Derek Dennis

Derek Dennis, a former WCU alternative licensure student who teaches middle grade science at Rugby Middle School, has been named a Kenan Fellow for the class of 2010.


91 Killian Building Lane, Suite 201
Teacher Recruitment, Advising, and Career Support (TRACS)
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7027 tel
828.227.7610 fax

Alternative Licensure FAQs

Browse the following links for the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding alternative licensure. If you don't find the information you're looking for, please contact us with your questions.

Where do I begin?
After reviewing the Alternative Licensure Program descriptions and individual program requirements, the next step is to complete the online Eligibility/Pre-Evaluation form and submit one official copy of your transcripts. For more information about the application process, visit Apply to WCU Alternative Licensure.

How will I know what courses I need to take?  
The program coordinator  in the department to which you applied, through the completion of the online Eligibility/Pre-Evaluation form, will review your transcripts. Based on your transcript, you will be given an individual program plan listing the courses you need in order to earn a NC teaching license.

How long will it take to get a license?
The time it takes to get a license depends on your individualized program plan based on previous experience and your educational background.

Is financial aid available? 
Normal financial aid opportunities are available. Because you are working toward teacher certification, you also are eligible for student loans (indicate on your application that you are seeking teacher certification). In most cases, you must be fully admitted to a program within the university in order to receive financial aid from Western Carolina University. To be eligible for financial aid assistance students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (listed on plan of study) at WCU. If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, we encourage you to contact the human resources department at your place of employment to investigate those opportunities.

Do I need to take the GRE?
If you qualify to take graduate level courses, you are not required to take the GRE for teacher certification. After receiving your NC Standard Professional I license, you must meet departmental requirements before becoming a MAT candidate

How will I get a teaching job? 
You are responsible for finding a teaching job. We will make every effort to inform you of job fairs and opportunities. It is recommended that you apply to all school systems where you are willing to work. When you apply you should indicate that you are seeking a lateral entry position. Western's teacher education program is highly respected in this region so be sure to mention that you are in this program.

What are the qualifications for lateral entry teaching?
The Department of Public Instruction, based on the policies and procedures adopted by the State Board of Education, issues North Carolina teaching licenses. An alternate route to teaching in NC allows you to obtain a position and begin teaching right away without any prior teacher training or experience; this route is known as "lateral entry." For more information, check out Becoming a Lateral Entry Teacher.

What is the cost?The cost of the program depends on the number of courses outlined on your individualized plan of study, and you should be aware whether your program is graduate or undergraduate. Check out our tuition and fees for more information about the cost per credit hour.

Are services available for military students/spouses?WCU is committed to providing high quality and affordable education to members of the military, their spouses, and college-aged children via Military Student Services. More information on the Troops/Spouses to Teachers Program can be found at: The North Carolina Troops to Teachers/Spouses to Teachers Coordinator can be reached at (888) 878-1600 or


Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services