Alternative Licensure
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.

Our Birth to Kindergarten and K-12 Special Education programs were developed for working adults with all licensure courses offered completely online.

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.


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

Alternative Licensure Strategic Plan

Alternative Licensure Scholarly Research



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