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Lateral Entry Teachers

*The lateral entry pathway will be replaced by the “Residency Model” pathway (§ 115C.270.20.a.5). The residency model is currently available for those interested (please see below for the specific requirements for this license pathway).

The Residency License as defined in (§ 115C.270.20.a.5) as:

A one-year license, renewable twice, that meets both of the following requirements:

  1. Is requested by the local board of education and accompanied by a certification of supervision from the recognized educator preparation program in which the individual is enrolled.
  2. The individual for whom the license is requested meets all of the following requirements:
    1. Holds a bachelor's degree.
    2. Has either completed coursework relevant to the requested licensure area or passed the content area examination relevant to the requested licensure area that has been approved by the State Board.
    3. Is enrolled in a recognized educator preparation program.
    4. Meets all other requirements established by the State Board, including completing preservice requirements prior to teaching.

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 during this time.

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

Lateral Entry Mini-Conference: Lateral Entry Mini-Conference / Wresa


Graduate Teaching Certificate programs available from schools in North Carolina


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



*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. 

*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:
                                        General Curriculum Math Subtest: Test Preparation Course