Office of Alternative Licensure

Western Carolina University's alternative licensure programs open the door for those who already have degrees and are ready for the challenge of teaching. Our programs are designed to recruit, train, and support recent college graduates, mid-career professionals, and retirees as they enter the teaching profession. 

As a student in Western's alternative licensure program, you will receive an individualized plan of study based on previous experience and education. Many opportunities to observe and work with public school master teachers are provided in our program. We have dedicated faculty with strong public school partnerships. And you’ll receive support and encouragement during those critical first years of teaching through our Center for the Support of Beginning Teachers (CSBT).

If you want to become a teacher but can’t leave your full-time job or if you’re already a lateral entry teacher, consider taking your classes online. Our online program was developed for working adults with all licensure courses offered completely online in the following areas: middle and secondary English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies as well as BK and K-12 special education.  

Want to Teach in NC through an Alternative Entry Program?  Here are the questions to ask:

** Upon successful completion of Western Carolina University's alternative licensure program and demonstrated proficiency in the NC Professional Teaching Standards, the university will submit a recommendation to the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for licensure. DPI reviews recommendations and determines eligibility to issue a teaching license. DPI may require additional information if the licensure applicant has earned a degree from another country, has citations, listed on criminal background check, etc.



Rachel Wike

Rachel Wike

Coordinator of Education Admissions & Distance Programs

Annie McCord

Annie McCord

Distance Education Advisor

Sarah Orr



Susan Dryman 

"Alternative Licensure at WCU is a great way to get mid-career professionals ready for the classroom. The biggest surprise to me was the emotional reward of teaching. I should have done this 15 years ago."

Susan Dryman
Erwin Middle School, Asheville


Visit Alternative Licensure - Scholarly Research to learn how we implement Western's strategic initiatives.

National Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education



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