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North Carolina Teacher Certification

North Carolina is dedicated to its students. Over the last 10 years, school districts in the state have hired a total of 10,000 new teachers. The Tar Heel State ranks 10th in the nation in the total number of residents aged from five to 17 years old. As one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, North Carolina is interested in attracting teacher candidates who have 21st-century classroom and technology skills.

How to Get a North Carolina Teacher Certification

Beginning, out-of-state, and international teachers are required to receive a North Carolina Professional Educator's License. The state offers two levels of licenses:

  • Standard Professional 1 (SP1): For teachers with zero to two years of teaching experience, this license is valid for three years.
  • Standard Professional 2 (SP2): For teachers with more than three years of teaching experience, this license is valid for 5 years.

All candidates must successfully pass the PRAXIS II tests. Requirements for applicants include graduation from an approved North Carolina college or university teacher-preparation program.

Aspiring teachers who hold a bachelor's degree but haven't completed all the requirements for a teaching license may be eligible for the state's lateral entry program, which allows them to begin teaching while getting certified as a teacher in North Carolina. To qualify for the lateral entry professional educator's license, you must be sponsored by a school system within North Carolina.

Certification for Teachers Certified in Other States

Out-of-state applicants may qualify by graduating from a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)-approved school or out-of-state college with a National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) approval. Students who graduate from colleges and universities in states that maintain a reciprocal agreement with North Carolina are also eligible.

North Carolina Teacher Certification Renewal

At the end of your five-year Continuing License term, you may apply for renewal provided you have completed the required professional development credits of 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal classes taken during your first five-year term. Approved college courses, in-service workshops, and direct classroom experience can be combined for credit.