Development tab. The list consist of
80+ hours from which a district may choose for a lateral entry teachers to complete. These modules can be utilized in conjunction with the local district’s lateral entry orientation process and are not intended to replace any existing orientation programs currently in progress.

Text Resources for Lateral Entry Teachers:
First Days of School and The Classroom Management Book by Harry Wong and video series
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Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites by Marcia Tate

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Why Didn’t I Learn This in College by Paula Rutherford

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Winning Year One: A Survival Guide by Carol Fuer

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