University Application Deadlines:
undergraduate programs,
graduate programs

It is important that you complete the Alternative Licensure application process as early as possible.  Given the current volume of applications, course availability may be limited if you apply after the posted deadline. We make every effort to enroll qualified applications, especially lateral entry teachers, even if the deadline has passed.  

Success Stories
Jerome Hughes

Former WCU alternative licensure student Jerome Hughes, who teaches English at Asheville High School, was the 2007 Western Regional Teacher of the Year.
read more about Hughes

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.
meet the 2010 Kenan Fellows (PDF)

Alternative Licensure Programs

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.


Many of our students prefer to complete their course work before securing a teaching position. Licensure-only students learn before they begin teaching—they take all courses for licensure and apply for jobs as fully licensed teachers. If you wish to pursue licensure-only, apply to Western's alternative licensure program by completing the online Eligibility/Pre-Evaluation form. A program advisor will complete a plan of study which will lead to an initial license in your chosen area.

We encourage you to contact us to discuss developing the best plan for you to become a teacher.

ALL LICENSURE AREAS -- After completing the online Eligibility/Pre-Evaluation form and receiving your personalized licensure plan of study, you must also apply and be accepted to WCU before registering for teacher licensure courses.  Apply through undergraduate admissions for 100 to 400 level courses, and through the Graduate School for 500 and 600 level courses. GRE scores or letters of recommendation are not required for licensure-only, distance-education applicants (but are required should you decide to pursue a MAT degree at a later date). If you plan to take graduate level courses, the Graduate School will need transcripts to show your conferred Bachelor's degree. Steps on how to Apply to WCU Alternative Licensure .

If you already have a licensure plan ( i.e. RALC)…

It is important that you send the courses you are planning to take to the Office of Alternative Licensure.  You cannot be admitted or enrolled until the courses are approved.



** 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.


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