Current Alternative Licensure Students

Congratulations—you have been accepted into Western's alternative licensure program! We look forward to working with you as you pursue your career goals.

Catamount Email
Your catamount email address is the official means of communication between the university and the student so you must check this email account daily. IT Services provides instructions to set up your catamount email on their student homepage.

Registration Instructions 
After being admitted to the Graduate School, your first step in the registration process should be to contact your adviser and discuss the classes you need. After communicating with your adviser, you can register through My Cat. Payment of tuition and fees is due quickly. Check your My Cat account.

1. Go to the WCU home page at
2. Select "My Cat" towards the top of the page.
3. Enter your 92 number as your username.
4. Enter your password. Your password is your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Initially, your PIN is set as 6 digits. It's either:
your 2-digit birth month, 2-digit birth year, followed by 00 (MMYY00) or
your 2-digit birth month, 2-digit birth date, 2-digit birth year (MMDDYY).
5. Click on "Personal Services" tab.
6. Click on the "Registration" link.
7. Click on "Add/Drop Classes."
8. Select the term and click "Submit."
9. Enter the CRN (five-digit course registration number) of the course(s) you wish to add in the Add Class table. (If you do not know the CRN, click on "Class Search" at the bottom of the page.)
10. Click "Submit Changes."
If you have problems logging in to My Cat please contact the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487 or toll free at 866-928-7487. If you have problems registering for specific courses please contact your adviser or Distance Learning Student Services toll free at 866-928-4723.

Payment of Tuition
It is very important that you pay your tuition on time. Students will be dropped from classes for non-payment, and you will lose your seat(s) in your course(s).Tuition for Spring semesters is due by December 1; tuition for Summer is due by the first day of the class; tuition for Fall is due by August 1.
No paper bills will be mailed. Students receive an email to their catamount email account to check the statement in Bill+Payment in your MyCat when tuition is posted.

Accessing an Online Course
1. Go to OR from the WCU home page,, choose the Blackboard link.
2.  All students log into Blackboard using your Catamount EMAIL username (e.g., If your email address is, then your username is "wcustudent") and your MyCat password (PIN). Do NOT use your 92# as your username to log into Blackboard.
If you have problems logging in to Blackboard, please contact the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487 or toll free at 866-928-7487. 

Ordering Textbooks
As a distance education student, you will purchase your textbooks. There is no rental service available to distance students. Books may be purchased online through the University Bookstore. The ISBN number is available on the bookstore website should you choose to purchase your books from another vendor. The bookstore has been set up as a secure server site. Your textbooks will be shipped via UPS and should arrive at your doorstep within 48 hours of your order.
University CalendarThere are a lot of helpful dates (WD deadline, priority registration, deadline for submitting and application fro graduation, etc.) that might be of interest to you in the University Calendar.

Student Teaching/Internship Experience
The Office of Alternative Licensure will notify you of Student Teaching/Internship Application deadlines and instructions on completing the application. The application will be submitted to the Office of Field Experiences, the office works diligently to find qualified placements for every student. Students who are employed in an appropriate setting are able to complete their field experiences in their employment setting. Be sure to communicate with your advisor to be sure your employment setting is an appropriate one.

Stop Out Policy
Students that do not enroll in courses for one entire year (three semesters) are required to reapply to the university. Students are also required to follow new program requirements upon reentering the program.  

Securing a Teaching Position
If you are interested in securing a teaching position now, the minimum requirements for Becoming a Lateral-Entry Teacher are based on your academic content background. Be sure you meet at least one of the criteria established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Education recruitment fairs are held at Western in the spring and also around the state. Check our Preparing for Job Fairs page for information that will help you get ready to meet school system representatives. You'll also find links to job fairs at Western, the region, and around the state.
The NC Department of Public Instruction website has an electronic application that can be used for all 117 school systems across the state. Choose “How to Apply.”  You can also use this site to link directly to each school system’s web information as well as postings of job vacancies. You should follow up with each school system to verify that they do not require additional documentation.

Praxis II Information and Preparation
Information about the required standardized licensing exams can be found at Included at the bottom are exam preparation tips, strategies, and resources.
Apply for a Teaching License
After you have completed all of your required course work listed on your personalized plan of study, please contact our licensure specialist, Barbara Schade, for instructions on how to apply for NC Teaching License.  


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