Licensure and Lateral Entry

  • What Is Lateral Entry?

    Lateral entry, an alternate route to teaching, allows a school system to hire someone with at least a bachelor's degree as a teacher, with the assumption that over the next three years the person being hired will complete a teacher education program through a college, university, or RALC.  Individual plans of study are prescribed for lateral entry teacher who must complete the necessary educational coursework (and other requirements) for a professional educator's license while teaching.

    The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) only issues lateral entry licenses at the request of the employing school system (i.e., individuals cannot request a lateral entry license on their own).  The RALC does not request or issue lateral entry licenses.

    Once the lateral entry license is cleared, individuals are eligible to add additional licensure areas based on appropriate testing or 24 semester hours of coursework.

    Expired Lateral Entry Licenses

    The State Board of Education passed a policy that allows individuals who did not complete the requirements of the lateral entry license to obtain another lateral entry license under certain conditions.  The policy reads as follows:

    "Individuals who do not fulfill the requirements of their lateral entry license within the three years they are initially given may be issued another lateral entry license provided:

    1.  They have passed the required licensure exam(s) for the speciality area in which the license will be issued and,

    2.  at least six years have lapsed since the prior lateral entry license was issued."

    Click here for more information on Lateral Entry/Residency Model License Pathways.

    Qualifying for a Lateral Entry License

    • Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited College or University and
    • Meet (1) of the criteria from each side below


    One of the following:   One of the following:
    Relevant degree   2.5 GPA
    or   or
    24 semester hours of course work in core area   five years of experience considered relevant by the employing LEA
    or   or

    Passing score on the NC Board of Education approvedlicensure esxams for the teaching area which include:

    • Praxis II – for the majority of license areas effective 07/01/14
    • Pearson testing - for Elementary Education effective 10/01/2014
    • Praxis II and Pearson – for Special Ed: General Curriculum effective 10/01/2014
    • the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) - for World Languages except English

    Passing scores on Praxis I/Core Academic Skills for Educators, or a total SAT score of 1100, or a total ACT score of 24 plus one of the following:

    • GPA of 3.0 in the major field of study or
    • GPA of 3.0 in all courses in senior year or
    • GPA of 3.0 on a minimum of 15 semester hours of courses completed within the last five years after the bachelor’s degree.  



    • Individuals must first be employed by a N.C. public school system that will request the lateral on behalf of the teacher


    • Upon receipt of a lateral entry license, further requirements will be outlined and must be satisfied within 3 years in order to qualify for a clear, Standard Professional I or II license.  If ALL lateral requirements are not satisfied within the 3 years initially granted, then there is an additional 3 year waiting period before another lateral entry license can be issued, provided the SBE approved licensure exam(s) are met.


    • Qualifying for a lateral entry license in Elementary Education OR Exceptional Children license areas require that the N.C. State Board of Education approved licensure exam(s) be passed prior to employment


    • Qualifying for a lateral entry license in English as a Second Language requires a degree in English, OR 24 semester hours in English OR Linguistics,OR passing the N.C. State Board of Education approved licensure exam(s)



    Lateral Entry Support

    Nash Regional Alternative Licensing Center

    Teresa A. McCall, Director
    3150 Coopers School Road
    Elm City, NC 27822

    Phone: 252-937-9085

    NC TEACH Director

    Alison Winzeler, Director

    Phone: (919) 513-2802



    North Carolina Central University

    Tracey L Daye-Wilson

    Director of Alternative Licensure Programs & Adjunct Professor


    NC INSPIRE Fellows Program

     UNC Center for School Leadership Development

    The University of North Carolina

     Alan Meyers, Director
    Phone: (919) 843-6743