McDowell County Schools

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle

Lateral Entry Teachers

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 teachers who must complete the necessary educational coursework (and other requirements) for a professional educator’s license while teaching.

Teaching is a challenging and rewarding career. As a Lateral Entry teacher, you are coming to the classroom with many experiences in your content area. To make the shift to the educational environment can be difficult at times. Navigating the demands of the classroom as well as any coursework and testing you may be required to complete to gain a clear teaching license while also saving time for family and relaxation is not easy. However, the Human Resource Department along with your administrators and mentors are here to offer assistance along your path.

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.
Lateral Entry Resources NCDPI Wiki

Graduate Teaching Certificate programs available from schools in North Carolina

Pathway to PracticeNC

Joint UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State Lateral Entry Teacher Program


The University of North Carolina, Wilmington is offering online, self-paced, continuing education courses. 


To learn more about courses offered through UNCA, please contact Brook Thompson: or 828-251-6304.

McDowell Technical Community College

Lateral Entry Courses for new teachers are NOW available!
Contact Rhonda Steele at McDowell Technical Community College 828-652-0654 or for more information.

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:

Praxis Test Prep Materials
Pearson Test Prep Materials
WRESA Online Course