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Lateral Entry

Lateral entry is an “alternate” route to teaching for qualified individuals outside of the public education system. Lateral entry allows qualified individuals to obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away, while obtaining a license as they teach. The NC Department of Public Instruction authorizes lateral entry licenses on a provisional basis in licensure areas that correspond to the individual’s academic study. Individuals who have completed all education program requirements except the Praxis Series tests (if applicable) are not eligible for lateral entry licensing.
Steps for Becoming a Lateral Entry teacher:
Step 1: The individual must first qualify as a lateral entry teacher to be able to seek a position with a school system.
Step 2: The individual is hired by a school system, which recommends the individual to the NC Department of Public instruction for a lateral entry license. The individual is issued a three year lateral entry provisional license.
Step 3: Upon being issued the initial provisional lateral entry license, the individual affiliates with a college or university with an approved teacher education program in the license area or with one of the Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) in North Carolina. An individual plan of study is prescribed for the lateral entry teacher.
Step 4: The individual follows their plan of study prescribed by the college or university or the RALC. A minimum of six semester hours per year from the plan of study must be taken until the plan has been completed. All coursework and the Praxis II exam for their licensure area must be completed within three years.
Step 5: When the individual completes the required coursework prescribed by the college, university or RALC and satisfies licensure testing requirements, he/she is recommended for licensure by the institution of RALC. This recommendation is sent to the NC Department of Public Instruction where it is evaluated and if the individual has met all their requirements, they are issued aStandard Professional 1 License.
NC TEACH website –
Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) –