All professional employees in public schools must hold a license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional education assignment that they hold; more information can be found at How To Become A Teacher.
The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) licensing process is separate from your program completion and degree conferral. Students should review Requirements for Teacher Licensure before beginning the licensure application process
Licensure Exams and EdTPA
All WCU teacher education and school professional candidates much attempt all relevant licensure exams prior to recommendation by WCU for a professional educator license. EdTPA requirements must be satisfactorily evaluated before you begin your online license application. The edTPA score report and licensure exams score report(s) should be attached to your online application. Questions about these requirements should be directed to your program coordinator. Please note: WCU does not receive individual score reports for students. You should save all score reports, transcripts and other documents to your personal files (e.g. cloud account, thumb drive, hard drive, etc.)
LEA/IHE Certification of Teaching Capacity (CTC) - The CTC is completed at the end of Student Teaching/Internship II by the student, cooperating teacher, university supervisor, academic supervisor (if applicable), and principal. The original, signed document is uploaded to TK20 by the University Supervisor. Students must be rated Proficient on all criteria of the CTC before WCU will make your license recommendation to DPI. Candidates in the Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education programs use the CPAST in lieu of the CTC.
Release of Information
Information cannot be disclosed to NCDPI for the purpose of teacher/school professional license or to prospective employers for the purpose of employment, without completion of the Authorization for Release of Information Form. The completed for should be emailed to the the CEAP Licensure Specialist (do not attach to your online application)
Occassionally, you will receive a job offer before you receive your license. In that case your potential employer may ask for an eligibilty or status statement. We will gladly generate a letter for you after we have recommended you to DPI for a license. Include in your request the name, title and school system/county of the person to receive the letter along with their mailing, fax, or email address. Submit requests to the CEAP Licensure Specialist.
Timeline to Apply
All Students are expected to initiate the online application after program completion and when documentation is ready. Candidates should apply for an inital license within six months of program completion.
All WCU teacher education and school professional candidates must attempt all relevant licensure exams prior to recommendation by WCU for a professional educator license. EdTPA requirements must be satisfactorily evaluated before you begin your online licensure application. The edTPA score report and licensure exam score report(s) should be attached to your online application. Questions about these requirements should be directed to your program coordinator, Please note: WCU does not receive individual score reports for students. You should save all score reports, transcripts and other documents to your personal files (e.g. cloud account, thumb drive, hard drive, etc.)
Exam details are subject to change. Be sure to confirm state exam requirements before you register. Go to the NCDPI website for the most up-to-date NCSBE-approved exam details, including Praxis (ETS) and Pearson links. Keep in mind that exams are offered during specific testing window dates, so make plans to take them early enough so you will have your scores when you need to apply for your license.
When registering for Praxis II and Pearson exams, candidates must indicate WCU and NCDPI as score recipients. To be considered official, test scores should be delivered to WCU and NCDPI directly from the testing agency.
Go to Licensure Exam Preparation for additional information, licensure exam preparation tips, strategies, and resources for both Praxis and Pearson exams.
WCU transcripts will not be issued until university accounts are paid in full and holds are removed. Contact Student Accounts at 828.227.7324 for account information and to resolve any issues to remove holds.
You can request official transcripts through myWCU ( $ charge for official electronic copy) or from the Registrar’s Office (official paper copy). Please order transcripts AFTER completion of current coursework and/or degree conferral.
Transcripts for each of your degrees and any coursework you have completed not listed on your transcript (community college or post-degree credits) need to be attached to your application.
International Verification - if you have earned a degree from another country. Provide an evaluation from an international education evaluation service with a copy of a current work authorization visa, permanent resident card or US passport. Note: For degrees earned abroad, the transcripts must be evaluated for US equivalency and translated into English by an education evaluation agency. One of many acceptable evaluation agencies for foreign transcripts is International Education Evaluations (IEE). DPI will not accept translations done by the applicant.
Before you begin:
Finalizing your application
Follow the steps in the guides below to initiate your educator account if you do not already have one. It is recommended that your educator account is associated with a private, personal email account that you check often. This way you won't need to update your email address (or miss important notifications from NCDPI) if you change employers
Professional Educator User Guide (Educator Access to Online System)
Registration and Affiliation (with school system) Guide
The NCDPI website provides instructional videos and guides to navigate the Online Licensure System.
Guides are also avaliable for an education applying for an initial NC teaching license (upon completion of BSEd degree, MAT, or Certificate program) or Special Service Personnel License (School Counselor, School Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, or School Social Worker).
Guides are also avaliable for educators applying for an administrative area (School Principle or Superintendent), upgrading/clearing a licensure area (Residency), or adding educational levels to an existing license by program completion (MAEd).
Additional guides are available to add an area by test, make a name change, update contact information, request copy of files and test scores, update work authorization, and obtain verification of NC License.
It is very important that you ROUTE your application to Western Carolina University when prompted on the application. Carefully choose Western Carolina University from the drop-down menu so that your application will route properly.
The NCDPI Online Licensure System can be found by following this link. For licensure questions or technical difficulties, contact the Licensure Section at 919.807.3310 or 800.577.7994.