Teacher Certification Applicants
Each year, numerous students who hold a previous undergraduate degree are enrolled at WCU with the intent of completing courses necessary to gain teacher certification through the Department of Public Instruction. Though these students may not need or plan to earn a degree from WCU, the Office of Alternative Licensure and the TRACS Office within the College of Education and Allied Professions do provide them support.
Because teacher certification students are not seeking to complete a degree at WCU, some policies and procedures differ for teacher certification students as compared with degree-seeking students. (All non-degree students who wish to be considered for degree-seeking status must submit the appropriate new application for admission as well as all required supporting documentation.) Some of the differences include:
- Classification as a non-degree seeking student (as opposed to a first-year, transfer or re-enrolling student)
- Exemption from new-student orientation
- Ineligibility for university evaluation of credits earned elsewhere (through the Registrar’s Office) or a degree audit (the Office or Alternative Licensure works with these students to track fulfillment of Department of Public Instruction requirements)
- Different priority access to registration, course selection and on-campus living accommodations from that of degree-seeking students.
Because teacher certification students already have an undergraduate degree and are not seeking a degree at WCU, the Office of Admission can forego requiring all of the documentation that a degree-seeking student would have to submit. (Be sure to contact the Office of Alternative Licensure for official transcripts and other documentation that may be required in order to receive advising and assistance.) The minimum amount of information that a teacher certification student must submit, by application deadlines, includes the following:
Application for Admission: Accurately and completely fill out the appropriate application for admission:
- If a teacher certification student plans to attempt only distance or online courses, then the applicant should complete the undergraduate distance application
- If a teacher certification student plans to enroll in any resident-credit (campus-based) courses, then the applicant should complete the undergraduate non-degree seeking student application (student-type of teacher certification)
- Students desiring to take graduate-level courses must contact the Graduate School
Application fee: This nonrefundable processing fee is required for consideration as a teacher certification student
NOTE: Official transcripts of college work are not required by the Office of Admission for teacher certification students; however, the Office of Alternative Licensure may request transcripts and other documentation to better serve you.
Teacher certification students who are approved for enrollment will receive an acceptance letter, an information sheet and a checklist to aid in the enrollment process. The applicability of some of the information will depend upon each teacher education student’s specific plans or needs (i.e., number of courses, location or instructional mode of courses, living arrangements, timing of courses, special needs, etc.). Some of the next steps after gaining admission include:
1. Checking on Financial Aid Eligibility: Federal, state and university policies govern eligibility for financial aid and preclude most non-degree seeking students from being eligible for financial aid. Exceptions may exist for some teacher certification students (regulations are subject to change). Visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
2. Completing and Returning Immunization Form (if applicable): North Carolina state law requires anyone entering college to present a certificate of immunization documenting compliance with all required immunizations. The statute applies to all students except:
- Students taking all evening classes
- Students taking classes that meet off campus
- Students taking no more than four day-credit hours in on-campus courses
- Students taking weekend classes only
3. Completing and Submitting Residential Living Agreement Form and Deposit (if applicable): Because on-campus housing is required for many degree-seeking students but not required for teacher certification students, campus housing is subject to availability (space in campus-based housing is not usually an issue in summer sessions). Housing deposits may be remitted online and the agreement form can be submitted once an applicant has been admitted.
4. Contacting Disability Services (if applicable): WCU is committed to equality of educational opportunities for qualified students with documented disabilities.
5. Contacting Military Student Services (if applicable): For assistance with benefits related to military service, you can contact Military Student Services.
6. Fulfilling Computer Requirement (if applicable): All newly admitted and returning degree-seeking undergraduate students are required to have a computer. The computer requirement includes a software and hardware component. Given this requirement, the faculty incorporates the use of technology within the curriculum. Distance and online courses and programs have technology requirements as well. As a non-degree seeking student, you will be immersed in classes that necessitate access to the same hardware and software as degree-seeking students.
7. Obtaining Books: Depending on your specific situation, you may participate in the book rental program at WCU and/or you may have to purchase your textbooks (i.e., supplemental and laboratory books as well as books for online, distance learning and some specific undergraduate programs must be purchased). Once you have been admitted and are registered for classes, contact the University Bookstore for more information.
8. Obtaining CatCard (if applicable): Non-degree seeking students, particularly those taking courses on campus, may find the acquisition of a CatCard to be a necessity or a convenience. The CatCard may be used as an identification card, access card (i.e., to specific facilities and events), debit card for on-campus purchases, library card, meal card, discount card and more.
9. Registering for Classes: Non-degree seeking students may register via the Web. Registration dates will be posted on the Registrar’s Office website. The academic calendar, catalog, course descriptions, schedules of classes and much more are available through that site as well.
10. Registering Vehicle (if applicable): Non-degree seeking students who will attend class on campus or visit campus routinely, particularly on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., should obtain a parking permit.
11. Submitting Payment: Students may pay by check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. OneStop Student Services or Student Accounts can assist with information regarding payment deadlines, procedures and questions.